Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Small move

Hello to all of my friends who read this blog. I'm making a small move. We finally decided on a name for the farm, Tilton Hollow Farm. We wanted to create a page that had the name in the page address. You can find me now here. I hope you'll come along. We also have a page on Facebook. You can just search for Tilton Hollow Farm.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Catch up

Ok, a lot happened in that first month here at the farm. I was just too busy to write about it at the time. Let's recap...

The previous owners hasn't mowed in about a month and had also left the attic and both barns full of their stuff (oh, and didn't clean). After the epic battle of the dust bunnies, we got the place looking great. We still have their stuff in the barn/attic. We're going to have a big barn sale and hopefully raise enough money to add the second bathroom (yes, there is that much out there).

On the advice of OFG (you'll see her name a lot as she has become my farm guru as well as my favorite author), I ordered a bucket o' barncats. Well, techinically I didn't order them.  There's a program in central Ohio that relocates feral city cats that get the residents up in arms to farms where they can become barn kitties. I called the program office and left a message. A week later, someone showed up with 3 feral cats. They weren't completely wild and they were gorgeous, healthy cats. They've been altered, tested, and vaccinated (and maybe washed and buffed). You're supposed to keep the kitties in your barn for a couple weeks so they'll get a little used to you and learn where their food comes from. Well..... I went out the next morning and couldn't find a single cat. They escaped. Since then, I've seen each of them from time to time (nowhere near my barn where the food and mice (more food) are located. We'll see how that one works out.

We had a small riding mower which we knew wouldn't be a longterm solution but should work until we get something bigger. It mowed one strip and fell over dead. We ended up with a larger Cub Cadet lawn tractor (apparently people don't like it when you call a 'lawn tractor' a 'lawnmower'. It does great.

As seen from the pic in my previous post, I got the garden tilled (with a Cub Cadet tiller as well). I still haven't planted everything, but I'm doing what I can. It will work out, and I bet I'll have the best fall/winter garden around ;-)

My flock is getting big, in both mass and numbers. I need to slow down and build them a poultry mansion. I don't like to do things small... The top of my to-do list is to get outside access for my birds. They're getting to that age. I have some electric netting on the way, as well as field fencing sitting in the barn. I bought the field fence at TSC on sale for when we get goats. I bought it because it was on sale. I plan on also stringing at least two, maybe three, wires of electric to keep the goats in and the beasties out (again on the advice of OFG).

Speaking of TSC, where has this store been all my life. Ok, I probably wouldn't have much use for livestock antibiotics when I was living in Columbus, but still... They've started to call to see if I'm ok if I skip a day shopping there.  I'm almost not kidding...

We had a great housewarming/birthday for me with a lot of our friends and family as well as a great Memorial Day. It has been a crazy, busy, exhausting month, but we've never been happier.

Now, some pics so it's not just a big wall of words:
The clematis started blooming this week
as did the water lilies. They don't even look real.

The girls (dogs) treed a groundhog. I didn't know they could climb trees!
One of my favorite chickens, Mama, experiencing the big, scary, outside for the first time.
The ducks experiencing the pond for the first time and having a blast...
Just ask Jack, the Muscovy duckling (my niece named him).
The ducks and geese playing nice for the moment. The geese can be bullies, but those tiny little Muscovies can hold their own.
 Until next time,

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Welcome to our farm

It's hard to believe we've been here over a month now. My hat is off to all my fellow farm bloggers. I don't know how you find time to do your blogs. I've finally settled into a routine, so hopefully I'll be able to keep you up-to-date now. Working full-time, going to school part-time, and starting a new farm can keep you hopping. School is out for the summer so I can focus more on the farm. Let's start with a mini-tour of the farm...
The kitchen I've been yearning for...

One of the two ponds and the barns...

Here's my really late started garden...

Here are my two best farm friends (besides the dogs of course)...

Some of the ever-growing flock...

Hopefully these updates will come more regularly now.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Took the plunge...

Alright, I couldn't wait any longer. I've been going to TSC regularly and resisting the urge to get chicks. Thursday, my willpower gave out. I bought 8 chicks. I'm telling you, watching these little peeps is way better than TV. Here are most of them:
Sophie likes them too. They smell like her treats.

Chad's practicing for farm life. I think he likes his new rubber boots more than he admits.

Just a few more days. We take possession on Wednesday. I'm getting very anxious. I made invitations for our housewarming today. Here's the picture I used which is from the 1875 census of our county. There was a great sketch of our farm in it.

Stay tuned. Happy Easter everyone!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thinking like a farmer...

I think it's starting, and we haven't even moved in yet. I'm starting to equate expenses in farm costs. We had an unexpected bill for $900. The first thought that pops into my head is, "That could buy the fencing." We had to buy a plane ticket to bring our son up (which I'm glad to do) and I thought, "That's a goat or two." My econ teacher never talked about this method...

Speaking of fence, I need some suggestions. I am planning (key word 'planning') on having goats, chickens, maybe a mini donkey and a couple sheep. Anyone who knows me would say I should plan on fencing for elephants because my lists tend to grow... My impulsiveness aside, sticking with the 'real' list, what are your recommendations for fencing? I've been looking at electric netting. It seems to be pretty versatile. I like being able to move it easily if I want my herd to graze somewhere else. Do any of you have experience with it (and I'm hoping it's more than my friends reading this by now because most of them probably didn't realize there were more types of fencing besides chain link and picket)?

Tomorrow will start the 1 week countdown to move-in day. I'm getting very excited. I'm working on getting the 'bucket o' barncats' as OFG suggested. I have a breeder friend holding some Royal Palm poults for me as well as some Ameracauna chicks. I have 40+ seedling trees with their roots loosely covered with soil. I purchased these from the Soil and Water Conservation District. They are all native species, and most of them are some type of fruit, nut, or berry. One group is specifically for riparian areas (pussy willow, osier dogwood, etc.). I'm going to have a very busy first week.

I'm taking a couple weeks of work for my move-cation. I know it will be busy, but I think it's going to be more relaxing than any vacation. I'm just about to burst from the excitement of moving to MY OWN farm (and Chad's). Stay tuned for updates.


P.S. If anyone had told me twenty years ago that TSC would be my favorite shopping destination, they would have received a look of death as I dashed off to the mall. Funny how time changes us.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weekend Visitation

We got to visit our farm today. The previous owner wanted to show us all the technical stuff about the house. She ended up telling us a lot more. She had a few pictures from the previous owners who comepletely remodeled the place. It was a dairy in the 50's (and hopefully again in the 2010's ;-) ). When we were driving in I remarked that the trees lining the road looked like apple trees. My eyes didn't fail me. We have 5 apple trees. The owner said they make the best wormy apples you could ever want for pies. I've read up on organic methods to prevent worms. Let's just say I'll be placing an order for a box of those little footies you're supposed to use when you try on shoes while barefooted.... I'm not sure I can imagine slipping one of those around every apple. Maybe the worms can have a few.

The deer was STILL in the pond. I'm going to go out this week and mow the yard, and I'll try to get it out then. Anyone know where you can rent a haz mat suit in central Ohio? Ewwwwww. We have honesuckle growing on a trellis right outside the kitchen windows. I told Chad I might actually do dishes if I got to smell honeysuckle every time I did them. I don't think he bought it. There is at least one licac bush (which made me very happy). The front door is flanked by holly bushes. She said that the dead vine growing wildly up the barn is some type of jasmine. I didn't know jasmine would come back out here. The daffodils were putting on a lovely show for our arrival.

You can just tell that there has been so much love in this house over the last 200 years. I got a little emotional at times walking around taking in all of the beauty. On a not so beautiful note, it seemed like it was fly hatching day on the farm. They were everywhere. The previous owner claimed they never had problems in the house. I plan on getting muscovy ducks, and I've read that they can reduce your fly population by 90%. There were a pair of Canada geese hanging out at the pond and one wild mallard. Hopefully they'll have some friends soon. I hope the geese aren't the crazy mean kind. I plan on giving them their space, but you know I'm going to want to cuddle one of the goslings when they show up...

In closing, this is one of my favorite spots on the farm. It reminds me of a southern plantation for some reason. I can't wait to sit there on a warm (or rainy) day sipping ice tea (or something stronger...) and enjoying the beautiful view. Waanna join me?