Thursday, November 20, 2008

Of road trips and giant pigs

Well, it looks like we are off to Missouri again! This will be our fourth trip this year. We are going to pick up Sampson and his girlfriend at Bud Nichol's farm. Bud and his wife have decided to scale down their hog herd. This is going to be a whirlwind trip. Down and back on my days off. Brian's still in a cast so he won't be driving. Luckily, our neice Sarah has agreed to go along and share the driving with me.

Sampson is a very large, well proven Red Wattle boar. He shows many of the qualities of the original Red Wattles (Waddles) bred by the Wenglar's of Texas. We are excited about keeping him in the gene pool. He will be one of 2 boars we carry on our farm. The sow we are picking up with him is bred to farrow in late February. This will complete our Red Wattle herd for now.

The hogs will move to a new rotational pasture set up in the spring. This new arrangement will allow for a central "wallow" and mutiple pastures so that the hogs can graze more new pasture than on a standard hog pasture situation.

I'll post pics of the new hogs as soon as we get home.

Stay warm,


Sunday, November 16, 2008

And suddenly winter!!

Yesterday afternoon I went to work in my scrubs with just a thin raincoat over. This morning when I pulled out of the parking garage it was snowing. Not a lot, mind you, but enough to jolt me out of fall and right into winter. I do this every year. I just want fall - one of my favorite times of year to go on and on. I guess the weather had lulled me into perpetual fall thinking. Afterall, we still have lettuce and radishes in the garden. It's not really been cold enough for me to go rumaging in the cedar chest for winter coats. We've barely had a killing frost.
But with the snow I can't ignore winter anymore. Time to get everything sealed up for winter. Time to fill the basement with firewood and get out the gloves, mittens, hats and scarves. Time to settle the hens in the high tunnel greenhouse for the winter. Time to start feeding hay to the sheep, cows, pigs and horses. Time to flush and store the auto-waterers for the animals and put out troughs and heaters. Time to clean off the porch and put the flower pots away. Better clean the gutters too - my job this year. Brian's in a leg cast. Hmmmm I know there's something I forgot..... Oh yeah time to buy a sled. :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

If you're happy and you know it....

If you are happy with our farm products, please, let others know.

Go to:

Search for: Kiss My Grass Farm

Click on the stars next to our farm name.

Click on "Post a Review"

Leave your comments.

As always we appreciate everyone who supports the farm.

Thank you,

Dot & Brian

Small Farm Conference

Brian and I just returned from the National Small Farm Conference in Columbia, MO.

What a great event!! Even though folks told us it wasn't as big as in years past, it was a cornacopia of nifty tools, yummy treats, rare livestock and informative speakers. It was almost overwhelming. I can't imagine what it would be like if it was much bigger. We walked the whole show about a dozen times and I think we still missed some things.

The exhibition hall was full of vendors: books, tools, chicken pluckers, honey icecream, seeds, SARE information, Missouri Fruit Research Station publications, handmade soaps, rabbit meat, wood furnaces, Llama products, wool products, herbal animal products, flax seed, wooden utensils, and sorghum molasses to name a few. Around the arena were booths for stock trailers, fencing, BCS tillers and tools, more books, minitature carriages to be pulled by miniature horses and portable small farm buildings.

Inside the arena was my favorite place. One end had the herd dog demonstrations. The rest of the arena had rare livestock and poultry. We met folks who raised Highland cattle, Red Poll cattle, Dexter cattle, Fjord horses and Caspian horses. There were Katahdin and St Croix sheep. Guinea, Tamworth and Red Wattle hogs. And there were chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, guinea fowl and pigeons of more shapes and sizes than I have room to mention.

This was our first year to attend. We'd volunteered to create and work the Red Wattle Hog Association booth for the conference. It was a wonderful experience. Brian spent most of his time educating about our wonderful Red Wattle Hogs. More than once I heard someone say, " Go talk to the bald guy if you want to know about Red Wattle hogs." lol It was really nice to meet so many of the folks in the RW Association in person. On Saturday, I went to the RW Association meeting while Brian went to a class. He is now the VP and I am the Sec/tres of the RWA.

Some of the new tools we brought home included a really slick hand weeder blade, a brush cutter with a replaceable blade for my son, a sheperd's crook and we got anothe Rogue hoe. We have 2 rogue hoes already. They have become our favorite gardening tool. We had to get another one because Brian and I argue over the one we like the best. You just can't beat them for close precision weeding in our wide beds and they really stay sharp. That's the new hoe in the picture.

There were herd dog demonstrations, farmer forums, seminars and classes. We attended topics like adding honey bees to your farm, alternative feeds, elderberry propagation and marketing, intensive grazing of sheep, Marketing a CSA, but our favorite was Joel Salatin's intensive grazing class. Hearing Joel Salatin talk is like going to a tent revival for farming!

We're looking forward to hearing Joel Salatin speak again in January when he's here in Indiana at the Heart of America Conference in Columbus.

We're also looking into trying to start a Small Farm Conference here in Indiana. If you are interested in seeing an event like this here, please email me at:

The more we can show support for creating the event the more organizations will be willing to support the event.

Thanks for reading!!
Take good care,