Comments on this blog are moderated before posting. I've had to do this to keep spammers from linking back to their sites selling the odd, off-color items you may or may not want or need. You can find those items all on your own if that's what you're surfing the internet for. Despite moderation, if you comment and it's not a nasty comment or it's a super-duper helpful comment, it's going to show up the next time I come in to do maintenance. The comments are modded based on the old addage that if you don't have anything nice to say, you shouldn't say anything at all. Attacks and negativity will not be tolerated. This blog is not a soap box or a place to rant. If you feel the need to do that, you can make your own blog.
Disclosures and Frequently Asked Questions:
Why is this blog here? This blog is mainly my journal to keep track of what I've tried, what's worked, what hasn't, and when my critters were born, bred, or otherwise received care I need to keep tabs on. Hopefully it helps and inspires others to get back to basics.
What's for sale from the farm?
Our goat milk soap is available at our restaurant:
Greek Taverna and Catering
994 E. University Blvd.
Tucson AZ 85719
It is also available at our favorite feed store:
TANQUE VERDE HAY AND FEED
11050 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85749
We do not have a website available listing the soap at this time. We had one, but no one ever ordered from it, so we turned it off. Maybe we'll try again if there is a demand. Mostly we sell soap to friends and co-workers who have tried it and can't go back to store-bought soap.
NO MILK AVAILABLE
We do not sell milk because we don't always milk--especially in the summer when it's miserably hot and if there is milk in an udder, there is usually a baby who will gladly milk their mommy for us. Also, by Arizona law, RAW milk is not for human consumption and we do not pasteurize our milk unless we're making something with it, like yogurt or cheese. There is much controversy surrounding the consumption of raw milk, and while we drink our critters' milk raw all the time, you, as a consumer, should inform yourself of the risks and benefits of doing so.
We are registered as a "Nest Run Producer" of chicken eggs with the Arizona Department of Agriculture. Our eggs are collected daily, cartoned and labeled with the date they were collected (which is the day the were laid). If there are surplus eggs, they may be available for purchase at our restaurant.
Private Permaculture Hobby Farm. Markou Ranch is NOT a commercial farm. It's a private hobby farm adhering to the principals of permaculture (permanent agriculture). We keep the critters and garden because we want to, because we believe in trying to grow as much of our meals as possible, and because we are stuck with a rural property we can't build on until we're in a better financial situation to do so, so we might as well make the best of what we're given. This means we do not offer tours except in rare circumstances. We do not sell anything at farm stands or in grocery stores. To best explain what Markou Ranch is would be to compare it to a backyard with big gardens and unusual livestock pets. Do not stop by uninvited and cruise up and down the little dirt road since the neighbor with the gun collection and twitchy trigger finger doesn't like that.
Can I come pet the animals? No. Markou Ranch is NOT a petting zoo. Farm animals are unpredicatable, and they make all kinds of poo that would not be pleasant to step in. Also, some of our animals do not like small children--one goat in particular will push them away to get the point across. Our cows are big, strong, willful and if one steps on your foot it is incredibly painful. If you don't give them what they want, they may get frustrated and whack you. Our alpacas were not handled much before they came to us, and they like to do their thing and be left alone. They don't like hugs or being touched atop their cute, fluffy heads, and they can give a nasty kick if you annoy them. The hens are pretty friendly. The roosters are not--especially Doc Holliday who is waiting for the day he can kill me and scratch out my eyes with his spurs. (This is not an exaggeration.) The 4-H chickens are quite sociable, and if you want to meet them, they will be at the Pima County Fair yearly.
Can I have some free manure for my garden? Sorry no. We compost all we get and use it in our gardens. There are many farms or people who raise livestock who will give you free manure and even may help you load it in your truck. Check on craigslist.
I have always wanted a pet <insert livestock animal here>. Do you have one for sale? We are not currently selling any livestock and for those people who want a pet chicken/goat/cow/alpaca, please, please, please do your research first. Make sure you fully understand how to take care of these types of animals, what they need in the way of shelter, feed, and hoof maintenance. Be sure you have a good veterinarian willing to work on your animals for shots and if they get sick or hurt. Make sure you are allowed to keep them where you live and that you will not be in violation of any ordinances, laws, etc. It doesn't hurt to make sure your neighbors are okay with it. Many livestock animals are loud and can be smelly. Some neighbors don't mind; some will hate it and complain or report you to authorities if they feel you are not doing what you should. After you have done your research, I encourage you to adopt a livestock pet from a rescue organization such as the Humane Society or Hoofs and Horns Farm and Animal Sanctuary. There are many other places trying to help animals find a good home. Check them first.
My club/class/group/out of town guest wants to come see what you're doing. Can we have a tour? Only in rare circumstances do we give tours of the farm. We have, in the past, offered a tour to the local school and had small gatherings (farm days) where friends or family helped in exchange for produce, etc but do not have plans to do so in the immediate future. If your club/class/group/guest has an interest in farming and educating themselves about it, I highly recommend the University of Arizona's agricultural department and also the 4-H program offered through the UofA.
Copyrighted Images on this Blog. Except in cases where cited, all images on this blog are copyrighted material and cannot be used without permission. Don't take them and use them in your projects. If you're writing an article or want to cite this blog as a reference, please email me and ask.