Blog · Page 2 of 48 · Ryder Family Farm- Southern Illinois Produce & More
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 produce, farm, CSA, Goat Milk, Soap, Eggs, meat, local food
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Ryder Family Farm- Southern Illinois Produce & More

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!)

The kiddos milked our dry goat, we got 1 pint!

Yesterday my three and five year old girls joined me at the milking stand. "I want a turn!" they each announced. You see, I had our Alpine goat, Pop tart, up on the milking stand. She was out enjoying pasture earlier in the day when I noticed her udders and teats looking kind of full. Since January she's had "precocious udders" which basically means she was dried up and just began making milk again. She bagged up (her milk came in) and we noticed her self sucking (aka nursing herself) in January. Now she needs milking about once a week and we typically get 8 oz or so...

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Our goat herd grows…

We found ourselves another milk goat, one in milk! I was getting pretty panicky after getting a confirmatory negative pregnancy test on our Alpine dairy goat recently. Buttercup, our new goat, found her way to our home a week ago. Her two newborn kids also came along! I happened to see a craigslist post for a bred dual purpose goat who was about to kid...

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My experience with a sudden lump on my dairy goat- It’s NOT Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL)!

Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL) is a chronic contagious disease affecting mainly sheep and goats This disease is also called pseudotuberculosis or often “abscesses,” and has been referred to as the curse of the goat industry throughout the world.

The locations shown in the photo are where CL lumps typically appear.

On Feb 11th I noticed a lump just below my doe’s ear

The island of orphaned farm animals & more…


The girls are both at school today (well they were, then one came home sick!) and I’ve amazingly had a few spare minutes so I figured I’d sit down and try to write a blog post! Terrible intro huh?! Lets try again…

There’s lots going on here at Homestead right now. One of the most exciting things that we have going on is that we’ve decided to take up Maple sugaring! 

Initially we had planned on maple sugaring to sell syrup, as one of our first family farm projects.

The saga of our milking goat’s pregnancy…

I’ve been a goat owner since July 2014. I’m very much a newbie when it comes to goat ownership. The folks on the goat forums that I frequent can vouch for that as they must be positively sick of hearing my thoughts and questions.

It seems like we’ve been back and fourth about if our goat is pregnant or not and the daily question is, does this mean it baby time?

And then there was one…

For months a certain someone has been begging to go to her sister's school. You see we read in the newspaper about how PreK screenings were being done before the holidays and at the mention she was insistent on going. I was open to the possibility but very sure she'd change her tune as soon as it came time to leave my side. You know, as I I write this I'm remembering how eager she was to go to Montessori School with Everly back in Evansville right around the time Grayson was born.  Anyway, we humored her and off to the screening she went. She was practically a mute! The screener had to work very hard to engage her and could hardly get a whisper out of her...

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Kmart’s Online Layaway Program Ruins The Holiday For Many…

If you are a Kmart customer with an online layaway contract you might be unpleasantly surprised this week. At this writing there are about 704 angry consumers battling Kmart over their unfulfilled layaway contracts. Unfortunately, we happen to be one of them. It seems Kmart did a piss-poor job of reconciling the online layaway order contracts with the actual warehouse inventory and now paid in full online initiated layaway customers and being left high and dry when the time comes to ship the goods. KMART ONLINE LAYAWAY CONTRACTS CANCELLED- ITEMS OUT OF STOCK Kmart sends out confusing emails about layaway contracts being cancelled...

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Mom, it’s like a zoo around here! St. Francis of Assisi at work?

After quite a stint of pet woes it seems we are getting a dose of some animal cuteness. A chick hatched out last week that we have in a brooder inside the house right now. Super cute! The husky dog returned to have some fun. She's cute and sweet as long as there aren't any poultry that could become her playthings. Munched poultry is NOT cute and I just had to process a prized hen last week because husky "played" with her.  Nathan jumped in the farm's work truck to drive the husky back to her home- three miles away when a kitten jumps from the truck, in to his arms...

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