Friday, May 28, 2010

Le Jardin

The first vegetables pulled from the garden. I'd recommend clicking on the picture to get the full effect. We grow 'em big down here. I won't scan every vegetable that comes out of there, but consider this to be my first born.... there's going to be a few more pictures of your first than those that follow.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

G Club

Yeast, getting ready.

Award for most creative pizza goes to Mike.

G-club, herself, at the card table.

It's makeover week here at the farm, and i've enlisted my secret weapon to help everything along..... G Club. What's G Club you say? More like, who's G Club? G Club is the family's nickname for my mother. She's so amazing, she gets to be an entire club. Want to be a part of it? Yeah, me too. She's like a tornado of energy, painting rooms, sweeping chimneys, washing dishes, mopping floors, all before i've finished cleaning one bathroom. What a trooper, i've been trying to catch up on her skills for years.

Since we've basically kidnapped my mom for a week, we decided that today we'd take the afternoon off and host her weekly game of Progressive Rummy down here at the farm. The Progressive Rummy match takes place every Wednesday at George's, in Atlanta, with her two buddies Mike and Lynn. The three of them drink inordinate amounts of diet coke, ask for more than their designated share of Captain's Wafers, and laugh for about 3 1/2 hours through the various ups and downs of the game. It's a good time.

The home team decided to make some pizza from scratch (mainly to utilize all of that basil in the garden), and the away team brought an amazing tiramisu, the playing cards, and even more tomato plants for the garden. I think both winners and losers alike had fun, and before their departure, I got some gardening tips from my secretary of agriculture, Mike. We take our Progressive Rummy seriously around here.

The view from the top of the Tiramisu.

Garden Flower w/ companions.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The New Class


My life is resembling Cheaper by the Dozen a little too closely these days. Tuesday was a big day for our numbers here. In just three short hours the total of 2- legged animals grew by fifteen, and the total of 4- legged animals grew by one. In case you're not so good with the numbers, that's sixteen more mouths to feed and thirty four more little legs to mind when plodding around in rubber boots. The two legged animals are pullets, which i'm sure you reasoned from the pictures above: five Rhode Island Reds, five Barred Rocks, and five Ameraucana. The four legged critter happens to be of the canine variety. (Although when a big mass of brown fur showed up fast on my heels during my run, you could have yelled "bear", and i'm not sure my facial expression would have changed much.) This "bear" turned out to have good intentions, just lost or left behind, as often happens on the road by our house. Even though I know you can't save everybody, this pup was especially well trained in the art of heart-string tugging. I guess the visit to the vet this morning, to help with an eye infection and a sore paw, sealed the deal. She's ours, for now. With a few names being tossed around, I think we've settled on Sadie Mae Brown Dog, or just plain Sadie.

Also, I want to mention this before it gets a little less fresh in my mind. Brad and I went to visit Greendale Farms just outside of Madison, GA last Saturday. We had purchased some eggs and sausage from them at the Athens Farmers Market last year and were blown away by the quality of their food and their straightforward, but friendly, attitude. The time they put aside to show us around their place was beyond generous, and we can't thank them enough for being so inspiring. Brad and I are still trying to figure out what kind of lives we want to build for ourselves out here, beyond my letterpress printing and his schooling, and raising a little livestock just might fit the bill. Carrs Station Farm was at one point a highly functioning and successful farm, so couldn't it be again? Now, we feel like a small veil has been lifted on the ins and outs of successful farm living and we're starting to accrue a small "farm literature" library. Whatever comes out of all of this, we'll learn from it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

House Over Yonder

Repercussions of living tucked away on a country road?

Life, wildlife. There's an unimaginable amount of life around at every hour of the day. Every time you go outside is just another opportunity to see, smell, or hear something you might not if you lived elsewhere. Why just yesterday I saw both a Giant Leopard Moth and an unwelcome rat in the Smokehouse whom we've named Templeton (his eviction is pending). I smelled both the basil growing in the garden and our goats in heat (think extra pungent goat cheese left out a little too long). And, I got to hear Willie Nelson turned up to a "we don't have any neighbors for miles" volume as well as our dogs, Jupiter and Little Bud, running the coyotes all night long.

2) Driving in to town so I can download this week's episode of The Biggest Loser at the coffee shop in Milledgeville. I refuse to deem this show a guilty pleasure. It's simply amazing (even if every episode contains a not so subtle product placement that is normally really awkward to watch). I always think of this show when i'm starting to lose energy during a run.... if Michael can run 5 miles at 350 pounds, then dammit i'd better be able to. **satellite internet is getting installed tomorrow, yay! I'm a little skeptical, so i'm hoping to be shocked and amazed by it's" lightning quick speed"**

Sometimes when you go in to the next room to see what kind of trouble your cat might be getting into, you realize she's really just trying to get to the bird that's gotten stuck in the record player. (wish I had pictures of this one, but I was too busy insisting that we needed to take the record player outside and try to get the bird out, instead of letting the kitty have her first kill. Thanks Brad). No worries, the bird flew out of the record player unharmed.

When AT&T comes out to install your land line, your technician informs you a) he services the entire county, by himself b) he doesn't need you to show him where the phone jacks are because, he installed them when the last owner moved in (in the '80's.) ** He also told us before he drove off, that our house was his favorite in Hancock County. So sweet.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Moving on up.

With our case of moving dementia just now starting to wane we've rolled up our sleeves. High. Way past the elbows, high. We're the new residents of an old farm. We need determination. We need time, focus, and grit.

A few days ago, Big Bad Brad and I began checking items off of our initial list of "Farm Projects".

Project #1: Coop Converting and Rooster Rationing.

We've got roosters, a lot of them. Four in our barn coop. Two in our roaming coop. Yes, we know we need to give some of them away, but it's harder than you'd think to find 3 roosters a good home. In the meantime, we've solved the problem the best way we know how. The solution: Take an abandoned part of the barn that was formerly used as a coop, repair it, and move hens from the rolling coop into the new old coop. Next, take two of the four roosters from "La Maison du Coq", or the already established barn coop, and put them in with the hens in the new old coop. The other two roosters will stay by themselves in the rolling coop in preparation for our new chick arrivals. (note for the French Shy: La Maison du Coq means The House of the Rooster)

CEO of "La Maison du Coq"

The process: Day 1: Remove trash, clean, and fortify new old coop. Day 2: Moving Day. With a small fishing net, a sandwich in our bellies, and a stiff upper lip we approached the rolling coop. The air must have smelled like freedom because once the rolling pen was flipped up the hens kamikazed in every direction but that of their nice new home. After an afternoon (and evening) of chicken chasing all but 1 rooster had been recovered. The next day both the rooster's neck and ours was saved by our speedy friend Clint who had come down for the day to help with a little home brewing. The hens have been laying more eggs since their journey across the yard, and the new roosters seem to be doing well with their new brood. I guess even poultry can smell a promotion. In the meantime, the two rolling coop roosters wait, in their movable home, for Carr's Station Farm Hens: The New Class.

Eggs from the hens the day after they moved into their new home.
Note: one hen produced a dwarf egg. Too much excitement?

I think just like our fowl, Brad and I are really going to take to our new home.