Friday, May 13, 2011

Come see our farm!

Okay, so it's been over a month since I blogged. It's not that I didn't want to. It's just that I've been a tad bit busy.

We've transitioned over to the "river house" (dubbed that because our house is next to a river) from the "log cabin house" (well, it's a log cabin!). There are a few items still at the log cabin house (like the really good chicken manure/compost from the chicken coop that we need to add to our garden), but by and large, we've gotten all moved.

Speaking of the garden, we've gotten a big plot tilled, but up here in northern Minnesota, it's taking a while to warm up. The last frost date is June 6, or thereabouts, so it's not like we're in a super rush. We will probably get some cold-hardy things in this upcoming week if we can, like potatoes and onions. Our attempt at doing transplants is not the greatest, one of those things that I'll just have to practice and improve on over time. But we do have two greenhouses within 5 miles of us, so we'll probably patronize them considering our sad looking starts.
We planted some asparagus roots, as well as transplanted some rhubarb.

We've also added to our collection of animals.
  • Currently, we have approximately 300 baby chicks of various breeds and assorted sizes (red broilers that we got first, cornish cross, and ameraucanas which will add to our laying hen stock in the future), and 18 turkey poults. Oh, and by the way, these will be up for sale in a couple months, so does anyone want to buy some chicken?? :-) Their feed is GMO free, and once my husband can get his moveable chicken pens built, the first group of chicks is going on pasture soon.
    These are some cornish cross chicks, just 3 or 4 days old.
  • Turkey poults huddled by light for a nap. They like to do that. One may think that since they are huddled, they are too cold, but they are fine. They run around outside the pen other parts of the day with no problems.
    These are some red broilers, kind of hard to see. But I wanted to show you their brooder box that my talented husband built. They are soon ready to move out into their chicken tractor.
    A view of our garage. Jeff built all these pens. The farthest one is the red broiler pen where they got moved to at 2 weeks. The left is the cornish cross' pen. The right one is the turkey poults' pen. We had the turkeys and red broilers together for about 2 weeks, but at that point it was time to separate them as the broilers were growing so much faster than the turkeys, it just seemed to work better this way.
    The moveable chicken pen. Once planting season is done, he needs to make more...

  • The pigs are helping to till up our garden right now. We have five, one is a runt, I know. Maybe Wilbur will find a spider named Charlotte.... We plan to put them on pasture within an electric fence, and give them screenings from a local mill and whatever else we round up. But for now, they're small enough to fit inside this re-purposed chicken tractor.
    • Andrew loves to watch them. He also figured out to not stick your finger in the holes. They bite.

  • Albert, our puppy. He's cute and cuddly, and well... a puppy. I have to say, I'm still more of a cat person. I like the independent nature of the cat. Puppies insist on being right in the middle of what you're doing, and get soooo excited about everything. So our hope for Mr. Albert is to grow up to be The Great Protector of our life and liberty, fending off the wild animals of northern Minnesota. He's half Golden Lab, half Great Pyrenees... Great Pyrenees are supposed to be good guard dogs, especially of lifestock. But for now, he's Albert, the puppy, who pulls laundry off the line and follows you around, trying to jump up on you.
  • Two cats, Creamy and Smokey... and Smokey is a girl who appears to be ready to have kittens soon. Oy vey. The third cat could not be caught, so Sharpy will be fending for himself somewhere else.
  • And I can't forget our 18 laying hens (and three roosters will will find themselves in our crockpot soon). They went back into their A-frame outdoor chicken tractor. Currently, they're giving us anywhere between 8 and 12 eggs a day. We personally eat a lot of eggs ourselves, and use some to feed to the baby chicks for additional nutrition. But we hope to increase our egg output with the addition of more laying hens, c'mon Ameraucanas!
And the boys, are doing pretty well. They enjoy all the animals and being outside with Daddy while he's working on his different projects around here. Judah had a little trouble with the transition to the new house, but seems to be adjusting alright. Spring planting started a few days ago, so Jeff's been working a lot for the farmer. It's finally been beautiful and warm, and so it's hard to keep the boys inside.
Andrew likes to play in the sawdust.
They love being outside!
Their dad hooked this together. Judah does really well riding the bike!

We were having fun with the timer on the camera.
5/16/11 -- 20 weeks
As always, I'm still fiddling in the kitchen, but that will have to wait for another post. Until next time...