Joy has been hard to come by at times while many portions of the country are observing stay at home orders. The economic uncertainty, isolation, the unknowns can easily overshadow the blessings. On the farm we have tons of blessings but we are also weighed down by the economic consequences of the stay at home […]
Meeting Southern Illinois Food Needs during Covid-19
March on the farm was an absolute whirlwind. Not only did we have loads of spring stuff to accomplish (including the new high tunnel) but Covid-19 has been heavy on the mind- both for the farm and personally where our family is concerned. The kids have been out of school since March 17th and will […]
The excitement of almost spring…
You probably saw my live video over on Facebook yesterday. If you didn’t, we had goat kids born that I shared live. Mama was tiny and it was a first time birth that caught us by surprise. Babies aren’t supposed to be due till the 22nd and this goat wasn’t supposed to be bred. Yesterday […]
The ducks are living their BEST LIFE these days.
This crazy wet weather we have been having here in Southern Illinois isn’t making our high tunnel construction go very quickly- Yep you read that right we are building a high tunnel right now! Woho! However, the weather is making our free ranging duck flock very, very happy. They are just running from puddle to […]
The mystery of a missed goat birth.
Year after year we breed our dairy goat herd with hopes for new female offspring to grow the herd. Actually, the number one reason we breed is to bring our does back into milk, the offspring we keep is the bonus. Each year we try to time breeding just right and each year we have […]
Southern Illinois Produce can help with Health/ Body Related Resolutions!
Are you in the 49% of Americans who resolve to diet, exercise or improve health in the coming year? If so, chances are food choices will be involved in your process. Do you feel overwhelmed at the idea of shifting eating habits? Have you considered HelloFresh or a similar meal-kit program to simplify things? Could […]
Changes for a more efficient chicken coop…
I’m really working to fine tune efficiency in the chicken coop right now. I’ve got about a month before it’s time to start working in the CSA garden and I’m on a mission to get things working as efficiently as possible before our busy crop season starts. We’re several hatches in with our 2018 chicks and […]
Replenishing the poultry flock
Dusting Off The Incubator . . . Our poultry flock really expanded back in 2013 just after we left our life in the big city and set out to be farmers full time. Each season we’ve been adding new blood to the poultry flock to keep the eggs coming and it’s worked well for us […]
The incubator, house cat and chicks
You are looking at the are the most resilient chicks ever to have hatched! There was a full moon and as usual, there was animal drama on top of our general family madness. After leaving the house for an early eye Dr. appointment our inside cat had some plans for our incubator. We’d been incubating […]
Planning for the new year
We are charting the course for our farm in 2018 which requires a good hard look back at 2017. It was sure a year of epic transitions for us but it was also pretty successful. Our home and farm operation changed in the spring of 2017. We severed ties with the farm mentor that was […]
New farm beginnings, again. The backstory.
Three years ago we set out to follow our dream of farming and moved to a working farm to become farm hands. The opportunity was like a dream come true, a place to stay, an employee wage, the promise of a work to own land/ home deal, land to use for our livestock, mentors… Each day […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
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… you just aren’t completely in control. The sooner you accept […]
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 […]
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 […]
It’s got pink spots and it’s in a nesting box…
I’m pretty excited to share this with you. I collected it yesterday… Can you guess what it is?
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 […]