Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Busy as a Bee

We are back blogging again. Since the last post we have moved. We kept the farm and visit every week. My newest adventure is raising bees. I ordered my first hive from Rossman Apiaries. I didn't realize they came in so many parts. It took about two days of nailing and gluing but I got them together. It was actually good for the boys to help. It got them involved and curious about the bees.

I thought I would go ahead and plow up a spot to put the hive and plant white clover all around the bees. I picked up two pounds of clover seed from Southern States. I was amazed that clover produces its own fertilizer due to a bacteria that lives in its roots. You can't just plant seeds. You have to put out seeds that are coated with the bacteria.

We decided to paint the hive white to keep them cool. We plan to put the bees in the hive Friday. We will have the camera rolling! I hope it goes well.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Patches for a calf

My uncle owns a dairy frm and one day he called our phone number. He said he had a hurt calf. The little cow was some sort of dairy cow of course, so it was huge! He told us it had a broken leg that could not be fixed and that she would never make a good dairy cow because of it. It needed a home where it could just be a pet. So all in all, we chose to give the calf a home on our farm. We drove to his dairy farm and the kids loved seeing how everything worked. His cows were huge and I might have been having second thought until I saw her. She was about 3 feet tall and two weeks old. We listend carefully to the instructions for bottle feeding it. We had pretty much everything already. (After a long trip to Tractor Supply Co.) We had worked on the barn for awhile before we drove here. After giving it a door some soft hay and a bucket of water and feed if she wanted to try it, it actually looked really nice.
Loading her up was obviously not to easy. We had cram her into Daisy's dog crate, which turned out to fit her quite well. She didn't "Moo!" to much until we got onto our dirt road. I guess the bumps can be annoying if your in a dog crate and your back is touching the roof. When we put her in the barn she seemed very comfortable. We were afraid she wouldn't like and get all crazy, butting her feet in the air. Actually she did kick her feet in the air, but it looked like she was enjoying it. The kids heated up a bottle and fed it to her. That little calf could drink about a gallon of milk, even more if we let her. After a few days the kids started whinning about feeding her. At first they would fight over who did it now, it is the opposite. I guess the cold fianlly got to them. We named her Patches and her foot is looking a lot better.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Manasota Key 2010

Every year we spend a week on the beach in Manasota Key. It has become tradition that we stay in the same house. This is a true vacation for us. We spend our mornings looking for sharks teeth on the beach. We build sand castles and play in the pool during the day. In the afternoon we grill out and fish on the beach. We catch everything from sting rays to sharks. At night we catch crabs and check the sea turtle nest for hatching turtles.

For many people this sounds boring but for us it is the best family time. We slow down and just play with the kids and enjoy our time together. I hope one day when the kids look back they will remember these trips fondly.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Rescuing Tom & Jerry

We got a call from a horse farm in South Georgia that they had rescued two pygmy goats from the highway. We agreed to take in the goats and bottle feed them. We named the goats Tom and Jerry. Tom had been attacked by dogs while he was in the highway and needed some vet work. Our free goat ended up costing over 200 dollars. We feed Tom and Jerry out of bottle made from 20oz Dr. Pepper bottles.

It is quite a site to see the kids walking around and the two bottle baby goats following them around like dogs. They think they are part of the family!

Monday, June 21, 2010

A New Puppy

Noah got a new puppy for his birthday. He wanted a red-tri male australian shepherd puppy. We found one in Lexington, Alabama. Wendy and Noah drove 4 hours to get him and 4 hours back(man we love our kids). Jade had googled for two months to find one exactly like we wanted. The new puppy is named Rocket's Red Glare. Noah is planning to train Rocket to herd animals.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rivera Maya

Wendy and I decided to take our first adult only vacation in a few years. It was our 15th Anniversary. Wendy had dropped lots of subtle hints like "You better take me somewhere for our anniversary if you want to see 16". I "surprised" her by planning a trip to Mexico. I did get some help planning from West Georgia Travel:) They set us up with a nice stay at the El Dorado.

We had the best trip! We went to the Mayan Ruins, cliff diving into the sink holes and snorkeling. Wendy kept insisting that she was seeing a giant fish while snorkeling. I could hear her hyperventilate when she would see something. On the third day I finally saw her imagined fish and it was a 5 foot barracuda. She made sure I said she was right.

I know it sounds selfish but i think every couple needs to get away every now and then and forget about work, kids, and everything else. We were able to spend time with just each other. You almost forget what it is like to not have your life revolve around others. We would simply lay on the beach and wait on someone to bring us food and drinks every day. What a life!
From The Simple Life

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Baby Buzzards in the Barn

We have a Buzzard that has been living in the Old Barn(Pic) for a few years. Every year she shows up in the spring and lays two eggs in the loft of the barn. It is a nice dry place for her. I was brave enough to climb up in the loft to get some pictures this year. I must admit I had Wendy watching for the mother coming back. Last thing I want is to be trapped in the loft with a buzzard pecking my eyes out!

The babies are about the size of a grown chicken.

From Our Farm

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Baby chicks are born

Our broody buff has hatched her first eggs. The kids discovered the chicks had made small holes in the egg shell after church this morning. We checked again after church tonight and the first chick was completely out of the shell but still wet and cold.

It is truly amazing that an egg can turn into a chick in 21 days. We have been trying to hatch some eggs in an incubator and i am amazed at how much has to go right to get an egg to hatch. The eggs do not start hatching until all the eggs are laid and the hen starts to sit on them. They lay in a suspended state until somehow all of them knowing exactly when to start growing so they all hatch the same day. The temperature has to be exactly right. If the incubator is off just half a degree the chicks will not hatch yet the hen gets it just right. If the humidity is to high the chicks will drown in the egg or to low and they dry out. Again the hen knows exactly what humidity level the eggs should be at. The eggs also have to be rotated a few times each day. If they are not rotated the chick will stick to the egg shell.

Struggling with all these rules in the incubator leaves me amazed that God can create a hen that instinctively knows how to do it all without any training. The miracle of life is truly amazing!

From Our Farm

Saturday, May 8, 2010

New Fainting Goats

We got new fainting goats this week. Wendy and I have a morbid sense of humor because we have enjoyed watching these guys go stiff legged and belly up like they are dead.

The kids named the goats Billy and Blue Bell. Hope my mom is not upset our goats are name after her dad Billy Beal? He would find it funny:)

I spent two days building an electric fence for them and decided to put them in the new pen today. I read all the web sites on how to keep goats with an electric fence and was confident my design would hold them. I turned on the power and put the goats in the pen. As soon as their feet hit the ground they ran toward the fence and went right through it. They acted like it wasn't even there. They never slowed down as they crossed the fence and ran across the open field. Then they hit the road and kept going down it until it ended and then went into the woods. They just kept going and going... I just sat there with my mouth open. It was like they knew where they were going and planned to go as soon as I put them down. I went and got the golf cart and started riding around the woods and looking for them. After searching for an hour I started on my way back home and they were at the old house place eating grass. They had circled back on me somewhere. I knew my only chance to catch them was to floor it and blow the horn when I got right on them. It worked! Billy fainted and rolled over like he was dead. I jumped out of the golf cart like a rodeo cowboy and tied a rope around his neck before he regained his legs. I successfully got him on the cart and Bell followed as I carried him back. She wanted to be with him more than she wanted to be free.

I am starting over on the pen design. I took the electric fence charger back to Tractor supply today and got some real fence post for a traditional fence. We will see if this works.

From Our Farm

Monday, April 19, 2010

Rocks, Rocks, and more Rocks

We finally got our spring garden planted!

We finally got a few weeks of no rain so we could plant our garden. We have not had a garden here so we were working with ground that was full of weeds and rocks. We tilled the ground and sheared 4 pins on the tiller during the initial breaking of the ground. We picked up 3 loads of huge rocks. We have since tilled the ground about 5 times and we continue to pickup load after load of rocks! I think they are reproducing as fast as we pick them up. The kids asked if we would ever be finished. My grandmother reminded them that she was picking up rocks in that very same field when she was a kid. So the answer is no we will never be finished.

We did however get our strawberries, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes and okra planted. No we are just waiting on the seeds to come up.