Thursday, March 31, 2011

Snowy Day!

These are the same furry friends who are going to be breaking into my garden in a month or so!

How blessed our family is to wake up to this site! This is the view from our third floor bedroom window. I pulled back our curtains this morning and saw our very own herd! The deer started to scatter as I started shrieking (yes, I was doing the oh my GOSH look at the cute furry animal thing) and went around the side of our house. Farmer Mia and I ran down the stairs and hopped up on her bed to peer out the window. We counted 13 deer total as the wandered back into the tree line.

I love our life!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Seedling Rivalry

Our seedlings are quickly becoming sproutlings, and the pressure is on to get the ground ready for our crops!

Since everyone keeps asking, here is what is slated to be included in our garden this year:
Beans                       Peas                   Carrots                   Onions (red and yellow)
Potatoes                   Corn                   Tomatoes               Watermelon
Cantaloupe                Lettuce               Zucchini                   Yellow Squash
Mild peppers           Hot peppers         Pumpkins                Cucumbers

Of course tons of flowers in our little cutting bed and herbs in the herb garden. Marigolds to keep the rabbits at bay and Russian sage to chase off the deer (but I don't think either will really work)

Farmer Travis has begun the construction of the composting bins and water collection system to sustain our gardening needs. We are playing a lot of catch up this spring, trying to accomplish multiple projects, but with each passing day and new green sprout we are blessed with the knowledge that this is all worth it!

My sister is quite the accomplished gardener. I think it runs in our blood, passed down from my grandfather. Her farmette isn't too terribly far from ours either. I am loving watching her seeds sprout, and listening to her advice and wisdom on the gardening front! It also is so amusing to me to be at a stage in our lives where we are trading seeds and borrowing hay as opposed to all of our previous trading our teenage years involved.

A Boost to the Roost

Sometimes, you need a little help from a friend.

Farmer Travis had to give our littlest hen a boost into her tree top roosting spot a few nights ago. After trying multiple times to launch herself off the porch the way she usually does, a friend caught her and handed her off to Travis to boost up.

She finally made it up, and was fast asleep in no time!

Peace, Love and Brown Eggs

Our girls are laying tons of eggs! Beautiful brown eggs! Sometimes as many as 5 a day!

The excitment that come over Junior Farmer every time she finds another egg is priceless. The eggs are of varying sizes and colors, from rich brown to barely ivory. The hens are so happy to have a steady diet of cracked corn, scratch and oyster shell and I have even spotted one or two snatching worms from the soil.

Garden Time!

Here is a view of our garden from our third story bedroom window. To the right, we have tons of berry bushes. Behind the arbor are the grapevines and fruit trees. To the left are the beds we plan to have overflowing with our vegetables.

We took advantage of the pseudo-spring weather to rake out a lot of the old leaves, faded out grass and dead plants from last season.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


At any given moment you could pose the question to Travis or I,
"What are you thinking?"

Once upon a time, our responses were pretty predictable. It could be just about the beat in a song (Travis) a patient at work (Me) one of the kids, plans for the weekend, what were we making for dinner...basically the normal every day stuff.

Now, all bets are off. We are totally, 100% consumed by the farm (name still in progress) We talk about livestock, when we are starting seeds and cabinets. Paint colors and curtains our making it difficult to think of anything else. When we lay beside each other at night, our whispered sweet nothings in the dark are about cabinets. I close my eyes and see rows of vegetables, seeds spilling out of pouches, and can smell newly turned  earth. I dream of bees and flowers, herbs swaying in the breeze. Gone are thoughts of summer vacations and running away to the beach. Every urge has been replaced by running away to the farm.

We plow through the every day responsibilities just to be done and on the farm! I have begun to pity the person who asks us about the farm, because they are opening the floodgates. Both Travis and I could talk endlessly about what we have planned, what we are working on, and what we need help with.

Yesterday, while filling out paperwork for a doctor's appointment, there was a space to list "Hobbies" I didn't even bother trying. How do I fit all that we are doing on a line? The "To Do" list on the counter is pages long! We are the people wandering around Lowe's. Travis actually texted me that he was ogling tools and I was more than okay with that. I lusted after my sister's seed starter shelving  last night.

We have a sickness.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Like clockwork

Our fine feathered friends are totally amazing. Every night as the sunsets, our beautiful rooster (name to be determined, but I call him Spencer in my mind) takes off with a great flapping of wings to his perch outside of our garage. He cock a doodle doos as all roosters do, and the hens begin to file into the enclosure towards the coop.

The last time we were at the house working, I had the sheep penned up in the enclosure, and didn't want them taking off again. To keep them in, I pulled a piece of fencing over the entrance. So, the sun went down, the rooster sounded last call, and the hens got confused.

The rooster went further up the tree and called again. The hens were trying their best to open the door with their minds (but their brains are crazy small) and I was too awestruck by what was happening to go help. Some of the more ambitious hens started flying over the fence, others forgot what they were doing and went back to scratching and pecking. Finally, I went and opened the gate as the rooster crowed a third time. The hens hopped in and all was well.

Our little bantam roosts in a tree as well. She is an individual, and refuses to be cooped up.

I am reading a book about plural marriage and I got to thinking, this rooster can control all of these chickens with a single vocal exercise. The main character in my book can't do that. If there was no rooster, would they wander around indefinitely? This guy has a lot less wives than the rooster has hens, and he couldn't get them to do anything harmoniously. Does that make a rooster smarter than a man, or just louder?  I have so many fowl questions! Is there a chicken guru that I can visit?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hoop Hoop Hooray

Our sheep have a new shelter! Farmer Travis spent about 2 hours constructing a "Hoop House" for our lovely ladies.

Not that they deserve it.

Overnight, the sheep butted their way into the sunroom, pooping all over the place and eating all of the cat food. They must have known their fuzzy butts were in trouble, because they high tailed it down into the lowest pasture, past the spooky abandoned barn and waited.

I walked all the way down, through briars and bristles, talking calm and level, not raising my voice or using any of my favorite bad words. Until the little turds took off again! Off they sprinted (yes, sheep can sprint) up on to the porch of the spooky abandoned house next to ours. Through the windows, you can see decaying Christmas deorations and old coffee mugs. Like I said, super spooky.

I marched back up to our garage for corn to temp the ladies, and then all the way back down to creepy abandonded house of scariness. The sheep all stood on the porch, taunting me with their eyes, knowing they had outsmarted me again.
No more misses nice farmer. I spooked the little turds right back up the road. They sprinted again, all the way up the lane. I hollered to Farmer Travis to check out our amazing sprinting sheep, because who would have thought they sprint (I am finding out everyone knows this but me).

So the wandering ladies are home and safe in their lovely hoop house. Hopefully, when we return, they won't have eaten the tarp on caused anymore heart stopping moments of finding the doors open.

Fingers and hooves crossed.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Free Range?

After a long day at work, we scrambled into our work clothes and out to the farm. We had a thunderstorm overnight and were anxious to check on the sheep and make sure all was well.

Before leaving the farm the previous day, we had herded the sheep out of a nearby field and into the enclosure they had been penned in before. The enclosure is relatively flimsy, and Farmer Travis had blocked a large hole in the chicken wire so nothing could get in. The chicken coop offers limited shelter to the sheep from the weather, so we thought we would keep them safe there until we could expand the fencing. The previous tenants had not bothered to pen the sheep, instead calling them "Free Range" The thought of our sheep running amok in the woods without us around didn't sit well with me, so in the pen they went.

So we thought.

The headlights of the truck lit up the enclosure as we pulled up. No sheep.

We hopped out of the truck and into the pen, searching for a hole in the fence. No hole, and the gate had been closed. No way could the sheep have jumped over a 4 foot high fence. I walked further back in the pen to find that almost the entire back wall of the pen is down, and had been for some time. The sheep had literally just walked out of the back of the pen! We had been outsmarted by the dumbest farm animals on the planet.

So anyone interested in coming and rounding up sheep tonight, just give us a holler.

A dream he didn't know he had.

So we did it.

We signed a lease for a farmette. We are the proud almost owners of an almost farm. We have a beautiful, one of a kind home, 18 acres, a two car garage and a tree house. We have a huge garden, a small orchard and mature grapevines.

We also have 3 lambs, 8 chickens, 4 cats and 1 rooster.

We have not even moved in yet and our every waking moment is consumed by our planning. As we lay in bed last night, Farmer Travis stated in a voice of wonder;

"It is like a dream come true. A dream I didn't even know I had."

I always dreamed of having a farm. I hoped and dreamed and planned for an adventure in vegetable gardens and livestock. I never imagined that we would be blessed so quickly and so fully.

So now our adventure is beginning in full force. We are moving in a few weeks, but until then we are working on the house daily, and Googling answers to all of our questions and quandaries. I figured a blog would be great fun for us to share our adventure, so feel free to comment!