Farm Update with Videos…

May 13, 2013 | Half Way Farm, Homeschooling, Homesteading | 9 comments

‘Evening Ladies.
Whew. 
What a month.  
No, I haven’t bailed on my wellness series (they will resume again asap) but I have been REALLY sick for the better part of the month.  First we got hit with that ebola-esque flu, then we were well for ten days and then SLAMMED with the chest cold from hell.  Everyone in the family got over theirs in a timely fashion, ‘sept for the prego.  By day EIGHT mine had morphed into a painful, painful sinus and ear infection… the doctor I saw actually had pneumonia concerns!  (They still want me to come back to check the wheezing in my lungs).  Yeap, I actually went to the doctor and for the first time since 1997 I am on an antibiotic.  Wow.  I am NEVER sick for more than 36 hours, so to have those two illnesses back to back like that for so many weeks— well, I thought I was going to die :).

Spring is finally springing on Half-Way Farm.  
La Ferme a Mi-Chemin. 
And we could not be busier.  Or more happy.  Homesteading is definitely becoming a hobby for the entire family.  Joel is finding himself quite the chicken man – he has plans to expand our chicken run and has told me he wants to add to our flock… again.

THE FLOCKS-
Four weeks ago we added to our already 15 chickens by purchasing 5 Black Australorps and 2 Spitzhaubens (a “rare” breed).  That was during our round with the flu and as much as we wanted to go the following week for another round of chicks (Blue Cochins!) we could not muster the energy to make the drive.
Then as we were recovering and still a little shaky we got the call that 37 Red Ranger chicks (for meat) were waiting for us at the post office.  The fun and to-do list never ends.

THE CROPS-
The Half-Way Potager is in full swing – Back to Eden style.  Yesterday, despite my lack of lung capacity we laid down a ton of newspaper and Joel made 6 or 7 trips for mulch to dress the garden.  We found a free pile in the town we live outside of so we will be pillaging that at needed.  I haven’t made official measurements but with my rough guessing it looks like we have about well over2,000 square feet of garden.  Five plots in the potager, plus the surrounding beds for edible flowers, decorative gourds, sunflowers, and healing herbs – a huge strawberry patch out back, a large plot way out back for sweet corn, popcorn, green beans, lima beans and pinto beans and a neighboring plot back there for watermelon, squash, cantaloupe, etc.

Yeah.  We are trying to grow a TON of food.

THE FARMYARD DAIRY-
We are also working with a goat breeder (Nigerian Dwarf) and are happy to announce that our goats were born two weeks ago.  A boy and a girl.  We will be picking them up around the end of June.  Their names… in true Parisienne Farmgirl fashion will be “Coco” and “Valentino”.  We really wanted to find a doe that was “in milk” but we have decided to start with babies (and buy a fresh doe along the way if she presents herself).  I LONG to make cheese.  Come on, homemade Chevre???  Does it get better than that?

THE SWEET LIFE-
As far as “Half-Way Honey” we were a little bummed to put the beekeeping on the backburner til next spring but common sense has to prevail SOMEWHERE.  I don’t think they make beekeeper getups in “my size”.  But we can’t WAIT to have some hives – we have the perfect spot – so perfect in fact that it looks a little naked already without them sitting there.

THE FAMILY-
The children love it here.  They have more responsibilities than ever.  But that is OK.  We are closer as a family than we have ever been.  I don’t know why, I never thought we weren’t close… but we are closer now.  Joel is happier than he has ever been in his whole life – even with the HUGE work load we are both experiencing.  I see this longing in him to “homestead” full time.  I think he would become a chicken farmer with a CSA on the side if he could.  But, this is “Half-Way Farm” and we are getting our feet as WET as possible before we move on the big farm someday.

As far as “styling” the house is… OK.  It looks farmy and chic and I haven’t devoted a ton of time to styling it.  I was too depressed (as mentioned) this winter and now, all I care about is the gardens.  But I have don’t some darn cute things that I will share as soon as I have a rainy day to keep me indoors.

The grounds still look a little “farm ghetto” as we call it.  The barn has these hideous, chipping garage doors, the fence still needs to be painted – I mean, sometimes rust is stylish but not in this case.  Again, we have made some cute additions to distract from the fact that really, it’s just an old, neglected rental farm.  As soon as I get some annuals… hanging baskets, etc.  that will REALLY help.

All in good time.

It’s very hard for me to sleep at night – my wheels spin so fast and so furious.  It’s all so exciting.

Oh, and to top it off.  My midwife bumped up my due date to August 10th. WOOT-WOOT!
Considering I was 11 days early with the last one I could, in theory, have only 11 more weeks to go.

Oh-my-goodness.

I need a farm-hand.

Here are a couple corny videos of the kids, still week with the flu, getting our meat birds at the post office.  It’s all such an adventure.  I PRAISE GOD they aren’t sitting in school all day.

Oh, BTW – Forget schooling on the farm past about April 15th.  What a joke.  There is just too much to do.  Now I know.  They will have book reports all summer and will learn a heck of a lot when we butcher those chickens, harvest that food and tend to those baby goats.



9 Comments

  1. Theanne

    loved the videos 😀 your kids are great…so sorry you’ve been sick and that you had to take an antibiotic…sometimes you just have to!

    Reply
  2. Karen Albert

    Happy Mothers Day Dear One!!I cannot believe all that has transpired at the farm!

    I am so happy you are feeling better. I was also laid up most of the fall and winter..too much to explain..am still in rehab though!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

    Reply
  3. Mandy

    So no Sparky or Lola now? 😀 so fun, I am way jealous of your new lifestyle! Glad you’re on the mend!

    Reply
  4. miss flibbertigibbet

    So. Glad to hear you are all busy and happy! Glad you broke down and went to the doctor too….some medicine is necessary,just not all medicine! Angry birds indeed! LOL

    Reply
  5. Elma

    So glad you are all feeling better!! No fun when mom is sick:(
    LOVED the videos!! Your kids are so cute!!
    Cant wait to see more of your chickens and the garden!! Hope you had a Blessed Mothers Day!!!

    Reply
  6. Noël McNeil

    You look lovely Angie! And I loved the video’s. So nice to see you and the family once again. I’m glad to see your better. We’ve been hit too and it was NO FUN.

    Reply
  7. Ggomez

    How great to have a new post and video in one day!
    You make farm life look and sound fun! But i know it’s a lot of work! You inspire !

    Reply
  8. Chanda

    How exciting, so happy to watch all your farm-girl dreams come true. Can’t wait for you to get your dairy goats. I have 2 registered Saanen dairy goats but only milk one. She is a dream goat and such a perfect addition to our homestead goals. I have loved her since day one. I have loved experimenting with making cheese, so fun and enjoyable and my friends are so impressed with home made cheese. I started out the the book by Rikki Carol, it came highly recommended by the family I bought by goats from, they said the recipes actually work. lol and they do. I didn’t buy into the “kit” idea, I wanted to buy the cultures and learn for my self. I don’t like box cake mixes so why use something similar to make cheese, lol so many do that and I guess they are making cheese but I wanted to truly learn. I hope you have as pleasurable experience with your goats as I have with mine. Good fences, secure feed bunk lids, no horns and no Billy goat around the milkers will all make for a happy goat experience. Good luck with your adventures.

    Reply
  9. à la parisienne

    I was beginning to worry about you during your blog absence. Glad to hear you and the family are on the mend.

    Your comment about growing closer as a family struck a chord with me. This year, we’ve doubled the size of our garden and since there are so many things to do, we all spend several hours per day outdoors. I was just noticing how much closer my husband and I are when we work together with the garden and chickens. He’s never really cared about “homesteading” before, but I think he’s beginning to understand and see how homesteading is a better way to live.

    As for homeschooling, I just can’t seem to keep going once the month of April arrives. The weather is just too beautiful and there are so many things to do in the garden. Once a week we’ll have a nature lesson in the garden, but really, a homeschooled child has so many opportunities to learn a wide variety of skills, no matter the time or place. And by the way, this weekend I went to a huge homeschooling fair and spent quite a bit of time speaking to the Charlotte Mason rep. The more I read on CM’s method, the more I picture myself teaching that way.
    I do have a question for you.
    I’m considering purchasing the Right Start Mathematics curriculum and was wondering if you’ve ever used it.

    Mandy

    Reply

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