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A Word from the Fourth Farmer's Daughter - Grace
12/27/2015 6:16:05 PM
Grace Wrote in school about her interns:

"We have had a lot of interns come to learn on our farm. We had Mpume, Sarah, David, Alex, Adam, Suzannah  Andrew, Chase, Taylor, Greg, Martin, Andrew and more. They all were here about 6 months each.  Some of the interns stayed an extra term to tutor, Rebecca and I, we have had 6 tutors.  What I can remember is that Alex was one of my favorite tutors.  Alex took us fishing and did science with us every day.  One day it was cold and Alex took us fishing out on our boat for sunfish.  We had our own little boat but it had a leak in it.  We went out on the water, but then it slowly started to sink.  Rebecca and I decided not to go on that boat ever again.  We almost sunk!  Natalie is our tutor right now; she loves science.  One week Natalie did some experiments, they were awesome."

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Note from Momma, the Farmer's Wife ....

We should finish the fishing story.  They did catch sunfish and they asked Farmer Ben if they could put them in the aquaponic fish tanks.  Farmer Ben, aka Daddy, said "NO, the fish from the pond could have diseases that will infect our fish in the aquaponic systems.", then he followed up with "put them in the micro system".  So, the girls and Alex did put them in the micro system, however, no one thought to disinfect the net they used.  Then the net was used in the normal aquaponic system and caused all of the fish to ITCH!  We learned all about brining fish, yes, brining them in salt water, to reset their "slime" which is in simple terms, their immune system.  All was fine after they had their salt bath, but boy, was it a lesson hard learned and one not to be repeated.  We can all laugh about it now ~ The Sunfish Story ~.

Our girls have grown under the tutelage of the many wonderful young men and women that have stayed on the farm after their internship have ended to work with the children.  Each one of them has brought special God given gifts to the farm, both in their internship and in their tutoring.  Some still return on a regular basis to share their lives with our family; we treasure these visits as they jump right back into our family no matter work or play.
A word from the Youngest Farmer's Daughter - Lillian
12/21/2015 9:17:27 AM
Well, it is Christmas week and Lilly would like to share some thoughts with all of you .....

Hi, I'm Lilly and I'm 6 years old.  I love all animals except bears and snakes, yuck!  My favorite color is the rainbow, and I love riding horses and eating ice cream.  My favorite part of the year is Christmas.  I love putting up the Christmas tree.  Our Christmas tree is fake this year and it's much smaller than the tree last year.  We had a real one last year.  I love lighting the tree.  I've never put the star on top but I would like to next year.  My favorite part of Christmas is decorating the tree and opening presents.  All I want for Christmas is a night with my parents alone.  I would also like some toy ponies, a toy horse trailer, a toy stable, some toy riders, a few toy saddles, horse movies and things.  I love snow.  I'm sad that it has only snowed once in my entire life here.  But hail is a lot like snow, I like to chew on it, it is like frozen snow.  My pony, Spot, should get carrots and apples for Christmas.  I hope all the people reading this have a wonderful Christmas!
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Hum, I had not read Lilly’s blog prior to typing it, the girls write blogs as part of their weekly school work - it makes for good handwriting practice.  Our 6 year old had a few things to say about Christmas and seems to want a lot more than just a “night alone” with Ben and I - ha, ha, ha. Since she wrote this little blog, she and Daddy have taken the star off of the tree and put it back on.  Based on the swaying and groaning from Ben, the tree is quite tall enough, and if real … Grandma would not be able to visit and her school tutor would have to go on an extended vacation due to allergies to real trees :)>.  Lilly has also gotten her “time alone” and chose to watch a video called “Wild Kratz” and she already has 100+ toy animals so I don’t think anymore are coming for Christmas - ha, ha, ha!.  Lilly also forgot to mention her PONY’S NAMES, not PONY but PONIES, 1. Spot, 36” tall (an old foundered miniature horse that has taught 15 children to ride in his lifetime) 2. Rupert, 40” tall (also an old foundered miniature horse that has been worth his weight in gold having a hoof in teaching all of our girls to ride)  3. Rusty, ~48” tall (Lilly’s Christmas gift this year) and 4. Storm, ~56” tall (this is her older sister’s pass down pony that she could not bear to part with, waiting for Lilly to grow and gain riding experience to take her through her teenage years).  So for any of you out there that are thinking, “Poor little Lilly needs some Christmas presents!”, you might want to rethink that to “lucky, lucky, lucky little farm girl with 4 ponies, 170 secure acres in the country to ride, in a State where it does not often snow, so she can have fun on her ponies almost every day of the year!”.  Too funny our different perspectives…..remember being a kid and thinking, “All I want for Christmas is a pony!”.  Oh how I wanted a pony.  I played for hours with Breyer horses and Barbies - no, Barbies don’t ride Breyer horses very well - BUT, you do what you gotta do and I had Breyer horses and Barbies so that is what the Barbies rode!  I used to cut out photos from magazines and make cards and collages of horses and ponies and dream of owning one.  I even tried my hand at poetry on cards for my parents to persuade them to please, please, please buy me a horse!  All of my friends had horses and I wanted one of my own to love.  I mucked stalls and cleaned tack for the local 3-Day event trainer to pay for my riding lessons.  I chased polo balls at the polo field on Saturday, while my Dad played soccer with a local men’s soccer team, for untold hours and countless miles of running, just to have a ride on a polo pony back to the tacking area from the polo players.  I received the gift of a horse for my 13th birthday, a Chestnut QH with a blaze down his face and a white sock … I also got his seriously quirky personality which over the years taught me to be a better horse owner and a better rider.  It took Mom, Dad and my Grandparents to chip in and pay for him.  Then I worked every day at the local stables to help pay for his keep and for the riding lessons I wanted.  I braided other people’s horses to go to the show to pay for my entries, I babysat, I even mowed our lawn.  I was horse crazy and loved that 4 legged critter with all my heart!  Who had time for boys (that was probably the plan of my parents all along - but that will have to be another blog :)>).  That horse died in a tragic accident, breaking his neck, when I was in college - it nearly broke my spirit and desire to own a horse again, I was completely crushed.  If fact, I did not own another horse until Farmer Ben bought one for me as a wedding present - a beautiful wild 2 year old warmblood mare… her name was “Dusted” b/c she was a grey mare that looked like she had been sprinkled with dust from the top down. That young mare was truly wild, she had been halter trained at 3 weeks old and then turned out on a 2000 acre ranch.  What an interesting 1st year of marriage training that mare together turned out to be.  Ben and I kept her until she died of cancer at the age of 20 years old.  During her life with us she became a 2nd level Dressage School Master, learned to Rein, learned to drive in harness for both work and pleasure, had a stint as a Fox Hunter and a Hunter Jumper…she could do it all and do it well…what an amazing girl she turned out to be.  Ben and I have now been married 24 years - more than half my life.  There have been lots of horses during those years, over 200 of them to be exact.  We are so very blessed to be raising our children on a farm, living the life we always wished we had as kids - both of us - with the opportunity of lots of hard work, lots of fresh air, lots of great families to serve and spend our time with, and yes, lots and lots of PONIES!
About the farm from Rebecca, 12 yr old Farmer's Daughter
12/12/2015 8:05:13 AM

Hi, my name is Rebecca.  I am 12 years old.  I am the middle of five girls.  I am going to tell you about some wild things that grow on our farm.  One thing is wild plums they are so good!  But do not eat the seeds, each plum has one seed.  The best plums to eat are the bright red ones; don't eat the green ones, they are very sour.  Another thing we have at our farm is wild blackberries; they are red when they are not ready but the ones that are ready, are black.  You can make pies, cobblers and ice cream with them.  We have wild grapes; you can make juice with them and a lot of other things. :)>.

 

Following up on Rebecca's accounting of the wild forage on the farm.  We decided one year to make note of all of the things we found wild to eat on the farm.  We found cactus, both the leaf and the flower pod; wild onions; dandelion; acorns; pecans; grapes; plums; and some other green things in the field which our customers sometimes pick and eat but I look those things with a skeptical eye b/c I have never seed a triangular 3-D pod thing that you suck to get the water - ha, ha, ha - still a little city left in the girl - I will have to work on that.

 
  

Rebecca also forgot to mention how to pick the wild grapes - you need a ladder, long sleeves and long pants to keep the poison ivy, sumac, oak - whatever it is - off your skin; gloves to keep the tannin from the grapes from burning your hands; and a good pair of clippers to clip the bunches so they just fall into the bucket.  She also forgot to say that there are male grape vines and female grape vines - did you know that?  Only the female grape vines produce grapes. I did not know that!  Some vines are growing down in this gully of ours, we climb way down into the gully, you can't even see us once we are in there it is so deep, and it is like it's own world, tree canopies over your head with grape vines twining in the branches.  It is quite beautiful.  You discover all kinds of beautiful flowers, rocks and paw prints from the wild animals that traverse our property hidden from view for their safety.  I love to harvest the grapes down there, bring them back to the house, pluck them from the clusters (wearing rubber gloves to keep my fingerprints), and then cooking them down with honey to freeze as sweetened grape juice to mull in the winter with cinnamon and cloves.  Yum!

Some thoughts about life and death from the Farmer's Wife
12/6/2015 9:20:13 AM
This has been a busy week on the farm.  Did you know when you are a Farmer that you must be the jack of all trades .... veterinary work, accounting, customer service, marketing, merchandising, production of value added products, and a FARMER too!

Well this week was a week of beautiful weather but it was also a sad week in the veterinary realm as we lost one of our draft mares while administering medication to her this week. Laura, our mare, was one of two of our main farming horses.  I guess I have yet to mention that we often farm with horses and teach other to do so too.

Laura was born on our smaller 40 acre family farm in 2006 to a registered Percheron mare named Lisa, who we bought in Holmes County, OH on one of trips to see our Amish friends.  She was a lovely foal, she is the foal in the photo with her Mother, Lisa.

This was the first draft horse that we raised and trained to drive completely on our own.  I still remember her being 3 years old and Farmer Ben and I having the discussion that "you have to teach her to drive sometime - you can't keep avoiding it!".  You know, it is kind of nerve wracking to hitch one for the first time.  You don't know if they will take to driving like a fish out of water or if they will explode like a bomb and run for dear life.  She drove right away, it was not exactly like a pro the first time but not a rodeo either :)>.  Being hitch to Momma helped.

Laura had a beautiful half Andalusian filly in the Spring of 2015, our daughter named her Sonatina and she has been returned to her half owners, Walter and Judy Henslee at Rancho Del Lago, in McDade, TX to be up up for sale.

Sonatina was weaned on Oct 12, 2016 and Laura begin to loose weight.  I thought she was just missing her baby - you know how we Momma's are.  But then it kept on, and I thought maybe she needed to be wormed again, that helped.  But she was still depressed and lacking luster so we took her to the vet to discover she had a rare heart infection (this begins with some little unnoticable cut and the infections makes its way to the heart and takes up residence there).  Well a long sad story short, she had a heart attack and died this week.  Sometimes being the resident vet is no fun!

However, we were very blessed by a good friend that reminded us that birth and death are the most spiritual moments a person may have the priviledge in which to be present and that we should thank God for allowing us to be with Laura at her passing. thank you Good Friend, we needed to hear these words of truth and receive them.

So, Thank You God for the gift of Laura for 9 years of love and service on our farm.

On the farm life and death are part of our daily lives, we are not as insulated here as we were when we lived in the city.  The more lives in which God gives us charge, the more likely we are to witness both the glories of birth and the saddness of death - until we stop to remember that death is the completetion of a job well done here on Earth.  It puts the eternal glory to the forefront b/c we are being called home to be with Jesus, our personal Lord and Savior as our job is finished.  To Him may the glory be given!
Welcome
12/3/2015 10:03:43 AM
Welcome to the first Blog of Sand Creek Farm

Hi Everyone, welcome to our first blog about Sand Creek Farm.  I will start by saying that we have never blogged before but we will do our best to share with you about life on Sand Creek Farm.  We are making this blog into a family project and may include blogs from Farming Students and our daughters' Tutor as well as articles or information about equipment for a sustainable farm that we think might interest you. We hope you enjoy our efforts.  I am the Farmer's Wife, Alysha Godfrey.  I was raised off of Sunset Blvd. in CA by an IBM executive Father and an entrepreneurial Mother that raced Corvette's and Porche's for a passtime and modeled for Neiman Marcus all the way through her pregnancies with my brothers and I - I was definately NOT raised to be a Farm Girl.  However, since God has such a sense of humor - I am a successful transplant from the City to the Country and will probably never go back :)>.  Now don't get me wrong, I sitll enjoy an occssional massage or a date night with Farmer' Ben; but to live without a milk cow is just not to live.
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