Celebrating One Year On The Farm!

It was exactly one year ago today that I packed the last of my belongings into my car and left the city that had been my home for 20 years. My destination was my family farm! I can’t believe it’s been a year! Actually, yes I can. 🙂 Living in your parents guest bedroom for a year doesn’t exactly make the days go by quickly. 🙂 I never would’ve believed my house wouldn’t be finished after my first year on the farm (but it’ll be soon! I think). I thought today, on the one year anniversary of my move to the farm, it would be fun to remember the things that I have done on my homestead (because it’s so easy to think about the big thing that isn’t done). Continue reading

Wild Edibles: Chicken of the Woods

A few weeks ago I came across a large edible mushroom called Chicken of the Woods, I’d never seen one before but I’d heard my parents talk about it. Normally I’m a bit leery of eating wild mushrooms, if you misidentify something you can make yourself very sick. That’s the good thing about Chicken of the Woods: there’s no poisonous look alike! Although, some people say varieties that grow on eucalyptus and conifer trees can cause a little tummy upset so you may want to stick with the hardwood trees (I found mine on the root of a dead oak tree). Continue reading

Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

For the last month or so one of our ducks (Millie) has been sitting a nest in our barn. I’ve been watching her every day. Then one day last week I saw little yellow, downy fuzz sticking out from under her and could hear the faintest little chirping. The eggs had hatched! I knew she would stay on her nest for at least a day to let the ducklings gain strength before their big journey to the pond. I kept a close watch until I saw her making the first moves to leave the nest. Since we have barn cats that might think baby duck would be a yummy treat, I stayed close by until all our web-footed friends made it safely out. I snapped some pictures of their journey, I hope you enjoy them!

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Leaving the safety of their nest for the first time! I couldn’t believe when they all came out and I counted 14 of them. 14!

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Life on the farm: Some days it’s sunshine & butterflies, other days you slip and fall in a mud puddle…

Eh, at least it wasn’t a big muddy, poo puddle! That happens sometimes too. 🙂

After I fell in the puddle I decided it was going to be a work inside day, I’d finished all of my morning chores and it’s been raining on and off all morning. Besides, I’ve got plenty of things to catch up on. So here I am, freshly showered (I was really covered in mud, it was even in my hair) and ready to get to work.  Continue reading

We’re Remodeling!

Hello all! Remember Larry the goat? Well, Larry has been in a temporary stall in my parents barn for the last few weeks (he was too small to put in with the bigger goats). But that’s about to change! My dad has been building some permanent stalls in their barn and one will be just for Larry. 🙂 Continue reading

Darn Opossums, Opossuming Around

We finally beat the heat wave! Cooler temps moved in over the weekend (finally!) and it’s been so nice. We actually turned the AC off and have been enjoying the fresh air with the windows open. Last night Samson woke me up at around 2:45 AM just barking his head off (that’s the downside to sleeping with the windows open). I tried to ignore it for a while but we’ve had a horrible time with raccoons and other small animals causing trouble so, finally, a little after 3 I went out to see what was going on. I took a big spotlight with me so I could see what he was barking at. Everything was quiet, except Samson. All the turkeys, chickens, goats, and barn cats were sound asleep so I went back inside. About 5 minutes later Samson started in again! Continue reading

It’s a heat wave, heat dome or whatever… it’s just freakin’ hot!

It’s hot folks. Really hot. The kind of summer heat that is usually reserved for August. I just got back in from doing morning chores (the earlier we start the better!) and at 8 AM it’s 80 degrees with a heat index of 85, ugh. We’ll likely top 100 today with a heat index well above that. It would be nice if we could kick back in the shade (or air conditioning) and sip on lemonade all day BUT the heat means more work. Watering the gardens and fruit trees, making sure all the critters have plenty of water and monitoring all of them to make sure they aren’t getting overheated takes most of the day. Continue reading

Chicken Coops & Duck Tractors

Chicken coops & duck tractors? I know what you’re thinking… what’s a duck tractor?! It’s like a chicken tractor but for ducks! If that still doesn’t answer it, a tractor is a floorless coop that can be moved. Why is it called a tractor? I really have no idea. Some people say it’s because it’s moveable but I’m not sold on that answer. What it does though is it allows for the benefits of free-ranging your flock but provides shelter for them and keeps them safe. My dad built a tractor for his ducklings and baby turkeys. He plans to build a second one so that as the turkeys and ducks grow he can separate them into two tractors. Continue reading

There Are Beetles and Then There Are Japanese Beetles… MUCH Worse

Japanese beetles…. one of the most destructive and hated of all garden pests. If you don’t have to deal with them where you live count yourself very lucky but be warned, they’ll probably move in eventually. Just as their name implies, the Japanese beetle originated in Japan but they’ve been in the US for approximately 100 years. They gradually spread but many areas of the country weren’t infested with the little devil buggers until the last 10 or 15 years. We didn’t have them on the farm until the last 7 or 8 years and the area I lived in for the past 20 years (which is approximately 200 miles from the farm) doesn’t have them at all… yet. Continue reading