Here goes….somethin’

Went home to Kentucky to see family last week.  Got in a lovely 2 hour ride with my father, who is in his late seventies, and Marilyn, a friend from the hunt club, on the two farms owned by family out in Simpsonville.

 

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love me a sycamore tree!

love me a sycamore tree!

there is really only one way to travel through country like this-on a horse!

there is really only one way to travel through country like this-on a horse!

We also did a drive by on my Old Kentucky Home-the house looks great.  Some day we will stop in and try to get a tour of the inside (I am betting the shag carpet and loud wallpaper are long gone….).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABack on the farm, the to do list is long!  But I am getting started on the propagation house, and thinking about fencing for the spring garden.

just add plastic....

just add plastic….

this little hoophouse will cost me about $300 for an 8×16 space-and all the materials can be repurposed into moveable animal housing or fencing…..

The garlic and leeks and walking onions are up and look great!  So far the gophers haven’t found them, but I know it is only a matter of time…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAnow…off to put my seed order in!

 

2014-A year I’ll never forget

What a year it has been!

We finally closed on the farm in Gaston last summer, and still I pinch myself everyday I walk out my front door. Especially on days like Christmas morning when I see our local herd of Roosevelt elk passing through and whistling hello.

christmas elk

christmas elk

Playing in the pasture with your very own mustang is a little like having one’s own unicorn.  She is such a fun mix of wild, wise and sweet.

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no caption needed

And the house isn’t nearly done yet but it is getting close!  Soon I will be able to focus on other more farmy projects (like a propagation house….and a wash station….and and and)

gettin' civilized around here..

gettin’ civilized around here..

There is trim and furniture in my very near future, I can feel it!  I hope everyone has had as wonderful and exciting a year as we have, and here is to great things in 2015!  Happy New Year everyone!

Modern amenities

We have internets!

And indoor plumbing!

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Wood fired central heating that works excellently!  It is sleeting and 30 outside, cozy and 70 inside…..

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In farmy news we rotated the chickens onto fresh pasture:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARoosterman inspected and approved.  He really is a nice rooster, and I think the hens are happier and forage more with him around.

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And we continue to be amazed by the incredible wildlife we get to see and hear here at the edge of the forest:

M2E39L138-138R399B310You can see the beginnings of my funny little round raised bed garden down below-I did get a fair amount of garlic in this fall.  The 2015 growing season has already started!

Stay cozy!

 

Busy bees

Here is what we have been up to, not much farming but the fall rains are coming and we need to get the house in shape to live in safely… to prep for the electrician (complete rewire) and the plumber (complete replumb) we pulled trim and cut the lath and plaster at 40″ from the floor throughout the house.  Then we hired an amazing demo crew to come in and demo out the basement, the loft floor in the barn, and all the lath and plaster below our cut.  This will enable the electrician to get in and pull wire quickly, we also got a good look at the framing of the house (which looks amazing for 90 yrs old!), and made sure nothing else was living in walls besides the bees.  And we got those out too-took over a week and I almost got heat exhaustion, but it is done!  Oh, and we built a new set of stairs in the barn.

this fireplace is actually soapstone or marble painted to look like mahogany....it is a pretty good tromp l'oeil!

this fireplace is actually soapstone or marble painted to look like walnut….it is a pretty good trompe l’oeil!

found this beautiful floor under some gross linoleum in the bedroom with the bee closet.  I think we will clear coat and keep it as is.

found this beautiful floor under some gross linoleum in the bedroom with the bee closet. I think we will clear coat and keep it as is.

new barn stairs!

new barn stairs!

scary basement now significantly less scary...and we find out today hopefully if this old wood furnace is still useable...

scary basement now significantly less scary…and we find out today hopefully if this cool old wood furnace is still useable…

Huge huge thanks to Der Lovett deconstruction…they did a beautiful job with the demo and left everything spotless, and finished the house the basement and the barn in something like 14 hours.  They were awesome.  Now we are working on digging a ditch to the equipment shed for power, and hopefully if I get a chance building a colony for the rabbits…who do not seem to ever tire of blackberry canes for breakfast.  And did I mention?  Mustangs love thistles.  And generate a wheelbarrow full of ‘soil amendment’ every day while mowing. 

Osprey has landed!

Sorry for the lack of posting-we are super busy and without internets out in the country.  But not only do we have owls in the woods and swifts in the chimney (no more bees in the closet-hooray!), we have an Osprey in the barn.  Here she is:

 alfalfa for breakfast

alfalfa for breakfast

So far she is adjusting well, doing a great job of mowing down my waist high pastures.  She loves the trail rides, and is very tolerant of the dogs, who are turning into stellar farm dogs, as long as the chickens stay in their yard and coop……we are about to tear into the house for rewiring and replumbing, I have to head back out there to pull nails out of all the trim I removed this week.  Cheers!

We have chickens!

We fixed up the old coop and moved in about 20 hens of various breeds and ages…although several of the pullets are turning out to be cockerels…a good opportunity to go visit Mineral Springs Poultry in a few weeks.  Next we start to tackle the house!

 

coop remodel complete!

coop remodel complete!

Complete with outdoor dining area....

Complete with outdoor dining area….

coop interior

coop interior

first farm eggs

first farm eggs

It is so nice to have hens again….and eggs!

 

 

At last! We have closed at last!

view of the barn

view of the barn

swamping out the barn

swamping out the barn

Bees moved too!

Bees moved too!

apiary view

apiary view

shoring up the old coop

shoring up the old coop

coop swampers extraordinaire

coop swampers extraordinaire

farm glamping

farm glamping

 

As you can see, we have switched out of neutral and into high gear.  Getting on the land so late means we can mostly focus on infrastructure for animals and the garden now, plus get the house liveable and functional in time for winter (we have swifts in the chimney, bees in the closet, and I don’t wanna know what might live in the basement…..).  Here we go!  The dingo and Large Marge the farm truck are already getting put to heavy use.  So far we are having great fun, and at the end of the day we all look like this:

tired farm dog

tired farm dog

cheers!