Ryder Family Farm- Southern Illinois | Talina
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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Author:Talina

Press Release: Beginning farmers ​ want fresh, local food available to everyone

The Ryder Family Farm Can Accept SNAP Benefits     GOLCONDA – Eating fresh, local food is about to get easier for some families in Southern Illinois! Starting this Saturday, June 10th 2017 at the weekly Golconda Farmer’s Market, The Ryder Family Farm will be accepting SNAP EBT cards as form of payment for the foods they farm for the community.   The USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program helps reduce food insecurity and hunger for low-income households. Households in the SNAP program can now use EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards to purchase fresh produce and other food items from The Ryder Family Farm of Southern Illinois.   The Ryder Family Farm sells homemade goat milk soaps, pasture raised eggs, seasonal market produce and also offers a summer CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)...

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Newspaper coverage, moving day nears, baby goat birth video and a teaser…

We have less than a week before our great farm moving adventure happens. We are in the last stretches of packing things up. In the house it's come to just grabbing armfuls of unpacked things and throwing them into boxes. Last week all our mama goats had their babies, we were really worried they might have babies during moving week. All mamas and babies are doing wonderful though. We even had a surprise triplet from our Kinder doe that we unintentionally caught on camera: Our Jersey cow is still due to calf at the end of the month but she's staying at with our farmy friends over at Red Dutchess Farm until after we get settled at our new place. We are harvesting some early season crops for our Golconda Farm Market customers...

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The Farm is Moving to Golconda, IL!

I'm sure you've heard the news, we are setting off on our own farming adventure. We are excited to share, we have a summer moving date set and we are packing up the house right now. After a tumultuous week we have managed to get lots figured out and we are very excited for our new beginnings. We have a newer place lined up with 10 acres of land, just outside the Golconda city limits where we can continue to grow our dream farm. Our kids will be closer to their friends, we will be closer to many of our customers plus we get to remain in Pope county so the kids wont have to change schools. We will have plenty of land and time to bring our farm dreams to life! We are...

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The ducklings are coming…

The girls are officially enrolled in 4H this year. They've wanted to do it in the past but haven't because they were too young to show live animals, we thought they were old enough this year and got them signed up but it turns out the rule changed and they are still not old enough. Regardless, they've picked projects that I know will be right up their alley. Everly is doing embryology which goes hand and hand with our spring poultry incubation here on the farm. She selected two bantam hens and a rooster for her to breed and study, she choose a Mille Fleur hen and a Silkie hen to go with a Golden Seabright rooster. She's made some guesses about what types of chicks will result. I'm no pro at...

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Adaptability on the farm

"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...

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Beautifull Naturally Colored Eggs

I never intentionally set out to become a poultry farmer, it just sort of played out that way. It all began with a flock of three Americauna/ Easter Egger hens about 6 years ago in our suburban backyard. We wanted to raise our own eggs, taking a small step towards greater self sufficiency. We added more chickens gradually to get more eggs and once we moved out of the city and begun to free range our birds across several acres the flock really exploded. Partly because I got an incubator and partly because we had so many losses in the flock initially while transitioning from confinement to free ranging. A year later we've added heritage turkey, guinea and ducks to the operation. Between broody hen hatching, incubating, chick buying and predator losses, I honestly...

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2016 Goat Kids – A Bucky Year

It's relaxation be sick time here on the homestead now. Over the weekend we did a private test run for our Farm to Fork Dinners via our partnership farm, Tanglefoot Ranch. The test run dinner was a success. The day after the dinner our last goat kids of the year were born, two twin bucklings. With all the big stuff out of the way I've come down with a cold, of course. We just had a surprise snow storm that got the kids a snow day today and while we were out playing in the snow we got a few more pictures of the baby goats to share. We have three bucklings frolicking in our doe pen, much cuteness for sure! I'll start by showing you the two bucklings we will be...

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Counting down to goat kids…

Some of you might remember our saga last year when trying to breed our ADGA registered Alpine goats. We dove into breeding them sans first hand experience after owning them for just 3 months, we relied on lab testing to confirm early pregnancy and went forward with all I'd read about prenatal goat management. In hindsight, it really was just a live and learn experience for us like practically everything that is farm related. We were going back and forth about housing the goats, would the male and female live together? We'd never seen goats enter their seasonal breeding window and so on...

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What is a CSA all about? Do I want to join?

CSA is short for community supported agriculture. We joined our first CSA about ten years ago back in Flagstaff, AZ. We heard about it and were immediately intrigued. We had no idea what we were in for but it was an amazing experience. We loved knowing we were getting food raised right within the community and we enjoyed really getting to know the folks that grew our food. I made us more eager to try new vegetables and we found we became healthier eaters as a result.   Our CSA required upfront payment for our portion, commonly called a share. Later, when the growing season was underway and harvests were in we all met at our pickup location and were each given a basket of fresh food that was reserved for us, to last...

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Canning Fairytale Pumpkin and Sweet Meat Squash

We drove up north last week to retrieve our award winning produce from the Duquoin State Fair. Nathan wanted the experience of entering stuff in the fair so that we could show our daughters what it is all about (they have been eager to enter stuff at the fair but have only recently become of age). He entered four different produce categories and placed 1st in three of them, he got 2nd place for eggplant and first place for his Fairytale Pumpkin, his pickling cucumbers and his hot peppers. We realized just before getting the prized pumpkin home that we've exhausted our frozen abundance of pumpkiny goodness from last year and *gasp* in our blur of activity this growing season I've overlooked planting pie pumpkin! Actually we didn't even plant the...

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CSA News Week 5

We took a road trip to secure some delicious fruits from our dear friends & fellow family farmers over at High Hill Orchard this week. They had quite the blackberry crop this year so we braved the rain yesterday and picked lots of blackberries for you. We also snagged some still firm and highly coveted early peaches (they are really known for their peaches!).   Did you know the winter frosts are to blame for midwest fruit crop losses this year? Here on the farm we work for, Tanglefoot Ranch, there is a peach orchard but the majority of the peach buds on the trees froze after beginning their growth and as a result their will be little to no peaches. High Hill Orchard also had frost loss in their orchard so...

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CSA News Week 4

Greetings CSA families!   The green beans, collard greens & swiss chard are coming along slowly still. I promise we planted more than what you have been getting.  I'm personally feeling impatient about the garden progress. I usually have loads of beans and squash (my favorites) by this time and I go out each day to weed and check on things and I'm all "Come on beans! Why are you taking so darn long?" and my kids just look at me silly for talking to the plants.   We are kind of curious & excited about all the winter squash that have sprung fourth in various places around the homestead. We have squash and pumpkins specifically planted for the CSA but we are loving finding and watching all the volunteer plants around the property....

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CSA News Week 2

This week has been full of progress in our CSA garden! The garden is finally dried out a bit after the brutal rains and flooding we just had. Luckily everything has survived. I know many folks have lost crops due to the rain and floods, we were worried but lucky. The main issue we had was all our bean trellising and various other supports blew/ fell over but the plants we unharmed.   I told you last week about the ducks that are helping in the garden (we just acquired 5 more ducklings!) and now we've added rabbits to the farm because their manure is AMAZING for the garden. Back before we relocated to Illinois we had two pet rabbits that contributed to our very lush backyard garden. Rabbit manure is so...

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Southern Illinois Seasonal Eats: Early July

  We are really excited that this week is our first week for our CSA deliveries. We have been tending plants, collecting eggs & making goats milk soap for our five special CSA families.   The harvests are in but we also wanted to compile several recipes centered around the produce that will appear in this week's produce delivery because I know a CSA experience is just as much about experiencing new foods/ recipes as it is about stocking up on food for the week.  July is prime eggplant eating time in these parts. As you probably know eggplant is a delicious produce item (technically it's considered a berry!!) from the nightshade family that is often sliced up, battered and fried in this region.   I love me some eggplant parmesan but have you ever...

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2015 CSA News- Week 1

Isn't this weather beautiful?! I was just out pulling weeds in the garden and the mild temperatures were so nice to enjoy. The weather sure has our plants confused though. To us it feels like it has been a very slow growing spring here. I don't know if it is because I'm impatient and overly excited about the CSA or what. Since moving here we have been working hard to rebuild the soils for the garden. Some of you may already know we moved to Southern Illinois about a year ago. We are working on Tanglefoot Ranch, a roughly 1000 acre working cattle, sheep, commodity crop and soon to be a farm dinner serving farm. We moved here to work on an established farm, to learn the ins and outs; to...

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Ch-ch-changes…

Some big things are in store for the site. Some of you feed subscribers got wind of some changes thanks to the automatic feed that went out with lots of dummy giberish text after we did a website makeover *facepalm* Many apologies for that. Its also been a while since I posted an update. The most notable happening is my little guy, Grayson, crawling! He has been in physical therapy for a while now and hes mastered sitting up, is working on transitions between positions and just yesterday took off crawling! After a couple months of therapy he learned to sit up and to use sign language to communicate. A few weeks ago he saw a chiropractor snd had some major neck work done. For over a year we've had an immobile...

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Meeting Winnie, running over a lamb and shock fencing…

Last week was a roller coaster, we are still reeling from it.

You see we were pointed in the direction of a homeless livestock guardian dog. We’ve known we needed one since our beloved family dog lost her life last fall.

Luckily we’ve only had one farm predator issue since losing our farm guard dog, Dixie. You might remember my post about the mink killing my birds just before Easter.

We still have our herding dog that we are trying to train (she might be pregnant!)