Baby ducklings are on the way!!

I’m so proud of my mama duck! She finally decided to sit on her nest. It only took 25 eggs to get her to stay. If you remember they will usually sit when they have between 12-18 eggs but it took her a little longer to commit to it.

20140403-200418.jpg
Now she stays on that nest all day and all night rain or shine. She comes off of it shortly for food and water and then runs right back to the nest. It takes 35 days for the Muscovy ducks to hatch. I’m thinking it will be the beginning of May!

While she’s been on this nest the other ducks have been trying to start their own clutch. But I keep collecting their eggs because we can’t handle that many ducklings. Well last week they quit laying their eggs and I figured it was just because I kept picking them up. I’ve read that if they aren’t able to have a clutch of eggs they will stop laying so I figured that’s what happened. Until we noticed a dozen eggs hidden behind a tree earlier this week! Those girls are so smart hiding eggs from me I’ll have to be careful and keep an eye on them!

20140403-201224.jpg

I took a delivery of 4 dozen quail eggs to the farm store today because the Vintage Press Restaurant requested them for this weekend. If you are not familiar with them it is one of the fancier restaurants in the area. We are very excited about being able to provide them eggs. So if you’re in the area check them out and get the quail eggs πŸ™‚

When we got home we noticed a swarm of bees in our tree!

20140403-201920.jpg

We think they are our bees and they split the hive or they left their hive. Hopefully they split it since we were planning to get another one this year anyway. Just have to figure out how to get them out of the tree and into the box. YouTube my friend I hear you can teach me anything πŸ™‚
>

Weekend flower arrangement

20140316-204830.jpg
This weekend we got quite a few things taken care of. I planted a couple of our new flower beds with some of the seeds I got. I ordered 55 dahlia bulbs and just couldn’t wait any longer for them to get here that I bought 6 bulbs from Home Depot. They just looked so pretty!

We were able to give away four of our newly adopted chicks to some friends. We decided to keep 2 of the Rhode Island Red chickens and 1 speckled Sussex chicken. We introduced these 3 to our 6 Plymouth barred rock chickens. They did pretty well. There was a bit of a pecking order to be established but now they are all cuddling together. The other 6 Cornish cross chickens are almost about ready to be moved outside. It amazes me how quickly these chickens grow.

I’ve added a new page to the website for our handcrafted soaps. Soon it will be complete with photos and an Etsy shop where you can purchase soap. In the meantime please feel free to email us and we will be happy to sell you some of our wonderful soap!

I’m very excited to have the comments feature back on the website!! I really couldn’t figure out why it had worked but then stopped. But oh well it’s fixed now so please feel free to comment on anything you might be thinking or wondering about us!

A Beautiful Life FARM?

My friend asked for a farm tour this week after she bought a dozen eggs from me. “It’s not really a farm” was my response. I just don’t want people to get their hopes up about this big fully functioning farm. It’s an acre and a third with some raised beds and some animals is how I see it. Sure small farms can produce A LOT of food on an acre and a third. Some small farms can feed whole communities on an acre and a third. We don’t do that. We play with our goats. We grow some food. We sell some of it but we feed most of it to the goats. They really are happy goats πŸ™‚

Well this weekend really helped us start to feel a little bit more like a farm. We were able to finish some of the projects we’ve been working on for quite awhile. Like the corral :

20140309-213129.jpg
See that bottom rung that Buttermilk is leaning against? We finally finished that after a year!!! Took us 10 minutes lol!
We also added sod to the bunny barn.

20140309-213333.jpg
And we finished the yoga circle!

20140309-213419.jpg
Doesn’t it look amazing?

We took a couple of new soap bars to the KMK Organic Farm Store. It was so exciting to see that we were almost sold out of the Plain Jane Oats And Honey. As soon as we thought we were caught up we’re going to need to start making more back stock! We also dropped off a couple dozen duck and quail eggs to start selling there. During this drop off I also slipped in a couple bouquets of flowers to see if they sold.

20140309-213940.jpg
The next day the store manager text me saying they sold out of our flowers in two hours and asking for more of them. What a great feeling it is to watch people really enjoying the things we’ve made.

This morning we all had a great laugh at one of our ducks that decided to perch in our olive tree.

20140309-214206.jpg
All of the other ducks were really mad they couldn’t figure out how to get up there with her.

And lastly the weekend flower arrangement. Since most of the flowers went to the farm store I went with a simple but elegant display of Icelandic poppies.

20140309-214330.jpg

Baby it’s cold outside!

It’s been a miserable week for me I worked 52 hours and 23 of them were straight through followed by a 2 hr sleep break and 4 more hours of work. Every night since Tuesday except 1 has been freezing. They were even talking snow yesterday which only happens about every 10 years. I haven’t been able to take care of the garden or animals during this time but Scott and Tanner did great and everyone made it through. Except some confused flowers that decided to bloom in the last couple of weeks.

20131208-213245.jpg

20131208-213305.jpg
The flowers and peas seem to be crying in such sadness from the frost.

20131208-213349.jpg
This ornamental kale was the only one that really seemed to be smiling.

20131208-213439.jpg
And this poor duck was definitely unhappy until I broke the ice on her pond!

2 years

2 years ago today I decided to let myself fall in love with my husband. I didn’t really have much choice in the matter even though I liked to think I did. It’s been the happiest two years of my life and the best decision I’ve ever made. Thank you love for these years πŸ™‚

I bought this camellia in celebration since our house seemed to be missing one.

20131122-195709.jpg

Our first real rain!

We are officially in the driest year of recorded history for our area. It’s the middle of November and we haven’t stopped wearing shorts out in the garden and sweating when we work outside on the weekends. So when the weather forecast calls for rain even if it’s just 30% it’s all anyone is going to talk about for that week. Well it sprinkled last night and we woke up with a wet driveway and clear blue sky’s. This is how our rain has been, small raindrops that sneak in at night and leave before we wake up. We were really hoping for some measurable rain this time.

Then this evening the sky opened up and the wind blew in and we have been having a very hard downpour for the last hour. The goats were not thrilled about this strange water falling from the sky but the ducks sure loved it! We haven’t finished roofing the rabbit barn so it’s not quite water tight but it’s fully covered and I think everyone will be fine in there.

One of our big accomplishments to cross off the to do list last weekend was building the actual quail tractor. We made it entirely out of scrap we had around the house. Thanks dad for all the random stuff you find us πŸ™‚

20131120-211725.jpg

20131120-211741.jpg

We combined the quail from both rabbit cages into this portable tractor that we will move around to different parts of the field so they can graze on the grass and weeds. We also give them plenty of feed to avoid fights. There was a little bit of a pecking order establishing when we combined the two groups but everyone seems to have handled it pretty well. I’m sure the quail were pretty happy in their new home during this storm.

Happy Friday!!!

Friday couldn’t have come sooner after our difficult start to the week. I left to work on Monday almost certain I was saying my last goodbye to our 12 year old lab Ansel. He wouldn’t get up and wouldn’t eat anything. Scott took him to the vet and they said everything looked fine gave him some meds and a couple days later he was back to normal!

20131108-201814.jpg
Other than that rough start the week has been pretty good. We’ve collected 4 quail eggs from Goldie. The first one came on a day when I said to myself “Goldie must be a boy” because she wakes us up singing every morning. Scott even called her our little rooster that morning. So when tanner told us there was an egg I didn’t believe him (especially since this isn’t the first time he’s joked about eggs) but the boy who cried egg was telling the truth!

20131108-202621.jpg
The other quail aren’t laying yet because they aren’t getting enough light in these shorter days. I’m adding a solar light to their cages which will hopefully help encourage them to lay.

Our ducks and chickens have continued to supply us with more eggs than we can eat! Hopefully they can keep it up through the winter. We aren’t adding any lights to their pens because it’s just to difficult with the way the corral is set up.

To celebrate Friday we decided to make homemade pizzas. It was a fun experiment with a really tasty outcome!

20131108-203235.jpg

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Lockdown!

The quail went into lockdown on Friday night which means I take them out of their egg turner and lay them on the floor of the incubator. I increased their humidity and now I’m not allowed to open the incubator again until they hatch and dry off. No matter what! Lockdown! Lol! Well hopefully some of them hatch.

20130901-081742.jpg

Let’s talk about what a creepy week we’ve had. It started Wednesday when the plum trees started getting torn down. Then Friday the smoke from the Rim Fire rolled in. Now there is a haze of smoke in the sky mixed in with the clouds just hovering over us. Yesterday evening the sun turned blood red. And this morning we woke up to hundreds of shot guns. Welcome September 1 the start of dove hunting season! I don’t think we’ll be working in the field until the shotguns stop. They are hunting in the fields right behind ours! What a strange week we’ve had.