Ryder Family Farm- Southern Illinois | Adaptability on the farm
We to a big leap of faith, quit our jobs are moved to the the heart of the Shawnee National Forest to follow our dreams of self sufficiency and to make a go of living off the land… Can we help you feed your family?
Southern Illinois, farm, CSA, Goat Milk, Soap, Eggs, meat, local food
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Adaptability on the farm

 photo be-the-water-not-the-rock-water-rock-motivational-1310458986.jpg“Be the water, not the rock” they say. This holds much value on the farm as practically nothing goes as planned. Ever.

It’s not because of mistakes or lack of skills, it’s because when you are dealing with the weather, with animals, with mother nature… you just aren’t completely in control. The sooner you accept this fact the better.

Luckily, we can usually handle “going with the flow”… So when we launched a crowdsourcing campaign to raise money for our maple syruping facility and we didn’t reach our goal we shrugged it off. Perhaps it’s not the right time for it, or the consumer isn’t interested in it.

We did expand the CSA gardens to include a few more families this year. We will begin harvesting local, clean foods specifically for our CSA families in about a month. We are very excited to see what the year brings harvest wise because the soil looks to have improved in our garden plot based upon the soil color and density.

we-got-beesAlso, we’ve added BEES to our homestead! Of course bees doesn’t serve the consumer in the same way the maple syrup operation would have in terms of the quantity of sticky goodness we can sell, but the bees will sure serve our CSA families as they are pollinating our plants and bringing us more harvests.

The honey output from our bees will be minuscule and slow should we choose to keep growing the colonies of bees year after year but adding bees was a logical financial investment we were able to make without debt, unlike maple syruping so we just went with it.

Our goals in farming are unique, we don’t want to take on huge debts to making farming projects possible. We are farming to sustain our family and our picture of “sustainability’ doesn’t include business debts that we have to feverishly work to pay off with our farm sales. This is why our CSA program is such a key part of what we are doing, our CSA families made adding bees possible for us and now they will reap the benefits via increased harvests (and possibly with highly coveted honey next year when our hives are harvest ready).

Speaking of adding things, you might remember all the goat babies we had born on the farm in the spring, all were boys. We decided to sell our two beautiful alpine bucklings from our best milker to make way for a few new babies.  One of our alpine bucklings has found his new home, we still have one to sell.

We were given the opportunity to replace the alpine buckling that we sold with a beautiful Nigerian dwarf buckling that we named Jasper. Jasper is an extra special buckling because he comes to us with a very special mission- to bring fresh milk to someone who could not otherwise afford it.

Jasper’s first offspring will not be sold, it will be gifted to someone, like he was to us via The “Milk Enough” Project. Jasper is the first Nigerian dwarf breeding stock on our farm so we will have to find him a comparable girlfriend before we can breed him and pass his first offspring on via the “Milk Enough” project but we are excited to pay it forward. 

Jasper is very young so he needs regular bottle feeding. Here are the kiddos doing the feeding… 

bottle-feeding-jasper

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