Time with Family

 We've had family visiting for most of the month of June.  With my dad and stepmother coming up on weekends, my brother in from Bogota for 3 weeks and my mom, sister and stepdad coming over from Oklahoma for a week.  The kids had a blast with all the company...

Playing up on the hill,

and watching a well get drilled

and playing some more

Building a new chicken coop inside the old house

The boys hammered most of the flooring in themselves

And helped my brother patch holes and build the little chicken door. 

We had a couple cookouts up on the hill

Complete with s'mores!

 We took a walk in the Bent Creek Experimental Forest

And found a little swimming hole

When the lake beach was too crowded

Annika showed no fear in the water. 

We also managed a new pasture for some of the goats, which I will post about later.  Everyone headed home early this week, and the boys have been catching up on sleep and missing everyone. And looking forward to next time.


The Baby Bird

A baby bird fell out of a tree.  Cale picked it up and we put it in a bucket under the tree it came from. They boys all sat back to watch and keep it safe from our cats. 

He cried for his mama

Until she came and fed him

Dad came too. They took turns feeding and flying over the little bird.

He had some wing feathers, but still couldn't fly. We hung the basket high in the tree while we went about our day. But he wouldn't stay. He jumped out many times. While we ate dinner under the tree he jumped and mama came to him on the ground. 

She jumped and flew over him and tried to do the same. He followed her across the yard into the brush. And started to climb low trees and bushes with many branches. 

Good-Bye Little Bird


The Garden: Disappointment, Frustration and Overcoming

 Back about 8 or 9 years ago, I planted my first garden. It consisted of tilling the ground and planting. My intention was to see how fertile the land was naturally. It wasn't. The garden produced some edibles and lots of weeds. But what I also learned that year was that with 2 little ones it was virtually impossible to keep the garden weeded- at it wasn't even that big!  So we started using cloth and plastic mulch to help keep weeds down. It worked, but I didn't really want to use it- or buy it every year. 

So this year, in our new garden at our new home, I decided I didn't want to use plastic any more. But for some reason I forgot why I used it in the first place. We started with a nicely tilled chunk of land, we worked hard to pull out all the roots and such that could grow again. And we planted. Somewhere around 100 tomato plants, lots of herbs, 20 or so pepper plants, 6 different varieties of summer squash.....

And then....

The wind blew. Or gusted. Or howled. And I learned that even though I didn't need to harden off my plants back in our old garden. I do here. The free range chickens free ranged right into the garden and scratched around. The dogs chased each other around the yard- and the garden. And the grass grew. And grew. And I remembered that I had a hard time keeping a small garden weeded with 2 kids and now I have a huge garden with 5 way was I going to keep it up. I tried. I kept a weedless circle around the base of most plants. But when the wind stopped and the chickens lost interest and the dogs got fenced. I was left with 30 tomato plants. And 2 squash and much less peppers. I was also left with what looked like  a yard with plants sticking up out of it. 

I was frustrated and disappointed and all those negative things. But then what plants survived got strong, Paul brought home about 36 free tomato plants, 36 free zucchini plants and 50+ free sweet potato plants. We planted beans in the tomato rows to fill in the empty spaces. And we got mulch. 

And the boys worked really hard to tear and soak boxes. Lay them in the garden and shovel the mulch on top. We aren't 100% done. We need more boxes and we will need more wood chips to make the mulch as deep as it should be. 

But what we are left with is so much nicer.

The garden looks healthier, it's easier to get through and not accidentally step on a plant.

And although it seems later than usual to me, things are starting to grow. Green tomatoes and tiny zucchini. And potatoes almost ready to be dug from the ground.


Naming the Farm

Over the past 6 months or so we have been trying to come up with a name for our farm and any various business ventures that will come from it in the future. It's been harder that I would have thought it to be. Partially because I am working with the such imaginative help of 4 young boys.

The fact that Thor, Scooter and Scout are always referred to as The Buck n' Boys prompted that to be added to the suggested farm name list by one of [my] boys.  Either that or Buckin' Boys Farm

 We thought about keeping with Morning Glory, since that is what I started back in TN, but back there our yard was covered with Morning Glories. Here? Not so much. 

We talked about how to include the various animals we plan on raising here.  And the possible products we might sell. Milk. Fiber. Chickens. Eggs. Produce. The boys brilliant name combining fiber and dairy? 

The Hairy Milk Farm

Sounds appealing, huh? They really wanted that one.

Then there are all those words, words used to describe the land around us, that could be added. Acres, Hill, Valley, Creek, Mountain....

So, after much deliberation....

We still don't have a name.

Oh well. Someday soon the perfect name will come to us. Either that we will procrastinate until we really need one and pick the best option on the list.

(linked to the Homestead Barn Hop)