Monday, May 26, 2014

Almost move in day! guess as to which one of these 5 chicks is sired by good old ZH...

ZH as a chick last year.

And little (giant) SoZH the Second.

Our new farming adventure begins in 2 days! We start moving in on Wednesday and we have 2 weeks to move us, our house full of furniture and things, 80 chickens, 6 sheep, 4 pigs, 2 goats, 3 I forgetting anything?

Piggies enjoying their morning baguettes. That was once grass, not so long ago...they work fast.

Oh, right! And our hundreds of seedlings.


Peppers (mostly):

Tomatoes, tomatoes and more tomatoes:

We sold a bunch of tomatoes on the stand:

Meanwhile, while we're hard at work packing and transplanting and getting ready to move...

Zoey is almost a big dog! 5.5 months, 23 lbs and getting closer to Abby-sized (Abby's 18" at the shoulder and Zoey's around 16" now).

We'll be moving these guys in their tractor. Hopefully we'll be as lucky with the lack of predators at our new place...fingers crossed. 

Two more sleeps!!!

I can't remember if I ever wrote on here about how miserable we were in this house last winter. After having the semi-promise of a wood burning stove for the winter offered to us, our landlord never put one in. That wouldn't be too big a deal except this house has minimum insulation, single paned windows and an open crawl space underneath. These three things together make for a *freezing* house. Even with the heat turned all the way up we still couldn't walk around on the bare floor. We tried to make the house more bearable by blocking the open crawl space and then we ended up with mould growing on everything (our furniture, clothes...). It was pretty awful, and our landlord really didn't seem to care. When we explained the situation he threatened to sell the farm - so pretty much "don't complain or you'll have nowhere to live". Yay! Anyway, the point of all of this is that he is getting all these contractors in this week to look at putting in double paned glass and to seal up the crawlspace. All we got given was a dehumidifer to attempt to deal with the mould....sigh. No bitterness, though, because we are way too excited about moving to our very own farm! 

Monday, May 12, 2014


We have some seriously scraggly looking animals right now. Amelia has shed about 3/4 of her hair...and the rest is taking its time coming out. Look how pretty and clean she is underneath that hair! 

She looks positively fantastic compared to poor Thomas. 

You wouldn't think he could look much worse....but it turns out he can. Remember how last year I took scissors to Ewean and "sheared" her? Well Thomas' neck ruff/mane was all dirty and matted so I thought a little trim was in order.

Thomas said no photos of the his man mane post-haircut...I didn't think it was too noticeable until I got a "WHAT THE HECK DID YOU DO TO THOMAS???" text at work in the afternoon. I guess I didn't miss my calling as a barber... 

The ladies still seem to find him attractive. After breakfast, it's time for a baby daddy visit. 

Princess Leah is bigger than the twins!

You know what's worse than scraggly hair sheep? Sheep that you thought were hair sheep and aren't!!!

Oprah says she has no plans of looking like scraggly Amelia and Thomas. 

Look, a sheep dog! 
...except she is actually just looking for grain. That's pretty much exactly like the other fake sheep dog, Ryan. 

No, Zoey, "be a sheep dog" didn't mean literally cover yourself in wool.

Good thing we have Abby to keep this place running.

And Saul. He has fully taken on the role of farm king. He's no Zebra Head, but he sure gives the ladies more exercise than ZH did (as in, ZH mostly sat in one spot and ate...and ate...and ate). 

Zebra Head live on in ZH Junior. Three of Magpie's chicks are pretty clearly Saul offspring. That big guy on the right...he's got ZH written all over him.

The new meat birds are getting all of their feathers in. So pretty!

We brought the first batch in for processing last week and had our first roast chicken a few nights ago. It was really, really good! 


We sold a bunch of our tomato plants at the farm stand and we've almost covered the cost of seed, which is nice. We have about 10 varieties for people to choose from and they're in big pots. The unbelievable part is that someone has now broken into our farm stand cash box twice!!! Who does that?? 

Thursday, May 8, 2014



Our relationship with our landlord has been deteriorating quickly, and the news that we had to move out in the next year was the final straw. We had been thinking for some time that we put so much time and energy into the farm here...and all of that effort was going straight to improving someone else's farm. We were finding it especially hard to be motivated when we were hitting road blocks left and right; we couldn't prepare soil, plant, grow or sell in the ways we wanted to. We were never building a name for ourselves. 

The only major downside to moving is that we had started the relationship with the cafe down the road. We'll still try to bring them a weekly delivery of produce, but our new farm (OUR NEW FARM!!) doesn't have garden beds or anything set up, so we'll see what we manage to grow this year. We'll definitely still have our broiler chickens, eggs, pork and lamb. Moving in the fall instead of spring would have been ideal, but we really fell in love with this property and a large part of the enjoyment of this farm had been taken away when the relationship with the landlord went downhill. 

The property is all set up for us and the animals to move straight in. It's perimeter fenced and there are 5-6 separate fenced animal areas, each one with a 3-sided animal stall or shade shelter. The fencing and outbuildings were all built in the last 3 years and they're all in great shape. The entire property needs a *huge* cleanup. It's kind of the farm version of "hoarders"....we are itching to get in there and start cleaning up. It's over 2 acres and the perfect size for what we need. 

Our Farm :)

Move in date in 2 weeks... we don't waste time around here!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Spring is finally here!

We had to have Zeb put to sleep last weekend. I think he enjoyed the last little while in the sunshine eating the new grass, but he never got much stronger and he finally got to a point where he was too weak to stand up and graze. 

Goodbye Zeb. We'll all miss you, but your best bud Thomas will miss you the most. 

Lucky for Thomas, he has had plenty of company since the sheep and goats do as they please around the farm. Electric wire fence doesn't stop them - they just go underneath, hang out with Thomas for awhile and leave when they please. The lambs are growing so fast!

This is what happens when you ignore goats and try to take photos of sheep. Also, proof that my hair is now considered similar enough to hay to be worth tasting.

Amelia and Thomas are shedding their coats in giant mats. This is a bad photo, but that's Zoey on the mulch pile with a huge piece of Amelia's wool/hair. Now Oprah, on the other hands...let's just say we newbie farmers had the wool pulled over our eyes (ha.ha) when we were told that Oprah was a hair sheep. Anyone know of any second hand shearers for sale? Having someone come to the farm to shear one sheep seems beyond ridiculous. Plus, Nathan's Australian. 

It's so nice to see the grass coming back after a long winter!

Magpie has 4 healthy chicks following her around in the side coop. A sixth chick hatched really late (the fifth chick died) and he is under the heat lamps with the new batch of broiler chicks. It seemed like Magpie wasn't keeping him warm enough since she was busy showing the older chicks where to eat and drink and scratch around. He is doing well with the broilers but he looks so funny in there! He is about a third of their size...I'll have to take a photo.

Zoey is growing *so fast* now!

She's 4.5 months old now.

Abby loves her sister. Ryan is starting to play with her more, too!