Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What goes on in the coop, stays in the coop...


Our coop had quite an exciting Christmas. Martha Washington (our largest "hen") is actually a George (aka rooster). We have been watching all our hens get bigger, but Martha surpassed all the others. She now as a comb and wattle, and has been caught mounting the hens... Either Martha is confused (which I doubt) or she is really a he... So now instead of having 4 hens and 2 roosters, we have 3 of each. Its a good thing one of the roosters is mean and will most likely end up as soup... Welcome to the farm George...

On the other hand, one of the 3 remaining hens has started laying. December 26th brought us our first farm egg ever! Way to go girls (now to figure out which one it is). Yesterday we were given another egg, so now we have two. Hubby and I will have eggs for breakfast on Sat. What a good way to bring in the new year. We will be eating the first product (of hopefully many) of our farm.

Victory Garden Farm is taking off!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Shoes




I think I change shoes more often than outfits... To try and reduce tracking in mud, dirt and snow, I have a pair of boots that sits outside. When I go out the back door I take off whatever shoes I am wearing and pull on these "goat" boots.

I have my work shoes, which stay by the front door so they dont get muddy before work. These are usually pulled on right before I head out to work


And what do I wear all day inside the house? My favorite pair of slippers. These slippers used to be my moms. My dad bought her a new pair, and I inherited these. They are super warm. The right slipper was chewed on by Jack when he was a puppy and is missing its "fur" on the outside. But dont let that fool you, the insides are still toasty and furry.


Winter on the Farm

Its winter here at the farm. We have been busy getting everything ready for the snow, and just in time too. For the winter we have grouped all the animals (except the dogs) close together by the barn. The goats (now we have 3 nannies and a billy) have free range of the barn and pen. Right on the outside of their pen is the duck pen. This is caged on all sides, top and bottom. Come spring they will have a proper run, but for the winter this will do. The chickens still have their coop, located next to the ducks. We tried letting the ducks sleep in the coop, but they didnt like it much. Yesterday hubby and I built a rabbit run at the back covered side of the barn. We hope to inherit 5 more rabbits this week and needed a place larger than just the hutch. Ill post pictures when we get them. We have huge plans for the spring but for now with the ground frozen they will stay just plans... Inside the house we have had our pipes freeze multiple times which forces us to keep the heaters on. I am not terribly happy about this, as we were trying to be frugal and only heat what we need. lesson learned. Maybe it is more frugal to turn the heaters on, then to have to pay for a plumber to come fix broken pipes... The tree is up, the rooms decorated and we are ready to settle down for winter. Hubby and I found a bunch of puzzles we liked and are looking forward to spending time in the (warm) house working on them. Happy Winter to all!





Sunday, October 24, 2010

Rest In Peace Sweat Pea

I am sad to say that we have had our first death on our farm. Sweat Pea (what we were calling her until we named her) was found dead yesterday morning. I think she was sick when we got her. Stinky Butt (long story), her companion, is doing fine. She is putting on weight, loves to run and bound and eat anything in sight. Sweat Pea, on the other hand was not gaining weight, walked with stiff legs and had a ton of eye gunk. We assumed this was because she was little, but maybe it was because she was sick. Had we thought for a moment she was really sick, we would have had a vet look at her. I feel that it was our fault for not thinking it was something to be worried, but how were we to know? Hubby burried her in the woods yesterday, and marked her grave with a makeshift cross. Heres to Sweat Pea! Stinky Butt (named so because she had diarrhea the first day we got her and havent come up with an official name yet) is doing splendid. Hubby put up a new fenced area in the brush, and she is an eating machine! Ill post pictures later tonight. Hubby attached the fencing to the calf hutch so that she has plenty of covered space. We will move the fencing once she eats the brush in this area.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Farm Count

Heres the farm count as of today- Dogs- 3 Cats- 2 Rabbits- 2 Finches- 4 Hens- 4 Roosters- 2 Goats- 2 Turtle- 1 Fish- too many

New Kids on the Block







Today we adopted two kids! Not human kids, but baby goats. They are 10 weeks old and as adorable as can be. I drove almost 2 hours to pick them up. The trip was well worth it. I went for one dairy goat, and came home with two babies. When I got to the sellers house, he introduced me to all the goats. I let him know what we were looking for, and he showed me what was available. My choices were between pregnant goats, currently milking goats, or the young babies. As much as I would love to have a pregnant goat, I didn't feel that hubby and I are ready for that quite yet. A milking goat would be nice. I concluded that two female kids would be the best fit for us. We could raise them from the bottle. They will be used to us. Then when they are old enough, we can "rent a stud" and breed them. Thus by buying the babies, we can have, in the future, pregnant goats and milking goats. That, and we dont have "real" fencing up yet. So I paid the man, shook his hands, gathered up my babes, and drove home. We had to make a stop at the tractor supply store to get feed. I walked out of the store, and heard my new babies bleeting in the bed of the truck. This will be fun... Once we were home, goats, housing and feed in store, I introduced them to hubby. The family was complete. Hubby, me and two kids... well not exactly...It was hard to leave them to go to work, but a goat has to eat, and feed costs money, so off to work I go... Ill update pictures when I get them off the camera and on the computer. Enjoy!

Victory Garden Farm

Hubby and I were so fortunate to buy our "farm" in July. At that time, the "farm" was a house, 5 acres, and 4 outbuildings, otherwise known as slave quarters. After living there for two months, we have transformed the house to our HOME. One of the outbuildings is a playhouse for the kids who will pass through this farm. Another outbuilding Hubby is in the process of making his workshop. Yet another outbuilding (was not safe and insurance said we had to take it down) is half torn down, half standing. The wood will become our chicken coop for our future meat chickens. And the fourth, biggest outbuilding will become the small barn. The backyard makeover will forever be in progress. Hubby has already cleared over 30 trees, ensuring we have firewood for next winter. This place, our HOME, we will call Victory Garden Farm. During World War II, American citizens were urged to grow victory gardens in their backyards so that the food from farms could be sent to the soldiers. Citizens pitched in to help out for the greater good. That is what we aim to do. We will plant a large garden in the back, grow our own meat and try to be as self sufficient as possible. We have become too dependent on fast food and getting things from others. I want to understand the whole process of what we are taking in. We feed the chickens, which fertilizes the soil for the garden, where we will plant seed and grow food, and the scraps will be given to back to the chickens to turn into fertilizer yet again. Its an amazing circle and I want to witness it all. By no means are we expecting this to be all fun and games. I understand that there will be death and heartache. But there will also be births and growth. There will be hardwork and payoffs. I am looking forward to eating the veggies from the garden next year. Right now the garden is not even plowed. What little of a garden that survived the move is in containers by the future barn. With hubby being in the army, and moving from Texas to Maryland, its nice to finally have a place of our own. A place thats ours. A place to belong. Home. We look forward to sharing our journey with you. So please, come along as we build our farm.