Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pit bulls and chickens don't mix

So we have had our first farm fatality today or so we think. I had let the chickens out when I left for work because they hate being shut in their run and they yell at me constantly till I give in.  Usually when I let them out I text Tommy that they are out so he makes sure he doesn't let the dogs out. Well guess what I forgot to do today?

So here is a picture of our birds there are four of them pictured and now apparently there are only three. My cute little pup lulu when she was let out chased all four chicken to the far reaches of the globe and only 3 have come back.
Oh well lessoned learned pit bulls cant resist chasing down a chicken. You live and you learn. Sorry poor little chickie hope it was quick.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

my day job my weekend job and pushing buttons

Photo: Right now

This is my desk at work. There are little hints here and there that let you know I am unusual that I like to grow vegetables in my spare time from the little farm bureau stuffed horse, the no farms no food sticker and lastly the Hoegger calendar with  April's baby goat picture are all clues that I have something else going on besides my day job.

The good thing about our farm (aka our backyard) is that it is so small I cant even toy with the idea of working on farm full time and giving up my day job. Not that I wouldn't mind working closer to home and maybe finding something a little more emotionally satisfying but for now I am okay where I am. To be honest I like working in an office ever since I saw the movie 9-5 I have been fascinated with office work but honestly I think I just like pushing buttons. Which makes my present job a good fit because I get to push A LOT of buttons. Maybe one day we can make enough income from the farm that I can work part time somewhere and it would be nice to be able to devote more time to growing things so fingers crossed that can happen in the near future. I would also like to add some livestock to our farm but until I am home more that cant happen. I can barely manage to let the dogs out before I go to work so I think trying to milk a goat is out of the question.

This is a picture of my weekend job...this was taken when we first broke ground 2 years ago. I call this field Big Mama because its the biggest field we have growing stuff. It can handle about 32 60ft rows of vegies and its one of my favorite places to be in the world. If you have read this blog before you know that I sometimes struggle with how small we are and that I often feel like not a real farmer because we are so small. Well good news I think I am finally moving past all the angst and just accepting who we are for what we are. I had a great talk last weekend with another farmer down the road who is quite a bit bigger than us and while we were talking I pointed out all the good points of being our size from not having to have a tractor, not having to hire help and figure out benefits and paychecks, being able to use our home well to water, and to maybe most importantly of all the fact that everything we sell I have grown from probably a seed and everything is weeded by me picked my me washed by me and well sometimes by tommy too. So for us I think the benefits of being small far out weigh the negatives. Frankly when I walk the 196 acres that surround my house and think what would you do if this was all yours honestly it makes my stomach hurt. Maybe I am finally okay with just being me and 3 dogs barking farms being the quirky little nano farm that it is.

promise of things to come a pic from last year....

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Almost time to get planting and introducing the new puppy Booker.

Photo: farmers fields

We mowed part of the garden the other day in order to get ready to start planting. Depending on the weather we might try and get the peas in soon hopefully it wont rain too much during the next couple of days. I like the picture above its such a spring picture everything is still brown but you can start to see the green popping through. Only a matter of time before its so green you cant get your head around how brown it was just a short time ago. Funny how fast we leave winter behind.

When I started this farm in my backyard we had 3 dogs so logically I named it 3 dogs barking farms well we lost two of them last year and we were down to only one dog who only sometime barked. But I am happy to announce we have a new puppy his name is Booker or aka "the tiny terror" here is a picture of him looking sad at being tied up.

Photo: booker looking cute

He is lucky he is so cute because he really is a puppy in every sense of the word good and bad. So here is to having 2 dogs once again and I am hoping he is a mad chaser of voles, voles are on my hit list this year! They ate my fall beets last year and as you can tell I am still bitter about it. In other farm type news we are still seeding away like mad with more to do it seems everyday. My dining room table is now working double time as a potting bench. Oh one day maybe we will have a small greenhouse so my dining room can be an actual dining room! Oh and I sold our first dozen eggs today at work! Oh cool is that!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

looking for a meaningful life and spring for that matter.

Spring was here then spring was gone then it nicely came back again only to go away again. Spring what a fickle beast you are. Hopefully if the weather report is correct Spring should show back up later in the week. Thank goodness because I feel like its February again and being the stubborn mule I am starting on April 1st I have refused to wear a coat.

I have been reading Walden maybe for the first time but probably not I took "Nature in American Literature" twice in college because I failed it the first time (not for lack of understanding mind you more for a lack of not doing one presentation) and someone erroneously told me that if you take it again and do well it will wipe out the F. Um not so much both times I took it remained on my transcript and I had to sit through the class twice. Argh. But anyway re-reading it now and this quote I thought summed up spring just right.

"They were pleasant spring days, in which the winter of man's discontent was thawing as well as the earth, and the life that had lain torpid began to stretch itself."

I already feel like I am behind farming wise but I was smart this year I padded the dates I needed to get things seeded by and it turns out that I am on time for most early for some and late on a few. Funny when you learn how to trick yourself. I have 9 flats to seed when I get home hopefully I will have the energy but I will probably get some done today and the rest over the next few days. But all should be well. Hopefully if the weather turns warmer and the ground dries out we can actually get dirty soon. Can't wait! I love the smell of dirt. Hell I even like the smell of manure although I prefer horse to cow. Too much information? Perhaps.

I have been thinking a lot lately on a slightly deeper level than usual mainly thanks to a wonderful blog I started reading a few months back written by Jon Katz if you don't read it add it to your list he talks about things that every human should give some time to thinking about. His website is In addition to being a fine writer his photography is pretty amazing and has inspired me to take more photos which is something I enjoy doing and a good creative outlet for me. Funny I took some picture of the dogs the other day and my husband looked at them and said wow you have changed these are amazing and I replied you know what the difference is? I tried. Interesting. So check Jon out it might make a difference in your life like it has mine.

One of the things he talks about is leading a meaningful life. Being an atheist and being pretty sure that this life is the only one I am going to get a crack at I need to start living my life with more meaning. Starting the farm has helped because growing things not only makes me happy but it give me a lot of self worth and makes me feel like I am part of a solution to a problem instead of just part of the problem. Here is another quote that pretty much sums up why I want to grow food.

The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter. - Bill Mollison

I still have A LOT of work to do in moving towards a more meaningful life and a big part of that I think for me will be finding outlets for my creativity. Unfortunately I still have an off-farm job and probably will for quite awhile so its important for me I think to find things that fulfill me on a creative level since I spend my days talking about paper. Not the worst thing to talk about but not the most fulfilling. I think this blog helps channel many of the thoughts that ramble around in my head and is almost in some ways like therapy. Taking photographs and needlework also adds to the puzzle. Funny there have two times I have consulted a physic and both times they told me I needed to do something creative with my life. Well I have yet to listen 100% but I am getting there. One thing I am really getting in touch is that life seriously is a journey and the path is the goal (to borrow from the Buddha) and we cant stop learning and growing at any age. If you think you have it all figured out at 30 you have another thing coming because you might have hopefully figured out a thing or two but you don't even know what you are going to have to figure out later so just relax and look forward to the challenge.