New Bee Hives are Here

Flow Hive AssemblyOur long awaited FlowHives have arrived! These newly designed hives were ordered from Australia 6 months ago and we can’t wait to get them into production. What makes these hives special is how the honey is harvested, honey is extracted with no disturbance of the bees or hive. You still have to do the usual inspections and maintenance but you no longer destroy the combs during harvest which should allow for quicker recovery. It’s an experiment using these but we feel it will be a great addition.

Bees are so important to natural farming and having our own hives on-site will only improve our natural pollination.  After the hives establish,  we will be adding natural raw honey to our product offerings.

Another Rabbit in the Garden!

Bunny in garden

How did another bunny get into the garden?!

I’m beginning to think there may be a hole under the shed. It’s half in and half out of the garden. When we start planting I’ll put a little fencing around the base of the shed so if they do dig under, they still won’t get into the garden.

Good news is we got him out. First we opened the door which scared him under the shed, then I walked through knee high snow to the back of the garden to scare him towards the open door.  Worked like a charm! I don’t think he’ll be getting in there again!.

 

Time to Grow Transplants

Transplants

With the weather warming, I’ve gotten the bug to start growing my vegetables! When I lived in the south I could start growing indoors in January and move everything outside in March. In the North West I’d start early March and have everything outside mid-April. In the Rocky Mountain region we have to wait until April to start both indoor and outdoor planting. There always seems to be a snow storm between now and Mothers Day. It never fails. Hot weather plants shouldn’t go outside until Memorial Day unless they are fully protected. It’s a short growing season here.

Today I’m starting to grow my cold vegetable transplants for broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and celery, along with some herbs that usually take a while to germinate.You can buy trays and seed starting mix at any home improvement store. I pick a good quality organic mix.

I’m trying to be more precise in how I plant so I finally bought sturdy plant tags to be sure I don’t mix up what I’m growing (I’ve mixed up plants before!).I also found a neat trick to be sure I plant at the correct depth by drawing lines on a marker in 1/4 inch segments and using it as a measuring tool.

Seed depth measurer

A cover on your tray will help keep the soil moist through the initial germination and then you can remove it. A standard shop light about 12-18 inches above your trays is plenty to grow your transplants. You don’t need a grow light. It’s more important to just keep the soil at least 70 degrees and moist.

transplant tray

We’ll check in a few weeks from now and see how they are doing.

Sign of Spring

Daffodil

The snow has melted and we see our first sign of actual spring! Although spring started a week ago, we’ve had more snow than we’ve had almost the whole winter! Let’s hope this is the start to warmer weather.

Crocus

Bulbs are a great way to bring in the spring and is also great for pollen for the bees. The crocus come up first followed by the daffodils, hyacinths and tulips. All of these can be found in the yard. Although the tulips have already been eaten to the ground by the deer. Daffodils are poisonous and most wild animals know this, so if you want a good, early, sturdy flower that will survive, plant daffodils!

Snowy Easter Bunny

Snow Bunny

What a way to spend Easter weekend! More and more spring snow! At least we had a visit from the Easter bunny. He found an escape from the snow in the door of the ancient root cellar that was installed on our property long ago.

Since recovering from the flu there has not been a decent day to work on the coop and the chicks are coming in a about a week! And I thought a month was plenty of time to get prepared for them. Is this mother nature’s idea of a joke?!

Spring Blizzard

Spring Blizzard

Just when we thought we were making progress preparing for spring, we got sick with the flu and had to stop working on the coop and fencing. We just started recovering, getting back to work and then BAM! We were hit with a nasty spring blizzard! We were away from home when it hit with white out conditions and 18 inches of snow. We couldn’t make it back home until the following day. Spending the night at a cheap hotel eating vending machine food was not the highlight of our lives, but we were thankful we didn’t have any of the animals yet. Something to be said for delays in getting animals!

Painting the Coop

Coop Painting

While the primer tan the coop came with is adequate, we decided the coop should be a light color to reflect the hot summer sun and should match the color of the primary barn and sheds. Yup, a boring grey, but it’s functional. The grey is complete but the white trim will be next. You notice there is a large space on the front. We’re thinking a great place for the logo, or a new chicken specific logo…….Hmmmmm. Let the creative juices start flowing!

A Quiet Winter Night

Night Garden Shed

The winter is so much different than the summer on a farm. In the summer you’re working outside as long as you can still see what you’re working on. There is lots of hustle and bustle with the wildlife trying to get a meal down before they hide out for the night. It’s actually pretty loud! Even after dark we’ve had screech owls teaching their young how to hunt in our back yard. Coyote families start howling in the evening and as early as 4:00 AM in the morning too.

I look outside this evening wishing it was lighter out so I could get some work done for spring preparation. But then I notice the beautiful view and the stillness of the evening. It should be enjoyed now before spring hits, requiring my undivided attention!

The Chicken Coop Is Here!

It was a LONG day waiting for the truck with the new custom built chicken coop to arrive! We got a call that the truck was in the shop with an issue and they would be delayed until 5:00 PM. It was getting cold and dark and then just before the sun went down……..there it was! The glorious truck pulling the future home of my many happy chickens!

Coop on trailer

The trailer was adjustable and moved front, back, left and right with a remote control, until the coop was in just the right position on the pad to gradually lower it down. It was amazing to watch. Then….boom! It landed and is now ready for action!

Coop on Pad

On the inside you can see the nesting boxes and the roosts. On the outside you can see the door to the back of the nesting boxes. It’s a sneaky way to get the eggs out from under the chickens without stepping foot inside the coop.

Inside Coop

The chicks will be coming in a month. Plenty of time to finish the details in the coop!

 

Our Conservation Plan

Land

Owning acreage in a world of limited resources should make everyone feel responsible. Being a good steward to the earth will allow your children to enjoy the essentials of life. Fresh air, clean water and natural food whether it comes from plants or animals. We put together a Conservation Plan to show our commitment to the ecology and wildlife on our property.

First, we will establish a more natural environment by removing lawns and invasive plants and replace with xeriscape natives. We are leaving about 30% of the land for wildlife only. We’ve seen animals ranging from birds, squirrels, rabbits and deer to raccoon,skunks, fox and coyotes. We have an abundance of garter snakes and a variety of tiny brown frogs that I’ve never seen before.

Water preservation is important. Every drop counts.Crops will be watered with drip irrigation and mulched with dried grasses and pine needles from the property to hold the moisture in. No chemical herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers will be used. The animals will be raised naturally using all natural and organic feed.

We want the farm to be naturally sustainable to be able to deliver good tasting and nutritious food to customers.