Friday, August 27, 2010

More sheep ... less roosters.

The sheep are due to arrive Sunday afternoon. The herding dogs are confirmed. Cole and I received a phone call today from our local paper. Apparently the abandoned sheep are big news and the reporter interviewed us over the phone as part of the story. When the reporter asked about our farm experience, we had to tell the truth. Not much. All we heard on the other end was a lot of laughter.

Did either of you grow up on a farm?  Well, no....
Do you know a lot about large animals? Not really... but we're learning.
Have you always been animal lovers?  Well, we've always had cats and dogs...
Not sheep?  No. But we have a lot of chickens.

More laughter. We're hoping she was laughing in a "y'all are sweet to do this" kind of way and not "y'all are crazy to do this" way. She may even come out on Sunday to take pictures of the round up at the current location of the sheep and/or the drop off at our farm. Cole and Colin walked the pasture we're going to put the sheep in and made sure the fence was secure and that everything is ready. And it is. Bring on the sheep!

Our friend Hasan came by and picked up a few more roosters. Love having someone local who will give our roosters a home. We gave him four and it's definitely a lot quieter and calmer around here. We are keeping just one rooster in each area, Butterscotch and Frosty. They are both gentle Giants.... easy to be around, hold and nice to the hens. All this dating that has been going on is hard on everyone's nerves! The hens woke up today, looked around and did a happy dance. We all did.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

some new additions.... maybe

We were contacted today through the Greenwood Humane Society about some abandoned sheep that desperately need a home. Apparently someone abandoned a whole farm full of animals and a Rescue Farm is trying to find homes. We were told that there are 80 sheep and there is no grass or food for them to eat. Twenty had already died. Of course we agreed to take them. We have a lot of empty pasture land, ponds full of water, and yummy grass to graze on all day long.

Mr. Mann from the Rescue Farm came out tonight to meet us and check out our farm. What a great guy! He and his wife rescue animals from counties all around us. And not small animals. The big ones that are hard to place: donkeys, horses, sheep, pigs. After I made them hold a chicken or two, we made plans for the Arrival of the Sheep. Mr. Mann said it might be closer to 40 sheep now and he may have permanent homes for some down the road. He also said they are "strange" sheep. They don't have wooly hair and they have huge ram-like horns. Not exactly the sheep I was picturing, but that's fine. They need a good home and we can provide it. The logistics of rounding up the sheep and getting them here is the biggest obstacle. A few local people with herding dogs have agreed to help and we expect the sheep (or at the least the first group) to arrive sometime Sunday. I have no idea what to expect or if we will end up keeping any for the long haul, but I'm looking forward to welcoming these strange sheep as guests to Huckleberry Farm.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Tonight the sky is hosting a beautiful full moon with clouds drifting all around. I decided to snap a few pictures. What came out is not exactly what it looked like in real life. In fact, the pictures look downright strange. Had to share them!

Is God trying to tell me something?

These were all taken within a few minutes of each other. It was very dark out, except for the moonlight. Very, very spooky.....

Cheerleading and their First Day

One day she wants to be a cheerleader. The next, she doesn't. Nevertheless, she headed off to Cheerleading camp at her new school and spent three days learning how to be the perfect Cheerleader. The rest of us non-Cheerleaders were invited to come see a program on the last day. My daughter did great... although she still claims she will NEVER cheer in front of people.

A few short days later and the first day of school arrived. Colin headed off to the Big World of 4th grade complete with cursive writing and oral book reports. Annaliese headed off to Kindergarten.

The day dawned beautifully, although it sure felt early after sleeping in all summer!

Soon enough, they were dressed, fed and ready to go!

We arrived promptly and eagerly. Well, I was eager. My daughter was a bit nervous and my son was loudly proclaiming he didn't want to go back to school (although I could tell he was secretly excited and wouldn't admit it!).

We walked Annaliese to her classroom, and I was prepared to get a little teary-eyed, picturing myself giving her a big, encouraging hug and kiss. As soon as we walked into the room, she took off without a backwards glance. She did, however, come back and pose for one picture even though it was interfering with her "friend" time. I guess it's good to have well-adjusted children. :)

The first day of school was just a half day, so I took the children to lunch after I picked them up. Annaliese declared her first day was an 11 on a scale of 1-10. Good sign! Colin gave it a 9. When I asked why it wasn't a 10, he replied that you "just can't give school a 10, Mommy." Fair enough. I'll take a 9.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Egg labels

Gosh.... I haven't posted in awhile! We are in the process of buying a new house and I am in the process of buying furnishings. It's kept me a little busy!

Everyone on the farm is growing and thriving... despite the continued heat. What a summer! We have had temperatures in the mid-90's the entire summer. I cannot wait for Fall!

Here's a quick update of Farm Happenings:

Both children started school yesterday. Annaliese's first year! Made me a little sad to see them walking into school together this morning. But I have a lot more time now for my chickens!

Katie and Bobbi, our Easter Eggers, are getting close to laying. Their combs have turned red and I've seen Katie in the nest box a few times. I can't wait to see what color egg they will lay!

We are getting a few Silkie eggs every day. Puff and Toffee just adore being in the nest box. I keep lifting them up and showing them that they are not on an egg, but there they remain. Every now and then I put them outside in the run to get some fresh air. Misty laid her first egg this week. Teeny tiny little egg.

We've been staying out at the farm at night for a few weeks while we figure out what to do with the broken A/C at the lake house. We are under a home warranty and they are dragging their cheap feet on getting us a new unit. The current one cannot be repaired. Since it's 95 degrees upstairs in the bedrooms, we've been sleeping at the farm. No complaints from me! I love it here.

We built a little fire pit and put some chairs around it. Cute and perfect for roasting marshmallows.

My last hatch resulted in 7 Ameraucanas and 9 Wheaten Marans. You can tell the sex of the Wheaten Marans by their feather color. I'm pretty sure I have 5 girls and 4 boys. Which is a whole lot better than the one girl I ended up with last time. I'm happy!

I'm working on labels for my egg cartons. Once all these little ones start laying (probably toward the end of the year), we will be in the egg-selling business! Here's the label I've picked:

That's about it for now. I need to go out and feed and water all the chicks before it gets 100 degrees outside.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Big Doings on the Farm

The End of Summer is here and with it comes the End-of-Summer Camp Out for the children at church. Since there was a wedding happening at the church, our fabulous summer interns, Beth and William, asked if they could have it at Huckleberry Farm. Why, sure!!! Yesterday finally arrived, bright and beautiful although a little hot. We spent the day putting up tents, a volleyball net, freshening the farm and putting up Address Numbers on the mailbox so everyone could find us.

The kids were due to arrive at 7 pm. Our bright and beautiful day suddenly took a turn as Mother Nature unleashed Her fury on us around 3:00. Severe thunderstorms, lightening, torrential rain.... we had it all. It poured and poured. Lightening shot down to the ground, the wind gusted all around us, and my children looked miserably out the window. Our desperate attempts to monitor the radar on TV ended when our satellite went out. A few hours later, the clouds lifted and the rain ended. Despite an almost-cancellation, everyone agreed to continue on with the Camp Out. I eyed the huge puddles and wet ground, picturing dirty and muddy children. But, hey... they're kids. What do they care? And at least it was a little cooler, although much more humid.

Beth arrived and kindly pointed out that the new numbers on our mailbox didn't match the address I had given her and she had given all the parents. COLE! Apparently my husband does not know the address of the farm and had put them up incorrectly but he quickly traipsed up the front of the farm, screwdriver in hand, loudly blaming my sweet son for the mistake. Crisis averted.

Everyone arrived, ran around, played volleyball, cooked hot dogs, had smores, looked for Bigfoot, saw a ghost and a secret tombstone (9 and 10-yr old boys have pretty vivid imaginations!), fed the donkeys, held the chickens, repeatedly told me that the goats just poop anywhere they want and that's gross (this was from the girls), and had a great time. Thankfully Cole and I slept in the house but left the door open so the girls could use the rest room. Strangely not one single boy ever came in to go to the bathroom. We peeked out the window around 3 am and saw flashlights running wild. Guess they were still up!

William made a 4 am trip to find some doughnuts (more sugar... just what they need!) and the morning dawned foggy but dry. The kids even found an egg in the coop that was lacking a shell. Very weird and extremely fascinating to a group of kids!

We might have had a smaller group due to the weather, but everyone that braved the elements had a blast. Our first official Huckleberry Farm event was a success, a wet success, but a success nonetheless! Can't wait for next year!
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