Chicks get an upgrade!

Seven weeks ago our six baby chicks looked like this :

Now they look like this :

They haven’t been as difficult to raise inside as the ducks were. They are very low maintenance but their feathers are all over our spare room. They don’t usually have access to all those boxes it’s only during the pen clean out time. This is where they have been living :

Today we let them hang out in their new house

They couldn’t figure out the ramp yet so they spent half the day on the bottom and for the second half of the day I put them inside.

The ducks were very curious about their new neighbors!

We brought the chicks back inside for the night we will give them a couple more days to adjust to the cold weather outside.

Farm Life

It’s been a very difficult week for us here. Our duckling Daphne started having trouble walking several weeks ago and it progressively got worse. After a family discussion we decided it would be best to put her down because she only seemed to be in pain. Then on Friday when we came home from work and put our Jersey Wooly rabbit on the ground to let her hop around she pulled herself by her front legs and her back legs just dragged behind her. After a visit to the vet this morning we discovered her back was broken. We aren’t sure how this happened she is in a cage by herself. Thankfully it seemed like she wasn’t in any pain. Hopefully next week will have happier things to post about.

Garden walk

Most days I go to work when it’s dark and I come home when it’s dark. Sometimes if it’s been too many days since I’ve seen the garden I’ll put a headlamp on and go look around. It’s a real treat when I get to come home a little early and actually see what is growing in the sunlight! Today was one of those days thanks to Tanner’s 6th grade band performance.

We put up this arch which really added a lot to our field

                     

I planted these seeds about two weeks ago

Here are some more peas, Brussels sprouts, beets, daikon, carrots and cabbage


Everything seems really happy with the hoop house!

Job perks

One of the greatest things about working in a kitchen is all the scrap food I get to take home. Every night we dump our salad bar and I collect it along with coffee grounds. I usually get 3 full five gallon buckets each week and they get added to the compost bin.

You can see cars in the background of the picture of the compost bin. We are located right next to an apartment complex. We are technically the first house in the county. It’s nice to live close enough to walk to the store but still be allowed to have farm animals. Apparently barking dogs aren’t allowed. We learned that the first couple of weeks when the sheriff let us know he really likes what we are doing but we need to quiet the dogs.

Head count

Let’s do a head count this morning of everything we have to feed here!

  • 6 ducks
  • 6 chicks
  • 5 rabbits
  • 4 big dogs
  • 2 piranha like fish
  • 2 geckos
  • 1 White’s tree frog
  • 1 snake
  • 3 humans
  • 20 crickets (Yes we have to feed the food!)

That’s why mornings get to be so rushed!

Silly little ducklings!

Not sure which is sillier me or the ducklings. It’s been pouring rain for three days straight and we have huge puddles in the field. As I looked out the window in my warm clothes I noticed the ducklings at the fence staring at the puddles and the water coming from the sky. I told Tanner lets take the ducks out to play in the rain! We opened their enclosure and lured them out with bread. Once they were free they explored in their pack our field and waded in the puddles.

I miss my garden

This adventure in self sufficiency started on Valentine’s Day 2012. I had mentioned in conversations how I would like a garden in the corner of my front yard (since anything in the backyard belongs to the dogs). I came home from work on a rainy Valentine’s Day to this :

3 lovely planter boxes! I’m not sure Scott realized what he did when he built those for me.

We enjoyed many salads out of those boxes. Before we realized it the entire front yard was surrounded by containers of edibles. That spring we grew zucchini, corn, strawberries, beans, mint, basil, green onions, peas, tomatoes, beets and swiss chard and edible flowers.

Then we started looking for a house that would fit all of us. We each have two dogs so we needed something with land so the 4 dogs could run wild. We tried a couple different houses until we found the one of our dreams. A five bedroom house that was an assisted living home with almost an acre of undeveloped land around it. The front and back yards were completely fenced in and after the utility blue carpet and blue rubber base boards were removed and the bars were removed from the showers and bathrooms it began to feel like a home.

Six weeks before we moved into the house we planted the garden into the field. We were supposed to move into the house the next week but with a few difficult issues it took another six weeks. We both always held our breath when we pulled up to water out of fear that the garden would have been destroyed by the angry seller.

This garden fed us all through summer. We had tomatillos, broccoli (Yes we learned it should have been saved for the fall but it was still good!), onions, corn, swiss chard, eggplant, cucumbers, beans and one of the tastiest and juiciest cantaloupe we have ever had.

But now I feel a loss of my garden. The weather is turning cold and our nights have dipped occasionally below 32 which has killed off our summer vegetables and this is all I have left.

Our timing was off this fall we had too many other projects to focus on before we were able to dig furrows or build a hoophouse or move over my Valentine’s boxes. Which unfortunately has created a lull in our fresh vegetables. We have enjoyed two beautiful Daikon radishes and snipped greens off of the leaves of our root vegetables just to try and have something fresh. Soon enough our winter garden will be producing more than we will know what to do with but until then I am in a state of longing.