Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New Goat Kids were born......

Our 75% Boer doe Phobe had twin goat kids yesterday morning. She had one small capped boer looking boy and one small full color girl who is the coolest red cool, a deep mahogany. Phobe is a first time mom so twins are great but we do prefer to have a single for a first time mom, she is taking care of them well so far though. I would have picture for everyone but the glass cover on my phone's camera got broken so i can't take pictures until i get it fixed. 

Until then here is a cute picture of a goat kid from earlier this year, his name is Goliath and he will be one of our future herdsires.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Last Year's Garden

Last year we rented 2 acres of land at two different locations to plant gardens. We had sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, kohlrabi, cauliflower, broccoli, snap peas, green beans, brussel sprouts, beets, onions, pie pumpkins, field pumpkins, squashes and cabbage. We are members of the local farmers market. Most think we are underpriced. Really for us it is more important that the community has a place to get affordable produce and eggs then it is to make a large profit. As long as the farm can sustain itself that is all we require.

Monday, May 11, 2015

What We Do...

You might be wondering what we do with all these animals? The goats are a dairy herd and get milked daily we are hoping to do herd shares with the goats as they are raised organically but right now we have no place they can come pick up milk and no place for an extra fridge to hold large amounts of milk. Goat kids are sold as pets or 4-h goats. The chickens and ducks lay eggs that we sell; they are organic, non-soy, non-gmo and cage free. There is a large need for farm eggs in our area and even with us selling 7 dozen eggs a week and some of our friends selling 22 dozen eggs a week there is still a 6 week wait or longer to get into the egg rotation which is why we have so many chicks because they will grow up and lay eggs hopefully easing some of the demand and allowing more people access to more nutritious eggs. The rabbits are used for meat rabbits or on occasion pets and 4-h rabbits. We are big fans of re-using things such as pallets, the tin off a old carport, snow fencing, safety fence, crating boards from steel shipments, even nails and screws.

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Animals

We have a lot of farm animals for our farm, we put the cart before the horse so to speak. Right now Nein Haus Farms owns the following.
20 Dairy Goats - Alpines, Nubians, Nigerians, LaManchas and Boer

10 Muscovy Ducks - Young Adults

14 Pekin Ducks - Juvenile Ducks about 10 weeks old
13 Rouen Ducks - Juvenile Ducks about 10 weeks old

11 Mixed Breed Rabbits
18 Leghorn Hens
4 Polish Hens with 2 Roosters
3 Mille Fleur D’uccle Bantams

A few Barred Buffs, Barred Rocks, Iowa Blue, bantams and other mixed breed adults.
4 Chinese Ring neck Pheasants

A lot of variously aged chicks
And a meal worm farm

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

What we have

For this season we have about 60 acres of hay field we will turn into hay bales to feed our animals and pay the landowners, this means we get about 40 acres of baled hay but must do the work to make 60 acres worth including machinery maintenance, gas, oil, and drive time to get to the separate fields.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Our Goal

We would like to be a place where the community can come for free to spend some time on a working farm. We want to have school children come learn about animals and plants. We want foster kids to be able to learn that the world can be a wonderful place and new things can be fun and exciting. We want people of all ages to be able to come have moonlit picnics under the stars or come pick apples in the fall and berries in the spring for free. We want to take extra produce and eggs to Detroit and Flint and any other areas that need more access to low cost vegetables and nutritious eggs. We want to offer summer programs for urban youth to come stay on the farm for a few days or weeks so they can learn there is more than just life in a big city. We want to offer classes for butchery, soap making, milking, cheese making, herb growing as well as gardening and maintaining a healthy orchard. We have big dreams, ideas and hopes to make a difference in other people’s lives.

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Loss of Family Farms...

Greg and I have always wanted to farm. We both come from families that farmed so thats all we ever wanted to do for a living. Like most young farmers in america our families had large farms with 180+ acres of land but because of the greed or stumbling blocks of other family members the farm land was lost so we in turn lost any hope of starting a farm with parental farm land.
To give you a bit of history on myself. My grandparents owned a 180+ acre Dairy farm in Rogers City, Michigan. The farm had been in my family for over 100 years before we lost it. When my grandfather died my grandmother let my uncle run the farm as it had always been him and grandpa. My uncle always thought bigger, better, and modern was the way to go...shiny new stuff. My uncle got married and totally remodeled the farm house, he replaced the old wooden barns i loved with pole buildings, he bought new tractors, a new truck, and new toys....thru a mortgage against the farm property. Then he had a daughter who has health problems and that took a lot of money so he mortgaged the farm more, then he went and worked on the boat as he sold off the livestock. Then the bank foreclosed on the farm and told us we could buy it back for $490,000. My father did end up getting the bank to sell him back 40 acres of the woods where his hunting camp is, the rest was sold to a construction company who flattened everything except one pole building and 1/3 of the 100+ year old barn. The day i saw what they had done to our farm was a heartbreaking day.
Greg's story is a bit more simple mostly because i have not asked every painful detail. Greg is from Iowa the commercial corporate farm capital of the US....where non corporate farming is not common. His father is an alcoholic, he drank away the 120+ acre farm Greg's grandfather gave him. Greg's grandfather retained roughly 65 acres of the original farmland and does still farm it. His family has never done corporate farming, his grandfather saw the traps in it and refused every offer.
As you can probably imagine one of the saddest things for a young farmer to see is the farm being taken away, demolished, lost...it is heat breaking. Despite losing our family farms we both still want to farm. There are not a lot of young people that want to farm, to much work for them. So the search was on for farmland we could afford and we dont have much to afford it with. We found a 20 acre farm we very much hope to get, so much so i started a kickstarter campaign. The campaign may not go anywhere but you know at least i did try.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Beginning....

The name of our farm started out as a joke when we bought 3 goats because we didn’t own a house or farm land. The name really grew on us though and it was a very accurate name so it stuck. My name is Katherine and my other half's name is Greg, we own Nein Haus Farms. The interesting part about Nein Haus Farms is there is no "Farm." We dont own any "dirt" property, farm or otherwise. The first question on your mind is likely "How does someone have a farm without dirt or land?" The answer is fairly straight forward. We own a farm meaning we have the animals and hay fields and equipment but we don’t own farm land. We rent hay fields in exchange for part of the hay and we rent barns in exchange for livestock feed. What this means basically is that after work we go to the rented barns or rented hay fields and do what needs to be done whether it is making hay or milking goats. We are farmers without a farm, farming none the less.