~When will Spring come?~


A Minnesota Winter Sunrise!

We are all eagerly awaiting the arrival of Spring which, at the moment, seems to be keeping itself at a great distance. Many snowfalls and gusty winds have been assailing us here on the farm but under the circumstances we are very much alive and well! 🙂  Check out the photos and make sure you see them all as the good food (fuel) pics are at the bottom!



A screen shot of local weather one evening.

Another chilling alert captured back in the end of January!


A screen shot alert from the end of January.

One of the blizzard videos below.




Minnesota Blizzard.






Are Minnesotan’s Crazy?



Travel not advised! 


Plenty of snow up on the roof!

We have received a lot of snow and the wind blew drifts of it onto several buildings. Fred and the kids shoveled them off a few different times to keep them from going down under all of the extra weight.  I think they had fun!!


Some of the snow scraped from the hog pens was loaded into the dump truck and hauled to different areas around the farm.


Old Yeller hard at work!  Mario is always the driver of course!!


Sun dog.


Removing a drift.


More snow shoveling



Lifting the kids onto the roof for some more shoveling.


More snow removal. 


Our gravel road has been getting quite a bit of extra attention this Winter with all of the snow piling up!  It will be a miracle if they didn’t wreck our fences!!



The video posted below was recorded during one of the blizzards.


The livestock seem to be holding their own very well with all of the snow and sub zero temperatures.



Bred Poland China & Duroc Gilts

Farrowing this Winter has been very challenging with all of the snow and so much cold weather but over all it turned out very well!  We recently weaned almost half of the piglets. The others will be weaned tomorrow weather providing and then the last group from the Winter farrowing will be weaned in mid-March.


The weanlings.


You can come out now piggies! A warm barn awaits!


Transporting the weanlings to their new pen in the South Slope.



It’s very important that the weanlings have plenty to eat and drink.



Even in frigid weather the pigs still come outside!


Chief saying Hi to one of the Polypay rams.



Curious piglets.


The Jersey steers and a beautiful sunset.



Mom? Can we come out and join you at the feeder yet?


The chickens have been laying very consistently this Winter.  We picked 30 eggs yesterday!  


We are all surviving the cold and snow and have been enjoying good wholesome food between outside farm work and livestock chores. Working in the cold can really increase everyone’s appetites!


Farm Eggs


Homemade Coffee Ice Cream


Homemade Butter


Pork & Rice with Homegrown Beets


Asparagus Soup




Cowboy Cookies


Homemade Yogurt and Cowboy Cookie Crumbles


Rising Bread Dough for baking in the dutch oven.  Totally wow!!!!!


Fresh Homemade Bread




Grilled Cheese Sandwich With Homemade Velveeta Cheese


English Muffin Dough Rising


Homemade English Muffins


Farm Fresh Egg McMuffin


Corn Bread made with love by me for my hungry gang!


Cheese Curds soon to be mozz for pizza!


Fresh Mozzarella




Bottled Honey

Hopefully this Winter doesn’t hang on for too much longer!  Blessings to all and stay warm out there!  Life is good by golly, down on the farm.

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~VIDEOS Winter Chores/Farm~


The livestock need to be fed and cared for two times a day, even in the bitter cold!

Enjoy the videos of life on our farm in the winter time.    




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~Winter Photos~


Snow plow clears our road!  Thanks Ron Vlaminck…..neighbor to the south.

Winter is hard on the farm and I think this year may be shaping up to be like THE LONG WINTER!  It’s been terribly cold lately but the hogs and other livestock are doing well.  It’s hard to believe though when you are out in the snow and wind.  We’re actually farrowing right now and the piglets are staying warm in the huts, thank God!   Videos coming soon!

All done!!


A cold rural mail box.

Dad and Mario discuss the snow removal plans!

Pigs are entertained by the snow removal.

Snow removal is a big job on the farm.  Just when we open everything up we’re back at it again due to the winds and more snow!  Chores are a bit easier when the walking paths and areas are open.  A load of Organic Prairie pigs will be shipped on Thursday and we don’t want the truck to get stuck!

Reece feeding the bred mothers in very cold air!


While livestock are fed and yards plowed, Fred and Bella prepare the bacon for smoking.

Barrel of bacon ready to be smoked.

The weather doesn’t bother our sheep all dressed in wool!


Chief wanders down to see the snow plow coming!

We should fire up the pizza oven…………..


More snow removal by Mario….as Maggie asks him to not shear too low for next summer.

We make our hills on the prairie.

This should melt in time for next Christmas! Merry Christmas 2018!


Winter cheers from the flower pot!

That’s all for now.  We will be uploading some videos very soon, so stay tuned.   I have to go out and wrap the bacon!  Thankfully we filled the propane tanks to run a bit of heat in the butcher shop.  

Life is good down on the farm.  Yes it’s very good but by no means easy!!


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~Lot’s Of Apples~




IMG_7490 (2)

There is a ton of cider in the freezer now! In fact so much that it’s hard finding room for the 6 deer, now Summer Sausage!  I am guessing when it was all done there were around 40 gallons.  These photos were taken in October sometime.  There’s a lot more going on our farm then just the hogs!



The weather has turned very cold here in SW Minnesota.  Our home is warm though, with all the baking my girls are doing!  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. 

Life is good, down on the farm! 

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~Piglet Count and More~


Aren’t we just darling?

Weanlings enjoying the sunshine!

We just finished weaning the last of the summer/fall farrowing group.  Over all everything went well and we are pleased with the numbers.  There are 364 weanlings alive today!  The chores will get a little bit easier as we consolidate new groups in the new South Slope building.  That’s the warmest building on the farm right now.  They need to get off to a good start and eat a lot to grow good, strong and healthy.

Young butcher hogs hanging out in the very cold air.

Fred is kept busy grinding feed many nights after work.  Lately it’s been so cold; I don’t know how he can stand it!  But….. he is doing what he loves and that’s farming!

Fred grinding feed at night.

The new Hereford and Hereford cross boars are being put to the test on our new gilts.  Let’s just say they have a lot to learn!

A very shy Hereford cross Berkshire boar.

The weanling piglets have all been de-wormed with the garlic concoction.  This was a very time consuming chore until we decided to mix it in much larger batches.  It’s super important keeping parasites down at a very early age.

Sheep eating their feed laced with a strong de-worming treatment.

The other day we de-wormed our sheep flock with a similar garlic concoction as was given to the piglets.   First we tried feeding a full dose in a single feeding of grain and they were turning up their noses to it!  We then decided to half-dose it in the rams feed which worked much better.  Methods are constantly changing on the farm.  It’s a life time of learning by trial and error with a large dose of perseverance.  We pray a lot!! 

Rest in peace Rowdy. We loved this loyal and faithful friend.  Missing him so much…..He had a heart of pure GOLD.

There’s so much more to farming than meets the eye.  You don’t just “slop the hogs” and walk away.  Observation is so important.  If you are not spending time doing this you will miss so much.  Animals can’t talk and tell us humans how they feel.  Preventing disease through good nutrition is key.  We’re only three years into Organic hog production and it’s a new learning experience pretty much every day.  Life is good down on the farm!



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~Happy Fall!~


Happy fall from Cotto and her 11 piglets!! 🙂 They’re just 4 weeks old and having a blast playing  in and around their “Dome Hut” made from the base of a recycled wind turbine wing!  

We’re all relieved that farrowing is now finished until the next farrowing in January! It  all went pretty well, thanks be to God!!! 🙂

We’ll be the doing the first winter farrowing since producing organic hogs for Organic Prairie this Jan., so that should be interesting! A challenge for sure, since none of our buildings are insulated! I hope that it won’t be too cold!!!!

Life is never boring down on the farm!



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~Callens Farm Photos~

Fall has arrived here on the farm and the cool weather is reminding us that it won’t be too long before snow starts to fly! We have been canning and freezing produce from the gardens and fruit trees as they ripen.

Fred and Mario renovating 4 different pens in the long barn.

Building a pool for the farrowing gilts & sows.

Salami cooling herself in one of the pools.

This used cement mixer made fixing an old building much easier!

Organic Farm…Do Not Spray!

Sweet Sixteen Apple tree is providing plenty of fruit this year. State Fair is better though and we consumed those apples in August.

State fair apples harvested back in August!

A good apple year means plenty of apple pie filling!

Beautiful cabbages were just bagged yesterday as Sauer Kraut. Yum!

Some of our recently harvested garden produce.


A sample of Mario’s cider he has been pressing lately all by himself!!



Fred and Bella moving the calf out to a paddock with the larger steers.


Our milk cow, Autumn.

Chief finds a cool spot among the Echinacea’s.

Some of the Jersey steers.  December and January born, we have already sold 8 for specialty butcher.


Filling the Jerseys water tank.

We sold these Targhee bucks and they now live in SD and near the Twin Cities.

Fred and Kallie, sitting on the old arena fence.  Sweet!


Laying cement for a grain bin.


Starting to level the cement.


Almost finished!


Moving the bin onto the cement pad.  Not so easy considering, we had just received nearly 6 inches of rain.

Life is good, down on the farm!


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~Late Summer Farrowing~



We started farrowing in the middle of August and won’t be finished until October 6th!


The miracle of birth never gets old!


You can hear the crickets as the piglets nurse on their mamma below.




Bavarian with her 19 piglets!

Silvana feeding the sows.

Marisa getting ready to help process the 3 day old piglets.


Plenty of night shift watch but in the end it pays off.   Approximately 254 piglets are on 24 mamma’s right now and we’re praying the next 14 sows and gilts farrow out nicely as well!

In between all of the farrowing we managed to process a lot of canned goods. Life is good, down on the farm!


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