Friday, May 15, 2015

Duckling Adventures

We have some lovely, beautiful and precious new creatures here on the farm.  We call them "sluggers".  :)  We've had them for about 5 days now.
Charissa took this beautiful picture.  This is "Cheeto", she is a Pekin duck.

Charissa and Cheeto (she took this picture as well)

We have 4 Khaki Cambell (the brown ones), 2 runners(the 2 yellows in the back) and 1 Pekin.

They went for a swim today for the first time.
 

Monday, April 6, 2015

I love this place!

I know I don't keep you up-to-date very well.  Life just brings too much my way and as many of you know I'm one incredibly unorganized person.  I can't and won't make any more excuses for my lack of attention to this blog.

But one thing is for sure.

I love my little corner of this world, this so called "farm" I'm trying to build.

It's heaven to me to get out into the garden and dig.  To create.  To supply my family with food.

Here are some things I've done in the last 6 months:

I filled my freezer with 106# of fresh pork!  And boy I cannot wait to begin the 2nd adventures in raising pigs.  It was a grand time and something we will do again.

We've had an incredibly strange winter and everything is in full bloom and that means I've been able to get into the garden early.  I have continued to cover the paths in the garden.  I've put in a new raised bed and the best thing of all...

I built a chicken tunnel, or what I like to call a "chunnel".  It goes around the perimeter of the garden.  It will keep the bugs and weeds at bay.  The chickens love this thing.  Since I've installed it they have cleared all the grass from within.

The Chunnel



And last but not least we have added 30 little soon-to-be layers to the flock.  In 5 months we just might be able to keep with demand.













Those are the farm adventures!  And for about a month I will for sure not be back to blog.  If you go here you can see what why.  I'm about to have one of the biggest adventures of my life!!!

But I do endeavor to be back often over the best seasons of the year...spring and summer!!!  The busiest and best for this wanna-be farmgirl.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Rhythm



T
his morning as I went out to do the morning chores I noticed that there was beginning to develop a sort of rhythm to the jobs. 

This felt very good!


We’ve had some changes since I last posted about the morning chores mostly because Bey has his own run now.  We don’t need to run him in the chicken yard any longer.  I also added a chore or two to the routine.  Here is how my rhythm has shaped up to be lately.

I start my day by walking Bey down the lane a bit.  I then take him to his new run and go to the house to grab 2 containers of water.
 

I fill 2 jars with warm water, one for Bey’s food and one for the pigs food.  Bey only gets about a cup or so but we read that solely feeding dry foods to dogs actually isn’t very good for them.  He enjoys the “gravy” that is created by adding warm water to his food.  

Bey is first with warm water. I feed him his warm gravy and food.  I then head to the pig yard.  I add 1 capful of Apple Cider Vinegar to their warm water (if you want to know why ACV go here).  I put 1/3 cup of alfalfa pellets in the warm water to dissolve ( lots of nutrients in alfalfa).  I fill their slop bucket with various grains along with “pig grower” which is a variety of grain and nutrients to, well, grow pigs.  I add the water to the slop bucket making their “hot cereal breakfast” and put in their feeder. 

I then head to the chickens, open up their coop, fill their feeder and throw down a little cedar shavings. 

About every 3 days I refresh the water containers for the pigs and the chickens. I put ACV in the chicken water.

I then go back to the pig yard with a bucket and pitchfork or shovel and clean up a bucket full of manure.  I’m determined not to let it get out of control because pig manure does stink!  I haul this down into the woods far from the house to where I’ve created a compost pile.  The last few times I gathered up some big maple leaves to add to the bucket to add variety to the compost.  Hopefully this will become a wonderful addition to the garden next year.
So far that’s it for the morning routine.  I got to thinking though how freeing it felt to feel this rhythm to my day.  And reminds me of  this…

“A habit is what we wear: A habit is the way we wear our days.
Wear new habits and your life gets a makeover.
Consistently do things at the same time everyday and find yourself a new person.” –Ann Voskamp of A Holy Experience

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bey's Free


We’ve been working hard to get an outdoor run built for Bey so he doesn’t have to be attached to that zipline any longer. It is actually a dangerous way for him to live.  We found that out the hard way when we found him with the line tangled around his neck 3 times and he was strangling.  A VERY scary moment that was.


Here we are about 1/2 done. 

This run is about 35 feet long and 16 feet wide. We built it next to the little duck house Kelsey built out of pallets.  We fixed that with solid walls and put a pallet and board inside for the floor.  James kept telling me that he didn’t think he’d ever use that house, but he is in it all the time!

When we first let him in their after completion he went crazy with the happy dance!  So glad he likes his new home!



















Friday, October 3, 2014

Morning Chores



As I begin to develop new habits I’ve begun making “morning chores” part of the plan.  There are animals that all need attention first thing in the morning.  Pigs interestingly sleep in.  They are in no rush to get out of their warm beds to forage around until I get there.  This has allowed me to at least wait till it’s light and bright out.  

I remember when I was growing up we’d visit my uncle’s dairy farm and there was “chore time” twice a day.  They’d head out to the barn at 5am whether it was bright out or not.  I’m thankful pigs aren’t calling so early.

 
Bey needs to be walked and we take him to the chicken yard to run free before the chickens are let out.  

Pigs are fed warm water mixed in with their grain.  It’s been chilly in the mornings now so I think it’s nice to give them a warm mush for breakfast.  Today I headed to the garden and dug up one row of bean plant to give them as well.  They love it!

Chickens are let out, fed and watered.  Lately I’ve noticed that there is one lone chicken who likes to roost in the rafters.
 


I’ve been enjoying this morning routine.  It only takes 20-30 minutes but with so much garden clean up to do this fall I’ve decided to make that time slot a full hour.  It is a really great way to be outside first thing in the morning taking in the fresh air, enjoying God’s creation and get the work done.  
 
I’m very grateful for this October sun we’re having right now, giving me an opportunity to get some extra work done outside.  

 Hopefully today we will get Bey’s permanent run finished.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

8 years ago today

 Eight years ago today we moved into this little house to start our dream of a mini, itty, bitty farm.






So much has changed and grown since that day 8 years ago.









It looks nothing like this now.

And in 8 more years it will be completely different again. (Especially since in 8 years all my babies will be "adults".)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Habits



Sitting down and thinking about all that needs to be done is completely overwhelming sometimes.  My world is growing in around me. The kids are growing up. The contents of the house grow and spill out.
 
Everything grows at rates that seem to go faster every day.



 I grow too, I hope, by the grace of God.  But the rate of my growth is at a pace that that cannot compare. It’s molasses in winter kind of pace.

So as I face one day at a time I will face my “to-do” list one day at a time, one bullet at a time.  With more and more efforts being put into creating habits to help mark off the list.

 
“A habit is what we wear: A habit is the way we wear our days.
Wear new habits and your life gets a makeover.
Consistently do things at the same time everyday and find yourself a new person.” –Ann Voskamp of A Holy Experience

Ann Voskamp is one of my favorite writers.  She is forever inspiring and challenging me to move forward, never give up. 



So my goal for this day, for this week, for this month is to learn to “wear a habit.” I will, by the grace of God, find a rhythm that works and “consistently do things at the same time every day”.  One thing at a time, one habit at a time, to mold the day into the beautiful handiwork of God.