Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Our first snow

We're so sorry for the delay and lack of monthly updates...we've been extremely busy with day to day farm life. Here are two pictures of what we woke up to.

Welcome Tess!

Al hamdulillah, our dairy cow, Tess has arrived. Here are a few pictures of her and the future milking shed.

September 2015 Happenings

The first half of September was so filled with busy days, that we cannot remember what happened maashaa Allah!  Shariyf was busy getting settled into his online ESL teaching and we were getting to know the animals.

15 September: 23 acres is completely fenced in

16 September: The first egg is laid - a lovely light bluey-green color!

5 eggs by day four...another hen started laying

Our first dozen!
17 September: Started planting for autumn, reciting ayaat from Surah Abasa that Allah is the One who grows the seeds and making du'a to Ar-Razaaq (the Sustainer) to bless our sowing and make it a beneficial source of food,

18 September: The rains came, with consistently wet weather for about 2 weeks, so no watering had to be done for our newly sown seeds alhamdul'Illah. In addition, although we don't have rain catchment set up yet, just watching where the rain water was running off the trailers and placing containers underneath, we harvested a few hundred gallons of water - subhaan Allah!

At least 40 gallons of water in this tub alone...
after just one hour of rain

21 September: Visited Joy and Robert in Questa to see the dairy cows and meet Tess, the cow we plan to purchase, Came home with gifts of a barrel stove, a utility sink, beautiful thermal pane windows and door, and plenty of raw milk, yogurt, cream, and butter!

22 September: Shipping container was delivered for use as a barn in the corral

Bought small camouflage painted travel trailer ($400)
Too cute, maashaa Allah!

24 September: Eid Al Adha - prayed at Masjid Ar-Rahma in Santa Fe.

25 September: Jumuah at Masjid Ar-Rahma, where the Imam and several brothers followed up from the day before with enthusiastic interest in our future business (bi idhn Illah, taala) of hand slaughtered, certified naturally raised dhabiha meat and sheep for slaughtering, alhamdul'Illah!.

Returned home to find this:
Homemade Eid gift from our daughters, this shelf came with a one minute warranty!

Only from Allah!
26 September: Went to pick up an Alpine doe and an Alpine/Nubian/Boer doe ($240 for the pair), and 3 Sussex ewes ($450 for the three), our first livestock.
TinTin and TisTis
Whitie, Blackie, and Dotty

27 September: Walked the goats, who really love crispy dried sunflowers.

30 September: Bought two more Alpine/Boer does ($240 for the pair),

Monday, October 12, 2015

The other side of farming

Often people romanticize about living off the land, being a farmer, or or even studying abroad. While these things are wonderful, the reality is there is another side to everything most people hear about or see.

On Saturday, the 10th of October, went to our first dairy cow class at Five Nine Heifer Farm in Questa, NM. You can learn more about them at: www.handmilking.com. Joy and Robert train cows, people, sell trained cows, and loads more. If you want a family cow, and need to learn from knowing nothing to becoming a professional, Joy and Robert are the people to see.

The following pictures might make you rethink about owning a family cow, but it's better to rethink now before you bring her home. We had to perform internal exams on a pregnant and a non-pregnant cow. There are many reasons why this must be done; they are mostly the same reasons they are preformed on humans.

I'm sure some will have questions, so don't be shy to ask. That look on my face isn't fear, I'm just focused, lol.

Friday, September 18, 2015

August 2015 Developments

Non-stop activity and a to-do list that overwhelmed us, we started the month focusing on getting the shipping container, called The Shelter, organized and kitted out. It is to function as an emergency shelter, with a complete kitchen and storage, with sleeping facilities for our family of six. We bought six large 4 ft x 2 ft x 6 ft shelves to store our belongings and food in an organized manner. Over the early days we bought two sets of bunk beds (second hand), a futon sofa, and a gas stove. We stocked shelves with food, got the kitchen and Berkey water filter set up, and were in business. We set up a privacy tent in the back to house a composting toilet and The Shelter was good to go, al hamdulillah. 

We then dug a large 3 x 6 x 3 hole for our composting. We used the dirt to fill 17 tires for planting. We also weeded and prepared to straw covered planting beds and made 6 more planting beds.

We used our telephone poles, given to us last summer by Springer Electric, to outline our private cemetery, so it is clearly marked. Alhamdul'Illah, we do not have to bury in a casket and can have completely Islamically compliant burials.

Corner posts went in for the 23 acre plot and for a 2 .2 acre livestock corral on the 28 acre side. The 2,2 acre corral was then fenced in with goat and sheep fence and a gate put up.

19-21 August: Went to Dallas, TX for our first job doing Permaculture evaluations for some land sites being considered by a family friend.

22 August: received 40ft shipping container to be used as a masjid, In striving to emulate the example of our beloved Prophet Muhammad, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, our first priority after established safe shelter was to have a masjid. Masjid Al Muqarraboon is now at Healing Earth - al hamdulillah!

22 August: While trying to adjust the position of the masjid to be more exactly in line with the qiblah, our recently purchased Ford Excursion burned to the ground with 500lbs of chicken feed, most of our electronics, and many other belongings inside - al hamdulillahi Rabb il aal ameen! Nobody was hurt and it was a test greeted with gratitude and patience. What a purification, expiation, and elevation bi idhn Illah!

The fire and replacing certain key things like the organic feed, phones, and computers changed the near term plans by the Will of Allah. We had to postpone getting the next shipping container, which was to be the barn for our dairy cow and bull calf, and also postpone the training and purchase of the cow and calf until spring 2016, However, we turned our focus on planting for autumn, looking for smaller animals, and setting us a shop front/office space in the village to serve as our homeschooling center and online teaching base for Shariyf. Rent is $50 per month, internet and phone are reliable, and it has a glass store front window so we can use it to display our goods for sale, inshaa Allah. Allah is ever Merciful and all success lies with Him alone.