I call it the "Ranch" but Conlan and Gayle have given the Guerin Ranch the name of Sage Coyote Farm. It is the second season for the organic garden and they are still learning what works and sells and what doesn't. It's alot of of work and they supplement their income with Gayle driving the school bus part-time and Conlan picking up odd jobs (currently working for a guide for the hunting season).
They started out with pigs and yaks. The pigs were a special grazing breed and suppose to reach maturity within a year. Well it took more than a year to reach maturity and it's only been a few months since the first few were sent to the processor. It's a learning process. Funny story: When the pigs were first purchased, Conlan neutered all the males...so he thought. Understand, Tierra Amarillo is about a three hour drive to the nearest processor and when Conlan took the first pig to the processor she was pregnant and couldn't be processed. Conlan returned to the farm and found the culprit and he was sent to the processor. He found nearly all the sows were pregnant and had to wait until they gave birth and fatten up before he could return to the processor. Now he is trying to sell all the little piglets because he has decided the pigs take up too much of his time and are not that profitable. Live and Learn.
A couple of the fully grown pigs which are being fattened up before going to the processor.
Since I visited last spring the farm acquired 12 head of Devon cattle and laying chickens. The chickens are doing well and usually sell out at the farmers market. Meat from the cattle is bringing a high price and Gayle usually sells out of vegetable at the farmers market.
The cattle are a beautiful ruby color.
The horses and donkeys are thriving. Donkeys? They are actually "guard" donkeys and Gayle adopted them to protect the pigs. However, the donkeys decided to pick on the picks and are now pastured with the five horses. They will kick and tramp on the coyotes if they try to bother the horses or cattle. In addition the farm houses five dogs (three of which were foster dogs and nobody would adopt them) and three "working" cats.
My favorite are the four yaks: Pavi the bull, T-Bone the steer that keeps Pavi company, and Charlotte and Lucy the females. All are just about a year old and not fully grown yet and will take another year before they are fully grown. Conlan has worked with the yaks so they are extremely tame and social. His goal is to eventually halter them and use them as working animals as well as breeding stock when old enough. These guys are to valuable to and will not be heading for the processor anytime soon.
Time on the farm is always too short for me but we are moving on to Balloon Fiesta with a short over night stop in Santa Fe. We will be in Albuquerque for almost two weeks before heading back north.
We will be with the Escapee Boomers for the next two weeks and crewing for the Keystone Willie balloon during the event. There will be two other couples from the Boomers who will also be crewing. Well, this will definitely be a new experience, so stayed tuned. If you are in the area, stop in and say hello.