Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Green Month

Country Living

It's March...
the GREEN month!

It may not be green where you live just yet
but it won't be long until that beautiful
refreshing color shows it's pretty face.

Here on the farm we are surrounded by 
beautiful green fields of 
winter wheat
and 
here and there the lawns and gardens
are showing signs that spring isn't far off.

Yesterday we had tornado 'watches'
and 'warnings' from late afternoon
until 1am.
Fortunately we only had high winds
and 1/4 inches of rain
but tornadoes hit down here and there
and destroyed 60% of the
small town of Harveyville KS.

We found out this evening that our friends
son and his family had the roof 
torn off their home yesterday.
They were all safe.

This is a month early
so hopefully this isn't a sign
of what's to come this year.


Country Living 

On a brighter note... 

I've got my vegetable garden
planned out and down on paper
and hubby has made the garden boxes.
Now we just need to get them in the garden... 
fill them with compost
and wait for the weather to warm up. 

I started a list for the perennials I'd like
to plant this spring
and the annuals I'd like 
to plant in pots. 

My lists usually end up larger than my 
pocket book can handle but I'm sure
I'm not the only one who
does that. 


Since there's nothing pretty to show you
in my gardens I thought I'd share a 
few photo's I found on the Internet.

I love the photo at the top
of this post and how about the garden 
sheds above and below!

Better Homes And Gardens

I love the salvaged windows in the shed above.

Better Homes and Gardens

This time of the year in the country critters start
moving. I suppose it's mating season for some
and other's are just moving from winter quarters. 

I found a big fat skunk body at the end of the
picket fence the other morning.
Shep must have caught it off guard
before it had a chance to spray.
I feel bad for the skunk
but this is a fact of life in the country. 

Most critters stay clear of our farm
because of Shep but some can't
resist the tantalizing smell of chickens.
Even skunks and possums 
like eggs ;)   

This Old House

This week hopefully we'll be hauling home
mulch and compost for the garden...
I can't wait to get my hands in the dirt!

How about you...have you got plans
for your gardens this spring? 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Looking Back


My how things change.

With March just around the corner I decided
to look back and see how things looked
during our first spring here on the farm.

These pictures were taken all during
the month of March 2010.


In September 2009 we bought our
little Phoebe.
She was a Miniature Mediterranean Donkey.

A friend of ours had offered to give us one
but when that never materialized
we decided to buy Phoebe.
She was 5 months old.

At the end of December
our friend showed up with the male
that he had promised us months earlier.
He was a stud! 

Because we are softies we couldn't tell
him 'too late'....so we kept the donkey
and named him Eeyore.

Along came March.

Unfortunately our fences were no match
for Eeyore's determination
to visit Phoebe
but since she would not be old
enough to breed until she was 
around 3 years old
we decided to have him castrated. 

A couple of weeks later 
Eeyore and Phoebe 
went to live on a large farm
where they could be together with
lots of pasture
and strong fences!


Towards the end of March that year
Hubby and I were in a 'farm store'
and overheard a lady complaining to the
store clerk that they had just been in the 
store with their 12 year old Grandson 
and his friend. 

Behind their back he purchased a chick!

She told the clerk that she wanted to bring the 
chick back because they had no place to keep
a chicken. The clerk said 'sorry...we don't
take chicks back'. 

The lady was ticked so I whispered to hubby
"should we buy it from her?"
Since we had 63 new chicks coming a few
days later he said to go for it. 

The lady was so happy to find a home
for the little fellow that she wouldn't 
take any money.

So 'Spring' came home with us. 




Unfortunately Spring was a Cornish X
and was destined to live a short life.

It may have been short...but it was a good life. 


The very next day was the first day of spring.
We had a snow storm!


Two days later the snow had melted
and the chicks arrived in the mail.


Most of the chicks were Buff Orpingtons.

Yellow fluff balls! 

Their days were spent eating...drinking...pooping
tearing from one end of the trough to the other...
and sleeping.

Sometimes they wore themselves out so much
they fell asleep standing up.



The remainder of the chicks were
Black Australorp.



Hard to believe this little fellow
would grow up to look like this!


While the chicks enjoyed their cozy warm
shelter in the garden shed
the older chickens were able to finally 
enjoy the barnyard.

The barnyard was Eeyore's domain
and he decided that the chickens were
NOT allowed on his turf.
He chased them every chance he got.

The day after Eeyore and Phoebe
left the farm....the chickens
had the barnyard all to
themselves.

They were happy chickens!

FYI ...see that long building? 
We sold it that summer and this time
last year...it was down and hauled away.

Hopefully if we get some rain this summer
we will have some good pasture grass
growing there :)



The end of March meant Shep was 8 months old
and Lizzy and Olly were 9 months old.

Shep had a blast trying to chase the cats.
Olly would run but Lizzy...well
she NEVER backed down.
She stood her ground and then some!



End of March sky.
2010 was a good year for rain but
last year we were in a drought.

Hopefully we do better this year.



Above is our nearest neighbor 
as the crow flies. 

Two years ago the fields across the road 
from us were yellow.
This year they are green with winter wheat
shown below in January 2012.



We'll be keeping our fingers crossed that
this March will be a good month
with lots of gentle rain.
If all goes well the grass seed we sow
will take root before the heavy rains hit.

After all....April is Tornado season
here in Kansas!









Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Barn Charm #73 And A Barn Conversion


The barn above is one we pass by every time
we travel to Kansas City.

It has a stone foundation on the lower half
and a timber frame above that
with the attached additions
that you see above.

The barn is built into the bank
and looks as solid as a....
well ...a rock!

I've always had a dream of converting
a barn into a home
and can't help wondering how this old
barn would turn out.

I have a feeling it would be wonderful.

Below is a REAL barn conversion
of a 19th century barn 
and horse stable 
owned by realtor


 The long low building was actually
the horse stable
which Mr Cifarelli has converted
into a beautiful home.
Look at this wonderful kitchen
and dining room....
and what about that
old window that
showcases the chandelier! 



This is an original stable dutch door.
I love all the quirky windows
and the posts.

Below are photo's of the actual 
barn portion that 
will be a future project.
This would be quite the challenge 
and you'd have to have a 
good imagination...or a good architect...
probably both!
photo credit Katharine Schroeder SUFFOLKTIMES.COM


With the wonderful job Mr Cifarelli
did in the other areas
I think it would be safe to assume 
that this barn will be amazing
when it is completed. 

I'd LOVE to tackle something like this.

How about you?

I'm linking with
Tricia
over at 
Bluff Area Daily for
Barn Charm
Barn Charm # 73

Friday, February 17, 2012

Early February On The Farm


I thought you might enjoy a little walk around
the farm with me.

February isn't the best month for taking
photo's but I figured what the heck. 

Above are a few of my 'girls' doing
chores in the veggie garden. 
They are doing a fantastic job of scratching
 pecking and eating lots of weed seeds.  
Along with fertilizing ;)

Hopefully I'll have a WHOLE lot less weeds
this year.


Above is one of the doors on our 
chicken coop/garden shed.
This year the plan is to paint some
of our farm buildings.

As much as I like the old chippy look
it doesn't help preserve the wood
and we have to be practical.


The garden shed/chicken coop will
be painted it's original white with 
barn red trim.


Above is a photo of what my hubby 
refers to as our 'hog shed'.
He has no idea why he calls it that but
we think it was one of the original buildings
on the farm built after the chicken coop
and barn. 

We don't use this building and we're not
sure if we ever will. 
We could tear it down and save some
money on taxes but it seems a shame
to tear it down plus it blocks
the snow and wind from the north.


This old ladder was found right here against
the old elm tree. 

There was the base of what looked like 
an old tree house further up
when we first moved here
but part of it has fallen down.

I can imagine kids playing up there 
having a ball
back in the old days. 
Lots of laughter and fun.

I wonder if they had a tire swing?


Above is the view the kids would have had to the north east.


Here's one of our old plum trees.
They've seen better days.


This old corn seeder was left on the farm.
I can almost picture it being pulled by an
old work horse.

In the background is our porch swing 
waiting for spring.


The lilacs are starting to bud out.
Hopefully they don't get any larger
as we didn't get many blooms last year 
because of a late frost. 

Winter isn't over yet.


The mailbox will soon be sporting it's 
spring cover with Blue Birds and
will be surrounded with orange Day Lilies.


Rosey our old mare came out to say Hi.


Shep our Akbash following me around the farm.


Hubby moving our last round bale over 
to the horses. 

See the dirt in the foreground?
That is where our 280'X40' long building
was. We sold it and it was taken down and
hauled off last year. Hopefully we will get some
grass seed to sprout on there so we can use
it as pasture one day.


One of the cows that surround us.
Not sure if this one has had her calf yet.


Strawberry plants.


Mint above.


Rosemary...can you smell it?


We have Black Australorp hens and one rooster
the hen to the left is one of them. The yellow hen
is a Buff Orpington.

The hen in the middle is 
'Golda Meir'
and she is a mix between the two breeds and
one of the 4 chicks that hatched late 
last spring. 


The Girls on the compost heap along with Lizzy
one of the barn cats. 
Since this photo was taken the pile has been
turned.
This is 'gold' for the garden!


Last but not least is
Socrates.
He's seen better days but this year
he'll get a make over.
Those were my best overalls!

I hope you enjoyed your stroll around
the farm with me...and the dogs.

Have a WONDERFUL weekend!  

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