Woof

Meet the newest addition to our farm.  He was very happy to be adopted from a local animal shelter yesterday. His previous owners had an accidental litter between their two farm dogs and they gave the whole batch to the animal shelter. I adopted this one right before the local Great Pyrenees Rescue picked up the rest of the litter. We are training this little guy to be a multipurpose farm dog. He has quite a bit to learn, but he will already “sit” and “come” on command.

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He doesn’t have a name yet, but we will hopefully come up with something soon. Each kid wants to call him a different name. So far, the possibilities are Silver, Thor, Red, and Merlin. Which name do you think fits him best? Any suggestions?

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He is only 7 weeks old, so he is pretty small right now, but he is going to get very big, very quickly. He is a cross between a Great Pyrenees and an Australian Shepherd. He is a smart puppy. It was 96F out here yesterday, so he decided to take a nap in his water bowl. He didn’t quite fit. I wanted to adopt a girl dog, so I wouldn’t be quite as outnumbered; but, I’m glad we picked this little guy. He seems like a great fit for our family and a wonderful addition to our farming endeavor.

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We are home

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Have I mentioned that I love this place? There is so much to catch up on, that I’m not sure where to begin. I guess I’ll do a quick recap of the last few weeks, then I can go into more detail later.

We have wonderful neighbors. They came over and tilled our garden for us! The garden is much bigger than our last garden. If I had to guess, I would say it is about 1500 – 2000 square feet. The barn in the picture is 3000 square feet, so that should give you an idea of how big the garden area is. We put the garden next to the barn, so we could have easy access to water, once we set up our water catchment system. If you look at the left hand side of the barn, you can see that we started implementing our water catchment, we just need to find a water barrel or tote that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg (at the feed store, they are $180 for 275 gallons, yikes!).

I planted a ton of things, lots of herbs, spinach, kale, swiss chard, lettuce, carrots, onions, strawberries, collard greens, and everything else I had seeds for. I used all of the Spring/Fall seeds that I had. Every single one of them. And I still have 1 row that’s completely empty. How do you like the flour I used to mark my rows?  I couldn’t find the string and nails I usually use, so I had to improvise. I think it worked out rather well.

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The neighbors are older than my parents, and it’s hard for them to plant their garden, so after they tilled our garden with their tractor, I offered our knees and backs and volunteered to plant all of their seeds in their fall garden. It took the kids and I about 2.5 hours to plant their seeds. It was SO worth it. We were treated with homemade ice cream and stories about what this place looked like before we moved in. It’s nice to feel like our neighbors are also going to be great friends. It’s also nice to know that we have other people living out here that are looking out for us and rooting for us.

We planted six fruit trees. Two red delicious apple, two yellow delicious apple, and two Bartlett pears. The red and yellow delicious will pollinate each other. We had to buy two 150′ water hoses in order to keep them watered. We spent about two days trying to tote water to them before we decided that the hoses would be a good investment. Right now, there is a trash bag with holes poked at the bottom, filled with water and attached to each tree. The 4 year old and I spend about 15 minutes each morning filling up the trash bags with water and they slow release all day long. It’s hard to tell in the picture, but the trees are all 25′ apart from each other. Eventually, I’d like an entire fruit tree orchard. I’ll be very happy if we can plant another 6 trees this fall, then 12 more in the spring. We’ll see how that goes. I’m sorry for the cruddy picture, I’ll get some better ones at some point.

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I found some free goats on Craigslist, and DH and the teens went to round them up and bring them home.  They are very skittish around people. One of them went into our freezer. The other three are starting to become friendlier. We now have a 2 year old nanny, and a 7 month old (unrelated) buckling and doeling. Yes, we are crazy and brought them home tied up in the bed of DH’s truck. Luckily, we didn’t have to drive very far with them like this.

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The main problem with free goats is that we were not prepared for them at all. We have a metal barn, and a cattle pen that is meant for loading and unloading cattle. We adapted what we had to what we needed by using things we found. We had 42 pallets and we used metal hangers to tie them around our cattle pen. It’s pretty ugly, but it works for now.

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Here are the goaties trying to figure out how to escape. Uh, I mean, enjoying their new home.

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This is the friendly one of the bunch. She is a sweetie.

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We got our barn cats last weekend, they have to spend two weeks in a holding cell before we can let them wander around. Their names are Marla and Monty and they were found wandering around Moore, OK after the tornado that devastated the town back in May. They seem to be very timid and fearful. I’m bribing them with cat treats and canned food. I hope they decide to stick around once they are released. I don’t have a picture of them yet, they keep hiding whenever they hear the click of my camera. Silly kitties. I’m getting another batch of water kefir and another batch of composting worms next week. We should also have a litter of rabbits next Wednesday. There is always more to do, we just have to pace ourselves so we don’t get overwhelmed. My farm chores take about 30 minutes a day right now, once the garden starts growing, it will increase by an hour or two each day. It’s manageable right now, but I could see how it could easily get out of control. It really is worth it though – we are home!

 

We have internet!

After almost a month, we are back online. Yay! I have a lot to report. We’ve been very busy on the homestead. We planted six fruit trees, started a large fall garden, acquired two barn cats, acquired four pygmy goats, slaughtered a goat, started to set up a rain water catchment system, and unpacked (almost) all of our boxes. We’ve only been living here for 20 days, so I’d say that we are making really good progress.

I have pictures and tons of fun things to blog about, but they are going to have to wait. Right now, we are going to go fishing and enjoy the sunset.

Life here is better than anything I could have imagined. I love this place.

Home

We officially moved to our new property last Wednesday, August 28th. It’s going to take another week or two until we get internet set up, so I apologize for the lack of posts.

Even with all of the headaches and hassles, making the move from the city to the country has been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.

I will post a better update as soon as I can.