Friday, July 15, 2011

Solutions Office Services

I just updated our image with the help of Solutions Office Services, a new home based company my mom launched today! The services include but are not limited to:

  • Customer Billing

  • Accounts Payable

  • Payroll

  • Presentations

  • Clerical

  • Presentations

  • Proofreading

  • Computer Training

  • Software Upgrade Consulting and Implementation

  • Business Process Consulting

  • Customer Service Training Services

  • Here is my new business card that was completed today:

    I love it!

    You can view her website at and be sure to check back often for updates as she will be adding websites and printed products!

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    Fresh from the Farm...

    Again, I haven't managed to update this for over a month, so I will try to cover and condense everything. Daisy our Jersey really WAS pregnant and had a beautiful heifer May 18th. Polly had a guernsey bull calf May 28th, a day after her due date. Polly is a very large girl, about twice the size of Daisy, and only milking about 1/2 of what Daisy does. We plan to let her raise this calf to about months old, then Sept 28th he will be weaned and we will finish her on pasture and corn for 60 days. Around Nov 28th we will send her in and fill the freezer with 2 lb rolls of hamburger - I am guessing at about 750 lbs worth, so if you want to reserve some let us know!

    We have planted 9 fruit trees this year, and plan to plant 10 each spring. This years additions were 2 North Star Pie Cherries, 3 Ranger Dwarf Peach, 1 Contender Peach, and 2 Red Delicious Apples, and a Pear of some sort.

    The meat chickens are growing nicely, and our Heritage breed Toulouse Goose and Royal Palm Turkey's have arrived. We are still waiting on the ducklings that Delaney and Eddie ordered. I did chores for Lee and LaDone while they were out of town, including gathering their eggs, so I have 6 RIR eggs in the incubator waiting to see if they hatch.

    We are branding the beef herd this Saturday morning starting at about 6:30 am, then Nathaniel and I will leave just before lunch (my favorite part ) and head over to the Open A Bar 2 Ranch for their open house. We are planning to bring a few hereford piglets and giving away ice cream cones, so be sure to stop by!

    And finally - they whole point of my post =) We have been making all sorts of things will all of this fresh milk, and so have our customers. I recieved a wonderful slice of chocolate cake and the recipe to go with it - which motivated me to move forward with something I have been thinking about for the last year... a Flower Field Farm Cookbook! I plan to include recipes I use frequently, recipes that you all contribute, old info from the farmer's almanacs as well things like how to render lard step by step and Grandma's lard soap recipes to go with it! Would like to receive as many recipes as possible for appetizers, main courses, desserts, canning and preserving, and milk products, and household items. You can e-mail them to me at or send them in the mail to:

    Flower Field Farm
    2310 Rd 18
    Harrisburg, NE 69345

    I plan to have these done by Dec 1st, so please have all recipes in by the end of October.

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Baby piglets & Meat chickens

    You may have already seen the picture on our Facebook page, but we had our first ever litter of piglets.

    They are growing like weeds and super cute! One is already pre-sold. Our next gilt is due in July.

    Nathaniel and I have decided to add broiler chickens here as well. We are trying to diversify enough to farm full time, without getting to big to handle it all. We have decided to raise 200 broilers this summer in the milk cow pasture. Raising them in the pasture will help with bug control, fertilize the pasture, and give the birds a much more natural diet and life. Please email us and reserve your birds today -

    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    2011 Baby Calves

    We are right in the middle of our calving for the year. So far our dairy x beef cow Magnus had a little bull calf in February. We were getting enough milk for the house here for the first few weeks. Delaney's heifer had a baby that she didn't mother, so we put the baby on Magnus. She is now officially a nurse cow, because if I am going to spend 15 minutes doing the milking routine, I want enough to make it worth my time! She does have some very good attributes. She has and excellent temperament - the best on the place, and very good maternal instincts. Magnus will be AI'd to a Normande bull called Uvray:

    This should produce a heifer that can join the milk crew.

    Daisy is due any day now - from her ultrasound this winter we had set a due date for the middle of April, but she was with the beef bull this year instead of being AI'd , so we really aren't sure when the baby will be here. She is bagging up good, so hopefully any day now! We plan to AI her to a jersey bull for a purebred jersey heifer.

    Polly is next to calve - she was AI'd by her former owners and has a due date of May 27th. She is currently bred to a guernsey bull, which will make the calf 1/4 brown swiss, and 3/4 guernsey. Hoping for a heifer!! Debating between using guernsey bull again or trying normande this time.

    Anna will calve last - she was AI'd to a brown swiss and is due June 21st. The calf will  be pure bred brown swiss, so a heifer would be great here too! She will be AI'd brown swiss again.

    We hope to move up the calving of the entire herd so that it only lasts 60 days from Feb 15th to April 15th. This may take 1-2 two years depending on how quickly each cow becomes pregmant after calving.

     Earlier this week I found a some normande x jersey crossbred bottle heifers for sale in Colorado, and since we were going down anyways, I couldn't help but bring two home. They were brought in from a grass fed dairy in Wisconsin, normande first calf heifers bred to jersey bull for calving ease. They have already starting their halter training, and will also be trained as oxen. They will truly be triple purpose, meat, milk, and work. I plan to use them in the garden for tilling as well as help harvesting. They will be used when we are able to do milking demonstrations or exhibits, and my pull a cart in a parade one day!



    Roana will be the neigh ox, while Belle will be the off ox. They are an awesome addition to the dairy herd!

    As far as beef calves go, we had 2 cows and 6 first calf heifers to calve this year. So far we have 3 heifer and one bull calf on the ground. 2 of our favorites had heifers and they will definately be kept. We also have 4 yearling heifer we saved from last year that we will be adding to the herd... (wait, our limit is supposed to be 10 hd - we need to lease some pasture!!!)

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Finally an Update =)

    I didn't realize it had been so long since my last post! It has been hectic here lately and the time just flew. Nathaniel has been gone for the last 3 days in Chadron taking a Select Reproductive Solutions class which means by the time he gets home he will be certified to AI cattle. I'm not so sure that the cows care if he is certified or not, but it would have cost about the same to pay our vet to AI the four milk cows as it cost for the class. This will allow us to breed all of our cows to some of the country's top bulls at a lower cost than actually owning 1 bull.
    Delaney has had a busy week as well. While Nathaniel was gone, she had Kindergarten Roundup on Thursday, where she learned all about the school, the busses, and the lunch room.Yep, we even got to eat at the school =) Aren't you sad you missed it honey? Our first beef heifer of the year also calved this week, and it happened to be Delaney's black girl with a white line down her back - happily named Stunky. While feeding we noticed that Stunky looked much thinner than she had a few hours before, and was already cleaning - but no calf to be found. The only calf we could find was with an old cow that had no milk, but tried to eat Nathaniel's lunch when he grabbed hold of the calf. After watching this pair the better part of the afternoon, we decided that cow had not calved, but infact stolen the calf from the heifer. We now have little Buttercup here at the house, and Nathaniels black milk cow Magnus has adopted her quite well for a first calf heifer. I am not getting as much milk for the house now, but when I look out the window, she has a black calf on either side of her nursing away.
    Our larger hereford gilt definately looks bred, and we turned the two younger gilts in with the boar this week. We now have 7 beef cows left to calve, 2 dairy heifers and 1 cow. We have 4 replacement heifers we saved from last year that will be first in line for Nathaniel to AI. Sheep are due in April too. I am excited for more babies!

    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    Going for Organic!

    Just wanted to let everyone know that we got our first load of certified organic alfalfa hay in today, and we are filling our our Organic producer application as we speak. We will have a transitional period of 1 year before our milk can be certified organic, while the cows have to eat all organic feed and obtain at least 30% of their diet from grazing. The best thing is we really don't have to change a thing, other than we cannot buy any new heifers that do not come from a certified organic farm. That is okay too, beacuse we have contacted the folks at and will purchase heifers from them if need be.

    Here are a few pictures of the new heifers:

    Anna - Brown Swiss

    Polly - Brown Swiss/Guernsey

    Agnus - Guernsey/Black Angus

    2/24 Had a second to add some info I missed last night: We will also be certifying mom's 40 acres organic, and we will graze the replacment heifers and sheep up there. This also means that all of our fruit, veggatables, and eggs will be organic too! We will update more as we get further into the process.

    Sunday, February 13, 2011


    In the summer when there is an abundance of cream and eggs we love to make strawberry shortcake from scratch around here.With all of the interest in cream and eggs being picked up at the farm, I thought what perrennial plant would compliment them better than strawberries! Last year we put in about 50 plants, and enjoyed quite a few berries the first year. They bloom early and often, which is great for the honey bees too! I have ordered 500 + plants to put in this year, so we can look forward to some this year and many more in the years to come!

    Here is a recipe for Angel Food Cake from my mother in law LaDona McGowan:

    12 egg whites
    1 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
    1 3/4 cups sifted sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 teaspoon cram of tartar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon almond extract

    Let egg whites warm for one hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    Sift flour with 3/4 sugar, resift 3 times.
    Beat egg whites with salt and cream of tartar unitl soft peaks form.
    Gradually beat in sugar.
    Gently fold in extracts. Sift flour mixture over egg whites, gently fold in.
    Push into ungreased angel food pan, cut through with knife twice.
    Bake on lower rack 35-40 min.

    Serve with fresh whipped cream and sliced strawberries.

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    More on the Dairy

    The dairy cows truly are my favorite part of the farm, and milking is my favorite chore to do each day. We have had dairy cows on and off since 2004 when we first got married. Nathaniel's family has kept a dairy cow much of his life, and his dad has as well. Homemade ice cream is a birthday favorite around here.
    The milk cow provides so much for the homestead - milk, cream, butter, sour cream, ice cream, and a variety of cheeses. Milk can be used to make a chemical free milk paint, rear ophan animals(we raised an injured piglet last month on frozen milk from our jersey, Daisy) and is a great fertilizer for the garden. Pigs thrive on milk and whey soaked grains, which makes their meat very juicy! In order to have fresh milk every spring, she provides us with a calf each year. A heifer that can grow up and remain in the dairy herd, or a bull calf to fill the freezer, or train as an ox. And then there is all of the manure to fertilizer the pastures and the gardens. What could be more versatile? Wait until you come out to get your milk and Daisy tries to slurp you with one of her wet kisses!
    We are going to try to breed our cows to that they are more like the cow of olde - ones that provide alot of butterfat, and a calf that marbles like an angus! How are we going to do this? Enter the Normande.
    The Normande is a breed imported from France that is better suited to grass based production, and has high butter fat. We have ordered Normande semen from to crossbreed some of our cows with.
    We have also decided on two new heifers, one purebred brown swiss, and a brown swiss/guernsey cross. They both first calve heifers, one due in May and the other in June. The brown swiss/guernsey crossbred will be AI'd with our Normande semen, as will a shorthorn heifer we have named Spotty. Daisy will be bred to a purebred jersey, and the brown swiss heifer will be bred to a brown swiss bull, so that we can test the two crossbred calves against the pure american dairy breeds, and see where to go next in our breeding program. We have decided not to use any holstein in our program, as they are too closely bred and have too many health issues to work in a grass based dairy. Brown swiss are second to holsteins in production levels, but are a much hardier animal, often times living and producing into their teens.
    My camera is broken, but I plan to get a new one this week and add lots of photos to the blog and our facebook page - I know that text without photos isn't much fun! I also wanted to throw out there - If there is anyone who needs/wants raw GOAT milk, let me know. We milked nubian does when our oldest son Eddie was smaller and couldn't digest the cows milk. We would be happy to add back a few goats to meet the needs of our customers! Please e-mail us at with any questions.

    Saturday, February 5, 2011

    Farm Club

    I have recieved alot of interest from around the panhandle for fresh raw milk - very exciting! So far I have received inquiries or purchases from these areas:

    1) Scottsbluff
    2) Mitchell
    3) Alliance
    4) Lodgepole
    5) Pine Bluffs, WY
    6) Lusk, WY

    In trying to make it easier for people to purchase raw milk at the farm, which is required by NE state law, I have decided to try and organize my own version of Sam's Club - called Farm Club. Whenever we have a relative that goes to Sam's Club, we send a list so we don't have to make the same trip that they already did.

    That is the plan here. After people sign up for a cow share, or let me know they are interested in purchasing milk, we will try to organize people into groups that can take turns driving out for the raw milk. If you are interested in purchasing other products that week such as eggs or pork, you can email me and we will send those back along with your weekly milk.

    So if anyone has been hesitant to contact us do to location, please keep this in mind. We will add other areas to the list as we hear from people.

    2/10 Update: Added Lusk, WY to locations.

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    The Birds and the Bees...

    Chickens and honey bees that is. With this crazy cold weather you would think that everything would be trying to hibernate like the pigs in their straw piles. Everything except the chickens and the honey bees that is. Out of 17 hens, we have gotten over a dozen eggs all week long. While out gathering eggs, I spotted a honey bee out and about. On one hand, I wish spring was already here, but on the other hand we have so much to do before it arrives.

    I put in our first poultry order of the year this morning from Murray McMurray Hatchery. I ordered 25 pullets for laying hens, and let each of the kids pick a bantam that they liked. We decided to add some color to the flock and the eggs as well and ordered Auracana's. They lay a tinted egg anywhere from mauve to olive green. We are also going to order Cuckoo Maran's, which lay a dark chocolate egg, but they were out of stock until March. I am planning to experiment by crossing our White Rock hens with a Cornish roo to produce a fast growing meat bird that I can hatch here at home.

    After ordering chickens, I also ordered some new GMO-free Heirloom seeds from Baker Creek. They have a really neat website: and great customer service. My favorite is these Mexican Sour Gherkins, also known as Mouse Melons.

    Mexican Sour Gherkin Cucumber

    I want to try canning them up using my Watermelon Pickle recipe. Mother Earth News also did an article on these a few years ago that includes recipes.

    Stay Warm!

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011

    Dairy Plans

    Since we first posted on PrairieBloom and Local Harvest that we were considering starting a 'micro-dairy' we have finalized our plans, and Flower Field Farm will be home to a new dairy! We have decided to remodel our old garage as it is the perfect size, a central location on our farm, and it will give us a huge head start on our construction. We are still working on finalizing our plans that have to be approved by the dairy inspector before we begin construction, but we are almost there.
    Our initial plan was to have a pasteurizer so that we could bottle milk to sell at the Scottsbluff and Cheyenne farmers market. We keep getting the same question over and over, "will you be selling any of the milk raw?" This question makes sense to us, because we do not pasteurize the milk that we drink from these cows - our family LOVES raw milk. The problem lies in the fact that we cannot sell raw milk anywhere but the farm, nor can we advertise that we have raw milk for sale. At first we thought that only being able to sell milk here at the farm would leave us with very few customers - but the more we think about it, we would love to have you come out and get your milk because then you know exactly where it is coming from. You can see the cows, how they are milked, and watch the baby pigs and lambs at play, or help gather the eggs - way more fun than a trip to WalMart, right?
    We are also going to test the water with a CowShareAgreement, our version of a dairy CSA. This has never been done in Nebraska, and there is no legal precedent for it - we would be setting the standard more or less. Here's how it works: You purchase an undivided share in our milking herd at the begining of the year. There will only be 10 shares available in 2011, Flower Field Farm will retain the remaining 10 shares for milk sales and cheese making. You pay a one time cost of $50 and receive a stock certificate for one(1) share of Flower Field Farm's dairy cow herd. You then pay a weekly fee of $4 for us to feed and milk your share of the cows. One share in the herd entitles you to one(1) gallon of raw milk per week, in quart glass bottles. Since you own a share of the herd, we are not selling you raw milk, but charging you board and labor for the cow. The benefit to the CowShareAgreement is you are guaranteed to have your milk every week during the milking season - it won't be sold out when you get here because that 'share' of milk is reserved for you. You will occaisionally be given new dairy products to sample and critique for us, before they are released to the public for sale. An example would be butter, ice cream, or a new variety of cheese. The other benefit would be the possibility that we *may* be able to deliver your share of milk to you at a designated drop off point such as the farmers market because you are not buying the milk, but receiving milk from your cow. This will depend on the interpretations by the Department of Agriculture Bureau of Dairies and Foods. If you are unsatisfied with the CowShareAgreement, you can sell your share back to the farm at the end of the milking season, or we may be able to help you sell to another customer.We will also begin making aged raw milk cheeses this summer. We hope to have a cheddar and a bleu cheese ready for market by the end of summer - but we will not sell any until we feel we have the recipes perfect!
    For more information on Raw Milk, please visit Milk and cream will be for sale at the farm April - Nov in 2011. Raw, cream line milk will be $1.00/qt.     Heavy Cream  $1.00/pt. All milk and cream will be packaged in returnalble glass bottles for optimal taste. We will also have milk fed pork, lamb, honey, free range eggs, vegetables available here for sale.
    Please e-mail us at with any questions.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011


    We started out the new year by printing 100 newsletters to let our friends know what is going on here at the farm. If you didn't receive one, here is a copy for you to read, and please contact us with your name and address so we can be sure to add you to our mailing list.

    January 2011 Newsletter
    Dear Friends,
    We took the liberty of adding you to our mailing list, to keep everyone we know up to date as to what is happening and available here at the farm. There is also room for you to add your friends and family so they can begin recieving our newsletters as well. If there is something you are already purchasing locally, please continue to support that grower
    We had a really great start to our direct marketing approach to farming last year that began at the Scottsbluff farmers market. We were a little unsure if there would be a market for our products in such a rural agricultural community. To our suprise people thanked us for taking the time to provide them with fresh local food. We were given hope that it might just work and we have decided to really go for it!
    We will again raise a market garden again this year, although we will be shifting our focus mainly to perrennials. We will be planting more strawberries, raspberries, asparagus, and flowers. We want to have a diversified, sustainable farm where all the pieces work together, and nothing is wasted. An example of this is the whey fed pigs being pastured in the gardens during the winter to glean what is left, and add fertilizer as well. Chickens will not only lay eggs, but will be our main form of organic insect control around the gardens and dairy.
    Our first hive of honeybee's are doing well, and we are very excited to be adding 30 more hives in April. We will harvest honey on Labor Day weekend with Ernie Griffiths. If you need honey, please call him. We are planning to use the honey we harvest this year to make a 2011 edition Plum Lavendar Wine with the help of the folks at Table Mountain Vineyards. We will have a limited amount of honey for sale in 2012.
    Our heritage breed of hereford hogs arrived two days before Christmas and are doing great! We are super excited for our first litter of hereford piglets, which we expect sometime in April. We also accquired several Tunis ewes, which will start lambing in April as well. This will enable us to have spring lamb for sale starting late in the fall.
    We will be adding pastured Thanksgiving turkeys, and Christmas Goose this year. It would help us tremendously if you would pre-order the poultry and pork on the order form so we can make sure to raise enough for everyone. We have added more laying hens this year as well.
    We are planning a micro dairy here at the farm where we can milk 10 head of cows that have access to pasture each day. We will have quarts of grade A pasturized creamline milk for sale in returnable glass bottles. We will also offer cream, butter, and ice cream as well as cheddar and bleu cheese, all made here on the farm! We are working on the building now and hope to be sellin milk this year. If not, it may be 2012 before we are able to bottle the milk, due to the facilities and equipment requirements. Please let us know if you are interested in these items on the order form!
    As we transition from 'conventional' farming to direct marketing we are trying to make the farm more visitor friendly so you can feel like you are going to grandpa's farm when you visit. We believe in raising our livestock the old fashioned way - our pigs play in the mud and chickens free range every day. All of the seeds we plant are heirloom, non genetically modified or treated in any way. We don't feed ANY antibiotics or hormones, or spray our gardens with ANY chemicals. We go BEYOND ORGANIC to ensure you have safe food!
    "If you think organic food is expensive, have you priced cancer lately?" - Joel Salatin

    Sincerely,The Folks at Flower Field Farms
    Nathaniel & Rylee

    Delaney, Eddie, Teagan, & Rayfe
    Joy Huber

    Noah & Kadan