Monday, July 11, 2011

farm

Yes, my children are home!  This weekend we went blueberry picking, swimming, played restaurant and, of course, spent some time with the ducks and the pigs.

I know!! I can't believe I haven't told you about the ducks and the pigs!  Well, since I'm announcing the winner of the Go! Baby giveaway today, I figured I could sneak in a little introduction to "our farm" as well.

Have I told you before, that we live on 7 acres?  Oh-my-goodness, it's wonderful!  And such a complete blessing!  When we bought the property about 3 years ago, our 1960's house was completely run-down. As in, other potential buyers were planning on having it bull-dozed.  But, not us!  When we won the bid for the property, it included a little note that our plan was to restore the house and use the land for the little family farm it had once been.  I tend to think that the owners chose our offer, for sentimental reasons.  After 8 months of very, very, very hard work, my husband and I and family and friends had redone the whole shebang, right down to the studs.  Heck, I learned how to wire electric outlets!  So, when you see pictures of our floors and whatnot, like we totally did that!  Can you tell I'm proud?

pepper harvest

Anyways, the point is that the goal has always been to have a little farm, to raise some of our own food (sans pesticides, growth hormones, etc) in a humane environment.  I think this kind of thing is not only healthy for our bodies, but a great way to raise children.  Last year was my first go at a vegetable garden, and it was scary-huge.   This year I planted one much more modestly-sized.  Here's Liam picking our peppers!

bug patrol ducks

This year we got ducks.  Our Indian Runner ducks are great pets, but my husband also hopes that they will be good egg-layers (and I hope that we will like their eggs).  The kids love to hold them and watch them swim in their outdoor bathtub.  Me, I'm thrilled when they go on bug-patrol.  Here they're inspecting the cantaloupe.  Unlike chickens, which would scratch up the garden, the ducks pad around on their soft feed and without making a bit of a mess!

"ham" - it's her name. ahem.

piggy, piggy

This spring we also got our first "food" animals.  Please forgive us, but they're named "Ham" and "Sausage" for a reason.  Actually, it's not to make light of that but to remind the kids that they are not pets.  We also don't allow the children to go into their pen.  However, I'll admit that we all love to shower them with the hose!  The piggies have learned to love the water in this heat, and afterwards they roll and dig into mud.  That combined with the fact that they will run around the pen in the cool morning hours, truly frolicking with gladness, makes me pretty sure that we're raising very happy pigs.  So, a happy life and family that will appreciate their sacrifice.  I think that's not too shabby.

Hope you don't mind my ramblings this morning!  Now let's choose a winner for that Go! Baby.  I cut off comments this morning at 673 entries!  And the winner is....469.  Good golly, Barbara of The Origin of Wonder, you are one lucky lady!  I'll be in touch. 

The rest of you should keep your ear to the ground.  There's a lot more of these giveaways set to run around blogdom quite soon. Good luck!

32 comments:

  1. bummer! i wanted to win! awesome farm. how cool to have redone the whole property without bulldozing and starting over. good for you!

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  2. Your little farm sounds wonderful. I have always thought that it would be fun (and a lot of work !!) to restore and old house. I just dont have the talent or money to try!
    I have read that pigs are very smart, have fun and good luck at keeping them as non-pets!!

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  3. Congrats Barbara!! So exciting!
    Love the farm, that is my dream....
    Glad to see someone living it!

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  4. Oh, I agree - they are very smart! They've almost gotten out before because they're so quick-thinking!

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  5. What a wonderful farm, the walkways in the vegetable garden look particularly practical. Duck eggs are tasty but different from chicken eggs and ducks always seem friendlier than chickens.

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  6. What a great post! We also live on 7 acres. It's so great and so fun for the kids. We are just getting our first animals at the end of the summer. Three goats! They are super friendly and we can't wait to add them to the family. We have a lovely garden set up but our 6 month old has thrown us for outdoor chores, you've definitely inspired me though!

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  7. Eeeee, cute animals! Those piggies are so cute! I cannot wait to have a big garden one day! :)

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  8. Anne - My garden last year was HUGE and lovely. But, it was so, so too much for me to handle. I guess that's one very hard thing about wanting this life - learning to take it in baby steps. The good news is that as the kids get older, it all gets easier even as it becomes more beneficial for them. Good luck on your journey!

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  9. I'm so impressed by all the hardwork you and your family have put into your home and farm! My husband dreams of renovating an old house, and I dream of living on a small, family farm. I'm so glad to hear that with hard work and determination it can be done! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Thanks for sharing! We are in our first year of tiny-family-farming right now! Loving it. Trial and error with the garden and next up, chickens! Really enjoying your blog out here. :)

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  11. Oh your homestead looks amazing!
    Congratulations Barbara x

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  12. Wow, your garden is so far ahead of mine! What a great property you have, I'd be proud, too!

    and congrats to Barbara.

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  13. Love the farm. My husband and I are of your bent as well. We've built two homes previously, and are gearing up to build a new one. Meantime we are renting an old farmhouse...complete with chicken coop. I am so excited.

    hooray to Barbara...you lucky thing!

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  14. I had no idea! This is so very cool—I'm impressed. PS Did you see that Jane Brocket has a new knitting book coming out in August and that it has some lovely crochet projects in it?

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  15. Good for you! I'm an agricultural communication major (although I taught kindergarten before becoming a SAHM), and I love to see people raising their kids to understand where food actually comes from and how important it is to know that we have to work and care for the land to get results. It's called produce for a reason, you know...
    Your pictures are great and I know your kids are learning so much and are healthier for your choices!

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  16. My boyfriend and I also have a dream of living on a small farm. He grew up on one and has always yearned to return to the lifestyle. Hopefully in a couple years we can be in a position to afford land.

    I lean towards the excessive too. I planted my first garden this year and wanted it to be large, but my boyfriend held me back to 100 sq feet, which is very manageable. Next year, since I know I can do the size we have easily, I will go bigger. Also, when we talk about the farm of our dreams, I always list dozens of animals I want and he keeps telling me we only will have dogs as pets. The rest have to have a purpose. If it were up to me, I would have a little Noah's Ark to take care of.

    Anyway, sorry for rambling so much. Even though I live amongst farmland, I don't have many people in my daily life who love the idea of raising animals and crops.

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  17. Thank you for sharing! I would so love to have a small farm, but at the same time I know it is not time yet :) I would not have the energy to enjoy it at this moment of life having small children and a baby on the way. But it is very inspiring and fun to read about other people realizing the dream!

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  18. so cool that you live on 7 acres! I wouldn't have guessed. And i bet you love having your kids back home. :)

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  19. Oooh. So jealous. Don't think my Oakland neighbors, as easy-going and look-the-other-way as they are, would take too kindly to pigs! But going back to your earlier comment, when I lust after a large garden or mini-farm, I often have to remind myself that I have a hard time keeping up with our quarter-acre lot, and certainly don't maximize its growing potential! So, baby steps, indeed.

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  20. Thank you (:

    I had friends who got a pig and named him Bacon-along the same lines. What a great farm!

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  21. Your life on the farm sounds so wonderful and what a blessing for your children. Congratulations to Barbara for winning the GoBaby!

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  22. My goodness, I'm in love with your farm! Its pretty much everything I've ever wanted, and I'm so glad to see someone living out their dream!! Gives me hope :) Thanks for "your ramblings"

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  23. Thank you for sharing your farm, it is wonderful!

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  24. Honestly...I'm jealous! Love the farm life. Keep it up, you're doing a great job investing in your family unit and children's character building with the intentional life style decisions you are making. I LOVE it!

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  25. I am glad you are enjoying your acreage. My husband and I want a couple of acres so that I can have my greenhouse and have lots of native wildflowers. Hopefully our house in St. Louis will sell soon and we can buy some property. He too wants to rehab an old house. I am sure it is a great experience for your children.

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  26. Oh, wow, your little farm sounds wondeful! We just put an offer in on 2 acres and I can't wait to start work on it!

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  27. I've had ducks for over 7 years, and I would never trade them for chickens. The eggs are fantastic (esp. for baked goods) and they are a joy to be around (and the best slug control ever)!
    Your little farm looks wonderful!

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  28. Duck eggs are much better than chicken eggs, more protein, more yolk and less white. Delicious and filling!

    In the documentary, "Food Inc.", the pigs were able to run freely like cattle or horses and it was really interesting how they rotated the animals in the fields for the best utilization and fertilization of the fields.

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  29. I for one wouldn't mind hearing more about the farm as time goes on--I recently read Farm City and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. We live in a townhouse with a completely decked in backyard; we just pulled up our boxwoods in front and put tomatoes and herbs and peppers in. I'm not sure what the neighbors think... wish we had more space! Kudos!

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  30. When my husband's parents raised cattle we use to name them after NBA players and tease that "so and so" sure tasted good. Bad I know.

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  31. Hi Rachel! I really loved reading this post-- a lot of what you said resonated with me! My husband and I dream of buying some land and an old house to fix up once I'm done with graduate school. We love to grow our own food, and I am totally envious of your garden ducks! They are adorable, it sounds wonderful to have the plants and animals all around you! I also really respect your decision to raise your own pigs for meat-- so many people are disconnected from the source of their food (particularly when it's meat), and I think it takes a lot to walk the walk! Next time I'm in your neck of the woods I totally want a farm tour :)

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