Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Murphy the Marvelous

About three weeks ago, we got a new addition to our family. We adopted Murphy, a  two and a half month old Border Collie mix puppy!  We adopted him from West Hancock Canine Rescue, which is a volunteer run non-profit organization based in Illinois.  Click here for their link.

Murphy goes to puppy class every week, and we work on sit, stay, come, lay down, and have puppy play time. At home, he loves playing with chew toys and running in the pasture with Rosie. Everybody has fallen in love with him because he's an adorable little puppy (except for when he gets mouthy or chews shoes)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Paw Paw Trees

Tropical fruit.......... in Iowa?! Yes, there is a VERY unique tropical fruit that can grow in Iowa, and it just so happens that we planted two of those trees recently! They're called paw paw trees. Did you know that the paw paw is the largest fruit native to North America? Their fruit is very interesting because it is a combination of a mango, a banana, and a pineapple. Paw paws are considered a very nutritious superfruit. Be careful when you are eating it though, because the seeds are poisonous! These fruits grow in clusters, and the trees can get up to 15-20 feet tall!
The cover over the paw paw is to temporarily protect it from harsh wind and sun.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

PRAIRIE

Caroline mixing up a batch of seeds.


This April we took on a project we had been wanting to do; restore an acre of prairie in our pasture. To make a plantable seed mixture, we had to combine one part seed to ten parts sand. Then we sowed the seeds all by hand. With the help of Mother Nature, the prairie is growing. 



partridge pea



One of the plants that's blooming is called the partridge pea. This plant usually blooms in mid July to mid August. Interesting factoid about the partridge pea: the leaves fold up when touched. This flower offers nectar from small orange glands at the base of its petals for honeymaking.



Black-eyed Susan

We also have some black-eyed Susans springing up.
We'll keep you posted on the flowers and forbs in our prairie.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cool Chicks

Sunny cooling off in the sled
This past week we have been experiencing temperatures much higher than average. Our chickens have been panting and sticking their wings out; telltale signs of a hot chicken. We came up with a few things we can do to make sure they don't fry, such as filling plastic sleds with water and making frozen vegetable/fruit blocks.


video
Carlos the rooster showing off

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This week the New Pioneer Co-op is having an eat local week. You can submit photos of dishes made from local ingredients, and for each post, they will donate $1 to Field to Family. It just so happens that this week was mom's birthday, so we made a DELICIOUS chocolate zucchini cake, and decided to enter it.  If you want some more information, visit their website: http://www.newpi.coop/

2 c all-purpose flour 
2 c white sugar
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt 
1 t ground cinnamon
4 eggs
1 c vegetable oil
3 c grated zucchini
1 c chocolate chips













1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.   Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan or bundt pan.

2.In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the eggs and oil, mix well. Fold in the chocolate chips and zucchini. Pour into the prepared pan.

3. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out cleanly. Cool cake completely before adding powdered sugar or frosting.

                        

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

End of summer update

Carlos the rooster and Betty the pullet
Over the summer, there has been LOTS of excitement around the farm. Perhaps the most exciting event is the addition of Carlos to our flock. Carlos is a Bantam Buff Cochin, and the cutest rooster ever. We got him from a family at the fair who had extras, to replace Waffles. He is the fastest, fluffiest and has the cutest crow of any rooster you will ever meet.
 Last time you saw our little pullets, they were just fluffy chicks. But now they are healthy laying pullets. They are just a few days from being 6 months old! We've been getting 15-20 eggs a day!!







We have also been working with Backyard Abundance to create plans to transform our yard into a garden. It will be filled with fruit trees, a sensory garden, a berry patch, a cutting garden, and much more. If you want  some more information about this organization, click here. Along with our yard, we also have plans for our barn in the works. We are hoping to turn our barn into a country inn. We'll post more about that later.

Friday, May 24, 2013

New Life Around The Farm




With summer around the corner, things are blooming on the farm! We recently bought Wilbur, a weeping willow tree, for our pond. The strong winds have been hitting him hard, so dad made him a brace. His trunk will grow up to six feet in diameter, and he can grow five to six feet a year!

Our pond is also home to multiple frogs and HUNDREDS of eggs and tadpoles! What we want to know is how did the frogs even get here?!




Our asparagus is popping up all over the place! We mowed down the unruly grass and now the asparagus gets lots of sunshine. We have harvested enough for a few dinners. Yum!








Our friend Ken brought one of his bee hives out to our farm. They are happily buzzing around by the garden. Our farm provides a dry, protected area with plenty of pollen and a direct path to water. We are hoping to sample some of their honey later this year.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Prize Winning Video

Recently Caroline entered a Murray McMurray Hatchery video   contest. She went out and filmed a little tour of our coop, edited it, and sent it in. About a week after that, we were looking at the website, and there was Caroline's coop tour! For being a weekly winner, she got a gift from Murray Mc Murray; a super snazzy MUG!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Time for fish?

Welcome to our 50th blog post! Since Tuesday night, we have received five inches of rain. Our pond is filling very quickly. It rose more than four feet in two days! We have made lots of progress on the dock.  It has all of the railings on and deck boards screwed down. We are predicting that by the end of the week the pond will be full. Only eight more inches!

Our marsh is pouring into the pond like crazy!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy April!

Two cool chicks :)
Happy birthday, chicks! Today the chicks are one month old and they are already living in the coop. This past weekend, we worked to partition off part of the chicken coop. They were getting too crowded in the brooder.
Their new area is almost double the size!
Natalie and Izzy snuggle up




The decking is almost done!

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Rest of the Flock










Meet Milly, Stella, Hazel and Penelope. They are my Black Star chickens. Black Stars are also called Black Sex-link because when they hatch, the males are colored differently than the females. I chose this breed for a pen of three at the fair. They are prolific layers of large brown eggs and also very hardy. They are a wonderful all-around breed and will definitely be stars in our flock!    ~Caroline












For my pen of three this year, I got four Delaware chicks. Their names are Izzy, Patsy, Betty, and Annie. All my girls love to flap around and sing. Delawares are globally endangered birds. When they are older, they will be white with black speckled necks and lay large brown eggs. I cant wait to take three of these girls to the fair! ~Natalie












Monday, March 11, 2013

Wet Weekend


Our pond is finally filling up! After about two inches of rain over the weekend, the water by the dock is almost eight feet deep. The water level rose roughly six feet this weekend! This morning, our first visitors arrived for a swim. 




Thanks to all of our customers who came out in the rain to meet our chicks.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Chick Days

Dark Brahma hen
Nellie, the Dark Brahma

Did you know that Dark Brahma chickens have feathered feet? I have two Dark Brahma chicks, Nellie and Jolene. They are very noisy and energetic. When they are older, they will lay brown eggs. It is going to be interesting to see what my girls look like as they get older. I cant wait until they start laying!
~Natalie







Golden Laced Hen
Golden Laced Wyandottes are beautiful birds and great layers. I chose them for the show bird category. Doris and Ingrid, my Golden Laced Wyandottes, are very playful and friendly. When they start laying, they will lay big brown eggs. This breed is considered rare, so we are lucky to have two of our very own!
Ingrid, Golden Laced Wyandotte
~Caroline


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Meet the Chicks



Salmon Faverolle Hen
Flo and Bev are my Salmon Faverolles. They have fluffy feet, fluffy cheeks and a fifth toe! They are hardy and great layers of light brown to white eggs. My Salmon Faverolle chicks are very friendly and love to be held. They like to lay on their back in your hands. I’m excited to show this rare breed at the fair this summer.
Flo, three days old
~Caroline











Tina



Meet my Araucanas, Wanda and Gretel! Araucanas are also called Easter egg chickens. They will eventually lay lots of green and blue eggs. Our adult Araucanas, Tina and Piper, dont look at all alike. Our chicks look the same now, but you never know! Im planning on taking one of these girls to the fair.
~Natalie
Wanda, one of our new chicks
Piper

Monday, March 4, 2013

Chicks Galore!




The day finally arrived! On Saturday, we traveled for about two hours to pick up our little bundles of fluff. When we got to Murray McMurray, they brought out our chicks and took off the lid. We knew there were more than twelve , but they were too jumbled up to count. They told us they sometimes pack  extras, but we didn't know how many! As we unloaded them at home, we counted 16 little peepers! After dipping all of their beaks in the waterer and putting the heat light on, some of the chicks were very hungry and the others seemed pretty confused. Once they had all explored the brooder, they decided to take a nice long snooze. We got six different breeds of chicks, and we will feature one breed every day this week.



Friday, February 15, 2013

Chick Update!

Wordle: ChickensCome out to the Golden Egg on Saturday, March 9th, 9-noon for our 2nd annual Eggstravaganza! We will have brunch and you can meet our new chicks. Here is a Wordle about our chickens that you'll see on our farm.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Coming soon to the Golden Egg...

It's chick season! Yesterday, we ordered a dozen new chicks from Murray McMurray Hatchery. On March 2nd, we are journeying up to Webster City, IA to pick up our order! We are super excited for the new addition to our flock. Our little peepers were very specifically selected. We don't want to give TOO much away, but we'll give you a sneak peek.
We each want to have a pen of three for the fair, so we got four great egg layers (one extra in case of casualties). For the show bird category, we both chose two beautiful breeds that also are great egg layers. Watch for details regarding our second annual Golden Eggstravaganza!

Friday, January 25, 2013

January on the farm!

Howdy y'all! It's January out on the farm! Since it's so cold, (and it's winter!) we don't have many greens for our henny pennys. But we got a cabbage and hung it in their run and they loved it! Recently, we have been talking about what kinds of chicks we want to get this spring. We'll keep you posted on that.





Lately, we have been feeling crafty! Our first project was knitting. At the beginning, it was pretty bad, but we have been working on it, and have gotten a lot better. We have been making tree huggers for our farm. Second, we went to the art store and got a big bottle of Mod Podge. We decorated outlet and lightswitch covers.












On the nice days, the boys go out to work on the dock. They have been making a lot of progress!