Habby Valley Homestead

Habby Valley Homestead We are a family of six living on our family farm near Mansfield, MO.

Spring is in full swing here in southern Missouri. Grass is greening up completely and has begun its climb toward the su...
03/28/2024

Spring is in full swing here in southern Missouri. Grass is greening up completely and has begun its climb toward the sun. Last week, Nicole took several hours to drag a handful of our fields to spread manure and knock down high spots using a stack of old cattle panels. The fields look so nice now and are really growing fast. Our seedlings are coming along as well. The peppers are mostly up potted and the tomatoes have been topped to produce double leaders. Still need to up pot a few trays of other things, but more potting mix must be purchased. Nicole loves using the heavy duty trays from Bootstrap Farmer in her seed starting as they are tough and durable and are designed to last for many season (just don’t slam dunk them…not designed for major collisions).

So many new babies!!! I (Nicole), love starting seedlings. Started the first set a couple weeks ago; followed by a coupl...
03/18/2024

So many new babies!!! I (Nicole), love starting seedlings. Started the first set a couple weeks ago; followed by a couple more batches several days later and now they are really starting to grow. Tomatoes will need topping soon and everything will need up potting shortly thereafter.

This old milk barn has seen better days, but is about to get a new lease on life…or at least a good cleaning. What a mes...
03/09/2024

This old milk barn has seen better days, but is about to get a new lease on life…or at least a good cleaning. What a mess! So many pounds of dirt have fallen from above as I (Nicole) dropped the sheetrock ceiling out of the milking parlor this afternoon. We are doing this so we can keep the red wasps under control and also so we have a clean area to milk indoors. The lower walls will need addressing as well.

Our milk barn was built in the early to mid-70s and once upon a time had all the parts and pieces of a small commercial stanchion dairy barn, complete with pump, pipes, milkers, and bulk tank. Those have long since been sold off (long before our family came to the farm in ‘99). Years ago, when I had my Daisy - from Stan Campbell’s Guernsey dairy in Strafford, MO, I hand milked for six months and then my dad bought me a Surge pump for my birthday to go with the Surge belly milker my parents had hauled around since they lived in Kansas.

The barn needs a lot of work and it looks like the stanchion may need attention as well, but we have until late summer to get everything just the way we want it before the girls freshen in the fall. Jury is still out as to whether we will have a milking machine by then. 🤦‍♀️

Both of our February birthdays are over and now Nathan’s birthday is next month. Added a trampoline to our yard decor. W...
03/09/2024

Both of our February birthdays are over and now Nathan’s birthday is next month. Added a trampoline to our yard decor. We enjoyed a day in St. Louis last week. While we were there, we went to the City Museum and up the Gateway Arch. We so enjoyed being able to make new memories with our kids and together as a couple.
Here’s to many more “Staycations” in 2024! 🎉

Nicole here ~ We had a wonderful Christmas here at home. Once the cooking was finished, the relaxing began. Nathan and t...
12/30/2023

Nicole here ~ We had a wonderful Christmas here at home. Once the cooking was finished, the relaxing began. Nathan and the kids enjoyed their annual cookie decorating - the frosted cookies were gone in less than two days. Nathan purchased a cute little Hoya carnosa house plant to add to my collection…so thoughtful of him. We hope you made some special memories with your friends and family during this holiday season. Happy New Year, folks! Praying you will feel the presence of Jesus in the new year.

This is what happens when your boar takes the gate off the hinges on August 1st. Poppy had 5 beautiful little piglets on...
11/25/2023

This is what happens when your boar takes the gate off the hinges on August 1st. Poppy had 5 beautiful little piglets on Thanksgiving Day. We lost one yesterday who was having some issues staying warm and ended up on the bottom of the pig pile. And we have another in the house to try to get 4 out of this litter. We were due to put the pair together around December 10, but now we will need to wait until this time next year to get back to having spring babies.

End of the growing season is upon us. We are going to have our first freezing nights this week. Half the tomato plants a...
10/28/2023

End of the growing season is upon us. We are going to have our first freezing nights this week. Half the tomato plants are cleared out, pepper plants are cleared out - a few we brought in to attempt overwintering indoors, and the sweet potatoes are waiting to be dug up. Not sure how much we will get since they were heavily shaded by the summer sweet corn. Brassicas were a total loss - next year, next year. One last batch of sauce left to process today - red enchilada sauce. Hoping to get the okra pods clipped off and brought indoors before they freeze as well.
Also, we have decided to sell/trade 5 of our non-papered American Guinea Hog gilts instead of growing them out ourselves. If you know of anyone who would be interested in growing out some AGH pork, these girls will be perfect for that. They are six months old now and would be perfect size for harvesting in 6-12 more months. They forage and eat only 1-2 pounds of hog pellets per day.

Available - 5 - beautiful six month old, non-papered, purebred AGH gilts (have registered parents/grandparents on site)....
10/28/2023

Available - 5 - beautiful six month old, non-papered, purebred AGH gilts (have registered parents/grandparents on site). Had planned to grow out to put in freezer, but plans changed and decided to grow out this year’s barrows instead. Message me please.

Nicole here ~ Well…you win some and you lose some. I’ve heard it said that if you have livestock, you might as well expe...
09/27/2023

Nicole here ~ Well…you win some and you lose some. I’ve heard it said that if you have livestock, you might as well expect dead stock. Callie’s cute little bull calf lived for 12 days and then we lost him. I have experienced losing calves in way more dramatic ways, but this one was almost as disappointing as losing twin heifers from our milk cow years ago. I wasn’t confident in his growth as he was so skinny and never seemed to get over the newborn hump. He followed decently, but also spent a lot of time hanging out in the shade. Callie had loads of milk and it was obvious he was nursing, but he is gone now. We will breed back Callie when the other girls drop their calves mid to late winter - hoping for December calves next year.
We got an afternoon away last Friday to and spent several hours riding rides. Elli rode the barn swing for the first time. No thanks! Some of us don’t like to feel like we are falling on repeat.

It has been a busy couple of days. We planted 6 hardy Chicago fig plants and 6 blueberry bushes yesterday evening as a f...
09/04/2023

It has been a busy couple of days. We planted 6 hardy Chicago fig plants and 6 blueberry bushes yesterday evening as a family. One hole had an immovable rock (no surprise here) so we have a funny gap in the row that will need a different plant at some point that is less picky and doesn’t need as much soil depth.
Today our Callie finally gave up her “hostage.” She gave birth to a beautiful little black bull calf compliments of the neighbor’s bull. 🤦‍♀️ We knew when she got out last fall that anything was possible. Counting down the remaining month for a second escapee to have her calf…maybe.

Started out strong this weekend at the  Expo with 4 kids in tow and now it’s just me. The kids unanimously decided to st...
08/26/2023

Started out strong this weekend at the Expo with 4 kids in tow and now it’s just me. The kids unanimously decided to stay home today while Mama sat through “boring” sessions. Had a great time listening to so many great speakers and seeing so many wonderful vendors and fellow homesteaders. Met Kody Hanner of . You have to check out her homeschool curriculum! Saw the sweet folks from too.

More roasted salsa in the making. Last batch was a little spicy, but wonderfully flavorful.
08/21/2023

More roasted salsa in the making. Last batch was a little spicy, but wonderfully flavorful.

Nicole here - Folks, you have no idea how happy this simple English muffin mater sandwich makes me. I beefed it up with ...
08/10/2023

Nicole here - Folks, you have no idea how happy this simple English muffin mater sandwich makes me. I beefed it up with ham and cheese since no breakfast was eaten today, but a tomato sandwich makes me so happy. I grew up eating these with my dad. I am super excited to have slicing tomatoes, well tomatoes in general, so I can eat them all myself. Okay so that is an exaggeration. But the truth is no one else in my family will eat fresh tomatoes. Look at those yellow cherries! Also, I am super stoked to get my first Dr. Wyche’s Yellow. It has a few more days to finish ripening indoors. Couldn’t risk leaving it out in the rain.

Well that’s a wrap on this year’s sweet corn. Raccoons stole at least a third of it in a couple of nights. Nicole here -...
08/03/2023

Well that’s a wrap on this year’s sweet corn. Raccoons stole at least a third of it in a couple of nights. Nicole here - I swear they saw me pick some for supper one evening and came to help themselves the next two nights. Funny how they know when it’s ready.

We’ve had a wonderful week in spite of the bumps! Nathan’s family came to visit and we got to spend time at home and in ...
07/17/2023

We’ve had a wonderful week in spite of the bumps! Nathan’s family came to visit and we got to spend time at home and in Branson along with them. We are so grateful for their willingness and sacrifice to travel all the way from PA to visit us. Unfortunately we were unable to find someone willing to check on our livestock and specifically the house dogs as our kennel canceled the day before drop off (yes this was a paid position - not even one taker), so Nicole had to drive home from Branson every evening and spend the night at home away from the family. She nearly ran off the road one evening. We are thankful to the Lord that the safety features on Nathan’s car alerted before she was in more danger. Green beans are coming in fast and furious…25 quarts put up and a few more to finish canning this evening.

So very proud of the work these kids have put into their tumbling lessons. Their hard work paid off this weekend at thei...
06/12/2023

So very proud of the work these kids have put into their tumbling lessons. Their hard work paid off this weekend at their first ever gymnastics meet at .
Thank you to Allegra and Olive for all your hard work with our kiddos. Missed having with us. Excited to see these kids keep improving their skills and building stronger bodies in the future.

One more step closer to finishing our new home. This was a “pretty” project. So thankful for our home and all the blessi...
05/31/2023

One more step closer to finishing our new home. This was a “pretty” project. So thankful for our home and all the blessings we’ve experienced since we moved home last year.

Oh how I love these cows! Cow kisses from sweet calves are the best. Some beautiful pictures of the critters for your en...
05/24/2023

Oh how I love these cows! Cow kisses from sweet calves are the best. Some beautiful pictures of the critters for your enjoyment.

You know you’ve been busy when your kitchen calendar says it’s still last week. 🤦‍♀️Finally got the date fixed a couple ...
05/19/2023

You know you’ve been busy when your kitchen calendar says it’s still last week. 🤦‍♀️Finally got the date fixed a couple days ago. We’ve been working on the garden, doing schoolwork, and running to appointments in Springfield. Whew! I’m tired!!! Camp meeting starts in a week at Liberty Faith Church in Norwood, MO. Busy days until school gets out for sure.

This is what happens when your tomato babies are old enough to chop off their heads just like Jill  said to do. I have a...
05/16/2023

This is what happens when your tomato babies are old enough to chop off their heads just like Jill said to do. I have always done the single leader pruning, but we’re going to try it this year. This was done a few day ago and they are already pushing out two new leader shoots.

Folks, this is what $200 will buy you at the feed store. I remember when I was a kid the “better” sweet feed calf grower...
04/17/2023

Folks, this is what $200 will buy you at the feed store. I remember when I was a kid the “better” sweet feed calf grower was $7 a bag and you could get a good bag for around $5. Now I’m lucky to find plain feed for 2-3xs that price. Sad that these prices don’t translate into better pay for grain farmers and livestock producers in general. On a happier note…this stack of feed sacks will help suppress the grass under the new garden plot. We are doing no dig in our entire garden. Way too many rocks to be able to rototill and have anything left.

We’ve got a busy day today. Exciting things happening around here. Catch up over on our YouTube channel. Here is our lat...
04/12/2023

We’ve got a busy day today. Exciting things happening around here. Catch up over on our YouTube channel. Here is our latest video. https://youtu.be/ujRSQyfkWvM

Nicole here ~ It has been a busy weekend!!! Nathan has been working, I started building part of our new garden, Easter w...
04/10/2023

Nicole here ~ It has been a busy weekend!!! Nathan has been working, I started building part of our new garden, Easter with our kids, and Tulip Festival! I’m tired! Is it nap time yet? Picked up this wonderful harvest basket from a vendor while there. I was blessed to be able to attend the festival and hear multiple wonderful speakers including Jess from . (You really must check out their channel on YouTube.) Always a blessing to hear folks speak who love Jesus, people, gardening, and homesteading as much as you do.

Gotta share some baby pictures from this morning. Nicholas isn’t sure he likes skipping his morning milk. New video drop...
04/07/2023

Gotta share some baby pictures from this morning. Nicholas isn’t sure he likes skipping his morning milk. New video dropping over on our YouTube channel tomorrow afternoon.

We don’t know what tomorrow holds, but look at this evening’s sunset. This was to the northwest. We are expecting the de...
04/05/2023

We don’t know what tomorrow holds, but look at this evening’s sunset. This was to the northwest. We are expecting the delivery tomorrow of a young bull we are renting for a couple months. This is a blessing as the person is local to us and isn’t asking for our firstborn in return. Today was busy as we took all but Crazy Lady and Clover to the vet for tags, shots, and a couple dehornings. Annabelle came to us with horns and they had to go. Found out when loading them up into the trailer that she is one bossy little heifer.

New video over on our Youtube channel!!!
04/03/2023

New video over on our Youtube channel!!!

Follow along as we discover a new (IMPROVED) homemade jerky recipe from Steve Rinella's cookbook The Meat Eater Fish and Game Cookbook. Make sure you check o...

Our newest baby on the homestead is the surprise daughter of “Crazy Lady” the maniac we bought off a local guy back last...
03/28/2023

Our newest baby on the homestead is the surprise daughter of “Crazy Lady” the maniac we bought off a local guy back last July. Poor thing was just a calf when she came to us and obviously was already bred. This little surprise is named Clover and is a month old tomorrow. We have chosen to bottle feed her as her mama does not come to feed like we had hoped and was teaching her baby to be just like her. We will send Crazy to freezer camp later this year as we had intended before all of this happened. We put Nicky and Noelle out in their hayfield pasture this evening. They had a grand time!

The difference of a month. These two brown swiss babies are growing so fast! Noelle (first 2 pics) is 3 months old and N...
03/23/2023

The difference of a month. These two brown swiss babies are growing so fast! Noelle (first 2 pics) is 3 months old and Nicholas (pics 3 & 4) is a couple weeks older.

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Mansfield, MO

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