A little tour around the place…

Katheryn thinks she’s the queen of the wheelbarrow… but I think she has another think coming…


Because Bucka Roo is the Cock of the Rock!  Or at the very least, King of the Wheelbarrow!

Silly chickens.  I don’t know what other farm people do without free ranging chickens?  I mean, we get so much enjoyment out of our free range group, it’s like getting an extra movie channel on your cable TV!  We have the best time watching their silly antics.  And they love to hang out with us.  We always have at least five or six chickens following us around and experiencing everything we do.


The pigs are getting so big!  My gosh, I think they are really called hogs now.  They are almost four months old.  I would say that they are easily a hundred pounds, if not close to one hundred and fifty pounds.  The boars are definately heavier than our one little girl, Butterscotch.  But she’s not too far behind for sure!

I gave them a half bale of hay, partially for feed because they will eat it, but mostly for fun.  They adore having a bale of hay or straw to run around in, fling all over and just basically be silly piglets.  They root around in it, and they roll in it, it’s very funny to watch them.  They will strew it all over the barn and it does help considerably with the mud level in there.  It’s just funny to watch them entertain themselves.


Mmmm…. what’s for dinner?

If we didn’t wire the bucket to the gate they would tip it in an instant!  At least with a wire or two, it stays relatively in place.  It’s their combination slop bucket, water bucket and play pit.


Butterscotch is playing cutie pig in the hay.  She is so silly.  They all are.  They rip around in the barn like cats, dashing here and there, squeeling and trying to nibble each other’s little tail stubbie.  They dig and play in the water, and vocalize all the time to each other and us.  When the hog industry says that those factory cages where each hog can’t even turn around and move is okay for them and their growth, I just can’t beleive it.  Not after seeing our own batch of hogs grow, day to day.  They play, they roll and wiggle, chase each other and just act like total goofballs.  These pigs are so happy.  That’s just you know what, the thinking that they don’t mind being confined in near darkness and just fed until they are slaughter.  It’s rediculous.  Of course these animals care.  Of course, they don’t know any better but given five minutes in a roomy stall with friends, hay, mud and water, they will be playing and enjoying themselves.  You know they will.


What a sweetie.  Butterscotch is taking a little break from her play to rest a few moments.  I wonder what she’s thinking about.  Probably wondering what lunch might be.  Or where she will take her sunshine nap.  Something delightful I’m sure.  These pigs are always interested in us and what we are doing.  They like to be scratched and they love to sniff your hands and will lick you if you let them.  They are getting to be a little pushy, not in a mean way, just in a big way.  Like if you were sudden beloved by a pack of St. Bernard puppies.  We don’t get in their enclosure that much anymore, just to fix things or shovel a bit of piggy mud out.  We can section them off in one area or another if we need to. It’s just safer that way.  And less messy.  With four of them, they can be very rambunctious!


I’m so surprised and thrilled that this acorn squash is growing out of a little pile of compost that got left by the barn door!  What really surprises me is that the pony and sheep have left it alone.  All around they graze, but they won’t eat the leaves of the plant.  Weird.  So I plan to plant squash and pumpkins all over the place next year!  Why not?  The animals love to each the squash, just not the leaves.  They will be my cheap bushes all over the place, near fences and such.  And all the produce they create will go into the barns as fall and winter treats for the chickens and everyone.  Even the sheep like the actual squash.


This is a shot of Maggie’s mowing adventure!  It’s a little hard to see, but basically, she mowed it like a big rectangle, and then added a diagonal path out to the pet cemetery.  It kind of looks like a diving flag!  She left some of the tall grass and the Queen Anne’s Lace and it’s very pretty.


Bucka Roo is stalking me.  He would like a chance to clean out the pig bucket.  He’s pretty sure there is just a little more left in there and he’d be happy to help me get that out of there.  Our pig bucket is for food scraps from the kitchen.  The hogs will eat just about anything!  When you have hogs, you don’t have a lot for the compost pile, that is for sure.



Oh my gosh, the fifty chicks are doing great!  Haven’t lost a single one.  They are starting to fledge out and I can see that we have either some barred rocks or Cookoo  Marans.  Im hoping they are Marans…  There are some neat reddish ones, and then some that look like Ameriucanas, and some whitish ones, it’s definitely a big surprise!

They do have a much bigger space.  Its just that every time I try and take their picture, they all rush to one end or the other of the brooder!  And we are working on emptying the shed behind the garage to make this awesome huge pullet coop for the winter.  it’s 20 feet wide by 10 feet long and I think it will be an awesome space for all our little growing birdies.  A couple heat lamps and they will be happy little birdies!  And we’re planning on putting all sorts of little play spaces in there for them, using branches and logs so they can roost up and all over the place in there.  It will be really neat!


The girls have really been going to town on egg laying all the sudden.  I believe it is some of the younger pullets that are finally starting to lay. That is a good thing because we’ve been a little low on eggs lately!  Of course once the twenty pullets out in the lil’ coop finally start laying, we’re going to be having a ton of eggs!  That’s okay, we’ve got lots of folks that want eggs… they are awesome!


Our little storm hatch chicks are doing really well.  Two of them are beautiful blue birds!  And one is a lovely Maranucana…  one of our cross breeds!  We love them… great combinations for sure.  All the chicks that hatched for the neighbors are doing well too!  We haven’t lost a single one… with almost 70 chicks, that’s so good!   It seems that even if you are super careful, it’s easy to loose one or two with such a large batch, but they are all doing great!  Happy and healthy little birds.  Maggie takes very good care of her charges.


Haha… only a mug a mother could love!

The turkeys are doing good.  They are kind of ugly looking but hey, that’s turkeys for you.  We are working on opening up a grazing yard for them…  soon….  right now I pull all my weeds from my garden and give them those and they love it.  Turkeys love to eat greens.  Can’t wait to let them out and free range.  We feel they are big enough now.  They are easily the size of a chicken hen and around here, hawks don’t take on full sized hens.  We will give them a little chance in the evenings to come out and hang with us.


I only ever get butt shots of Carolyn and her peeps.  She always keeps them moving and away from anything she deems inappropriate.  And apparently that means me.  But they are doing great.  It’s so adorable to see them walking around the farm with Mama.  They can hop and fly up on things now, so wherever Mama goes, Thing One and Thing Two are close behind.

Gee, someone needs to weed the garden, eh?

Well, I’ve been working on it the last couple days!  It got away from me.  I need to find a few more rolls of carpeting that someone is throwing out and make some new pathways!  Considering how wild this area was last year, I think it’s pretty amazing that it’s only slightly overgrown in some places!!!


My garden boxes are doing so nicely!  I’ve replanted a few of them for fall crops and the rest are doing pretty well.  My only real disappointment has been tomatoes this year.  I think the drought really did a number on them.  I’ve been getting a lot of blossom rot on the few that are trying to make tomatoes, or they are spliting badly.  It’s okay, because I’m really the only one that eats them mostly.  I do like to make sauce out of them, too, but this year, I don’t think I will.   Hopefully, I’ll get a few more to come out… if not, lots of friends are doing better so I might have to trade a few here and there!  My buddy Bill brought me a bag of them and I have been slowly eating them… oh, summer fresh tomatoes are just so delightful!!!


When we first let the turkeys out just a few days ago, the only one to do so is one of our Bourbon Red toms!  He was so funny on the little ramp, just flapping and freaking out as he navigated the thing with this wobbly uncertainty.  He was just so brave!   FInally, he made it to the grass and then was unsure about that.


He’s a beautiful boy…  and we were so hoping that we had a hen as well, but, no, we have two toms!  Oh drats.  Oh well.  We might consider getting one of them a girlfriend for the winter, but then, I’m not so certain that we will grow turkeys again.  They are so hard!  Once they get to this point, it’s not so bad, but we ended up with ten birds out of eighteen.  Almost half met with unfortunate ends! And so many guides we read say that’s a good percentage!  My goodness!  We like turkey as much as the next person, but when you can buy whole turkeys for ten bucks after Thanksgiving, there is a part of me that thinks turkeys are best left to others to grow.  Of course, that might change when we taste our first homegrown bird, but right now, they are pretty hard and expensive to grow.  The babies cost $9 each!!!  And then you have six months of feeding them…  Those $10 after Thanksgiving sale birds look better and better….

Still, we love them, they are very different than chickens!!


All the other scaredy cats are watching to see what might befall their brave hero…


Radish and beets are doing nicely!  I like radish, but my picky girls don’t like either.  We are growing them for the animals mostly, the bunnies LOVE them and so does the sheep.  Cody doesn’t like the beets but he likes the greens, and makes very funny faces when he eats the radish.  I think he expects them to taste more like apples.  We plan next year to play a whole lot more livestock fodder.  It’s easy and fresh for them and they love it.  Seeds are pretty cheap when you compare them to 50 pound sacks of feed!


I started a whole mess of peppers this year in the house and for some reason, I got a whole lot of these hot little Chinese colored pepper plants to take!  The problem is, I’m allergic to hot peppers!!!   I wanted just one or two bushes to make hot pickle peppers for friends and I got about 8 plants instead!!!  Silly…  Well, I will enjoy the gifts for others for sure!   I have about a dozen other peppers, sweet peppers, so I hope they are prolific!!!   I love sweet peppers… hopefully there will be enough for me and the freezer!!!


Just thought this was a pretty picture.

Our garden is not producing enough for us to live off yet, but it’s sure making meal times yummy and flavorful!  And the bunnies will not complain.  I envision the garden to be much more productive in the years to come.  And it’s ten times better than last year.  Just have to keep at it.  I’m already plotting and planning for next spring, I really am.  I know now what is doing well and where, and what is not doing so well.  I didn’t plant any potatoes this year and my onions and garlic were so so.  Definitely going to make seed tapes over the next winter, because those worked so nicely for the beets and carrots.  No need to thin and loose so many seeds to that whole tedious process.

Need a lot more flowers for sure.  I am so surprised that there are not more perrienials all over the place.  The previous owner, well, the lady that lived here all her life, she was a florist!  They had a flower shop up front where Jessy’s office is!  You would have thought that her farm would be filled with flowers all over the place.  It’s not.  I guess she was just too busy with the flower shop to worry about the outside.

We have lillies, that’s about it.  And a few iris here and there.  I am so starting a plant fund for next spring!  I miss having my flowers all around.  Since so many of our must do projects are getting done and handled, it will be time for the pretty stuff next year…  I can’t wait!



Maggie is working dilligently on this old garage sale table we had in the screen porch and she would like for her scroll saw.  She was going to just paint it, but it was not taking the paint well, so she decided to start scraping it.  And scraping it.  And scraping it…

We’ll see how it turns out….


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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of BuckeyeBluegrass.com as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.


A little tour around the place… — 1 Comment

  1. I love my free range flock too. They will follow us around the yard if we let them. I know what you mean about pigs. I stopped buying commercial meat and now go to my local butcher. They raise all the meat for their shop on their farm. I refuse to support the use of sow stalls and tail docking.