Category Archives: farm

Growth, Opportunity and Love

Growth – Opportunity – Love

Hi, I’m Blake. You may have forgotten me due to the fact that I haven’t posted here in almost 9 months.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been active but just not here on the blog. My YouTube channel has grown quite a bit in the last 9 months. Other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, G+ Collections and Tumblr have all shown amazing signs of growth as well. Growth, Opportunity and Love are all around me.

I have even started a family over on Patreon.  Yes, I’m calling them a Continue reading Growth, Opportunity and Love

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Farm Repairs: Nothing Glamorous

This farm life touches my soul. No, seriously… I mean it. I LOVE living out here and I LOVE working at the farm chores. It makes me feel good. 

Many times I get to do a project that has great reward in the sense that there is something great to show for it. Something I can show off… I can take pictures or make video and people WANT to see it (or at least I like to believe people want to see it).
Then there are times when you just have to get out there an maintain things. Do the routine. Fix that broken thingy that’s been sitting there too long. When you are done with a day like that you feel good, but there’s no cool structure to point at… no glamour. 
This weekend was like that for me. It was rewarding to me, but not glamorous.
Here are a couple of projects I did get done. 
On the main coop we have these wooden chicken doors that are hinged so they can be raised and lowered as needed. The wood has gotten soft over time so broke and sat unattended for too many months. Finally these are repaired.

The doors on the smaller coops have degraded over time. The original chicken wire has rusted and pulled loose. Many times we find that the kids or goats or somebody has pushed a hole in the wire. The chickens come out when we don’t want them too and we are concerned that raccoon, skunks or some other predator will find their way in. 
I took the time, finally, to replace the old wire with something a bit more study. This is another one of those times when I wish I would have spent a little more time and money in the beginning so this would have to be done again so soon.
With those projects done and out of the way I can move on to the Grand and Glamorous projects! ahh who am I kidding. None of this is really Glamorous… just good fun.

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Predators on the Farm: Coyote

When we first moved to the country it seemed that everything was new. The longer drive to work. Having a septic in the yard. Using Propane that is stored onsite in a big tank. Quieter neighbors. The air feels different… smells different. The country life is good. But… there’s something else. What’s that horrible sounds of children excitedly and painfully running through the nearby brush. It’s disturbing, unsettling and eery. It’s Coyotes.

Photo Courtesy of  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2009-Coyote-Yosemite.jpg
Photographer: Yathin S Krishnappa

The sound often is accompanied by the sound of dogs. All the dogs in the area chime in with barking and howling. We have heard horror stories from the neighbors of a time when their dog got “called out” by the coyotes. The coyotes lured the dogs to the edge of safety then attacked the pets. Normally only entrails or tufts of hair remain to give the owners a clue of what happened.

When we first got goats we were completely ignorant. No clue of how to protect our new little family members from these predators. The two little goats went into an area that I carefully fenced in for them. The goats seemed happy. They didn’t get out of the fence, which was my main concern initially.

Here is a short video showing the goats right after we got them. Meet “Sweetie” and “Oreo”.

It wasn’t too many mornings later when I discovered my mistakes. I believe it was on a Sunday morning after returning home from church when we noticed that one of the goats was missing. We looked all over the farm for the missing goat. It was nowhere to be found. The one remaining was noticeably shaken up. After about an hour of looking for the goat my son came to me claiming that he had found her “guts”. I wasn’t too quick to panic because I thought for sure he probably was seeing something else. Nope, I was wrong… he was right. The findings were unmistakably guts… and guts that looked like those from a mammal about the size of a goat. These findings were located near a place along the fence line that looked as if it was dug out. The offenders had dug under the fence and dragged out our little friend, Oreo.

The questions now are “What do I do?” “How do I protect my animals?”

I’m not sure of all the answers, but I hope to figure it out. One method is using Guard Animals.

Some of the farmers around me swear by donkeys. Others say donkeys don’t work and they swear by dogs… particularly the Great Pyrenees. I’ve also heard some say that the Llamas can’t be beat to protect the herd. I think they all probably have their good and bad points.

I, personally, don’t want to invest in and feed another animal at this point. I’m looking into fencing options that will keep them out. After the one goat was taken I woke me up to the fact that my silly little 4 foot barbed wire fence wasn’t gonna do it.

I’ll post updates about my efforts as they happen.

Share your experiences and solutions here in the comments.

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Bottle Tree: Whimsical Fun on the Farm!

Walt Disney Animation Studios presents the musical THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, an animated comedy set in the great city of New Orleans. One of their characters is Mama Odie. She lives in a tree that is so fun! This tree is full of whimsical wonder and bottles. Of course with Disney the bottle tree is way OVER THE TOP, but for us here on the farm we can have that fun in a more realistic fashion.

Check out how I make the bottle tree and how beautiful it is in the morning sun.

We’ve been collecting the bottles for a while from friends and family. This has been on the list of projects to complete for a long time too. We finally had a moment to sit down and do it. I’m so glad we did. These pictures give a little idea of what they look like in the morning sun.

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Wildlife on the Farm

Living on the farm has been a wonderful experience! There is a lot of things to do, and some of it is hard work. It seems like the project list is never ending. There is always a fence to build, a garden to weed, trees to plant, chickens to feed… and so on.

But…., yes but sometimes we get to experience something wonderful. Wildlife abounds here on the farm. It’s nice when we get to see it up close. I’ve documented a few encounters. I hope you enjoy them as well.

Baby Cardinal Bird Hatching in Nest

We have a hanging planter on the front porch that attracted a family of Cardinals to build a nest.  We were fortunate to be able to catch a few minutes of the babies hatching on video.  We love seeing nature here on the farm!

Releasing a Hummingbird

This humming bird found it’s way into my hoop house in the garden but couldn’t get out. I caught it and wanted to let my sone release it. We learned how to handle and release the birds at one of our home school field trips to a local bird sanctuary.

Releasing an Inca Dove 

Sometimes birds fly into the chicken coop and can’t find their way out.  The kids like to catch and release them.  This is a good opportunity to see the different birds on the farm up close.  I’m pretty sure this one is an Inca Dove.

Fresh Baby Bunny Rabbits In Nest

While discussing where to mow we noticed several rabbits hanging out in the tall grass.  I went to check it out and found this!  We steered clear of the area and left the grass tall.

Spider Caught A June Bug! 

One night we noticed this big spider had made a web near our front porch.  While we were watching it spin it’s web a June Bug flew in and got caught!  Miss Spider got to work right away wrapping it up for dinner.  I got my video on as fast as I could.

Baby Wrens in Propane Tank 

We opened the propane tank to check the levels to find this beautiful scene.  The baby birds seem to be quite happy and not at all bothered by us opening the lid of the tank.

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