Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Jumada al-Thani 1437/March 2016

As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah. Tilling of the potato bed and the food forest was completed this month in preparation for our spring planting. Three goji berry bushes, 2 jostaberry bushes, 3 blueberry bushes, and 2 grapevines, along with fava beans, Egyptian onions, broccoli, cabbage, and parsnips are already planted. Hundreds more seeds need to be planted in the coming weeks. Grow trays are being planted with a wide variety of organic seeds ready to be planted out over the next two months, insha'Allah.

For the big stuff, our neighbors borrowed a plow and lent it to us, al hamdulillah.

Freesia and Daisy are well settled in and the dairy deliveries are building up a customer base in Roy, Mosquero, and Las Vegas. We are now selling fresh milk, cream, cheeses, and eggs along with our Naturalcraft line of homemade organic bodycare products.

Temperatures rose and the milder weather encouraged some creative placement of things to turn the food forest into something that resembles a small park. We are anxious to get it fenced in, or fence in a chicken run, so we can go full steam ahead with our planting.

Every day is an egg hunt here, as the chickens are laying their eggs all over the place. Under the trailer, in tires, beside the compost pile, in the rabbitry, and around the coop as well as in their nesting boxes, they have the children checking all over for eggs during the day.

The milking operation has gone solar, with everything set up in the milking shed and hooked up to a solar panel, charge controller, and inverter. Now we simply go up, prep the cows, and flick a switch to milk them. Real luxury!

Caring for our dairy cows and the milking process looks like this.

The cows are fed organic hay and alfalfa twice daily, just after milking. They are taken into the milking shed one by one, and go into the stanchion where they are prepped and milked. First we brush off their undersides, udders, and teats, then wash their teats with a homemade organic teat wash. Then the teats are lubricated with a homemade lubricant of organic oils of coconut, olive, and glycerin. The first squirts of milk are discarded and then they are milked with our Ultimate EZ milker. The milk is poured from the bottles into a stainless steel milk can. The teats are sprayed with a homemade organic teat spray and that's it. After milking, we filter the milk and pour into half gallon glass mason jars. Jars are labeled by milk type (A1A2 or A2A2) and the date. It is put in an icy bath for at least an hour and then transferred to our solar refrigerator, stored between 34-38 degrees Fahrenheit. Then all the dairy equipment is washed in warm water with a homemade soap, rinsed with hot water and vinegar, and finally rinsed with plain water and laid out upside down to dry.

The weather warmed up as spring approached and the rabbits were nearing their due dates. They really didn't seem to be doing what they were supposed to in terms of preparing the nests for their kits, and on the 28th, in the midst of a howling snow storm, Crystal kindled (gave birth) to six kits (baby rabbits). It was far too cold for them and they died within hours. Inna i'Illahi wa inna ilayhi ra'ajioon – an excellent lesson on the realities of life and death for the children.

We hope to build a fence around the chicken coop in April, to give them an area to forage in without destroying our food forest. Aside from planting, planting, planting, we will see what else we can get done as the weather warms up bi idhn Illah, ta'ala.


  1. Salaam 3laykum, Mash'Allah I love farming and being self-sufficient. It's a true blessing.

  2. Wa alaykum ussalaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh Maisah.
    Yes, maashaa Allah! We find that it has improved our lives and our Deen exponentially. May Allah bless your family and farm - ameen!

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