One of the most rewarding parts of owning a farm is sharing the experience with other people. Views like these are too good to be kept to oneself.
the farm at sunrise
The biggest attractant, though, is not the view but the fuzzy baby chicks in our brooder. With batches of broiler and layer chicks arriving every four weeks, we have a constant supply of cuteness. No matter how ungainly these birds will look in a few weeks, as day-old babies they bring out the child in all of us.
After all, aren’t baby chicks what a farm is all about?
Many of my friends bring their kids out to the farm to see the baby chicks and to feed the laying hens. The chickens are just the right size for a child to approach. There is nothing more adorable than seeing a little 2 year old girl in a plaid dress, hand-feeding chickens in a pasture. Heart-melting adorable, I’m telling you.
Know what else is adorable? These:
Kid's drawings - the price of admission for a farm tour
The last few kids who have come to visit the baby chicks have each brought me pictures and letters. One sweet little blonde first grader even brought Chocolate Banana Braed, as mentioned above. Her note was written in blueberry-scented Mr. Sketch marker too…she gets extra points for that!
I’ve decided that the new price of admission for a farm tour is a hand-painted picture. Disney character drawings merit extra special farm tour priveleges. I wouldn’t turn down a loaf of Chocolate Banana Braed, either. That stuff was good.
The Peace of Wild Things
— Wendell Berry–
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Our Amberlink pullets are now 6 weeks old! It doesn’t seem very long ago that they were sweet, fuzzy little chicks. You can see video of their first day here.
We are getting another batch of layer chicks this week, so it was time for the Amberlinks to vacate the brooder. They were also looking a little bored in there, so it was time for them to hit the grass.
I’m not ready for them to live in the Eggmobiles yet, as I want to keep them seperate from the older hens until they begin to lay. So we built some extra Salatin-style broiler pens and put them in there for the time-being. The pullets are doing great on pasture, and it’s amazing to see how well they forage for insects, slugs and seeds.
A recent project of ours has been laying pipe on our leased acreage. I couldn’t get livestock out on pasture until I had a way to supply them with water, so I waltzed on down to the local irrigation store. I think it’s safe to say that not very many people in my small town buy 1.5″ polypipe by the length of 3,000 feet, because they kind of looked at me funny. Then they sent a semi truck to the farm with ten huge rolls of pipe.
That’s about the time I started sweating.
Because: oh my gosh – I have 3,000 feet of plastic pipe sitting outside of the barn.
And: I have a bill for $2,100 in my hand.
And: holy crap – I guess I’m really farming now.
It turns out that laying pipe is not very difficult. It’s a full day of work to unroll that much pipe across two fifty acre fields, but there’s no better way to get an early Spring farmer’s tan.
(Next purchase: a marvelous new fashion trend called “tanktops”)
If we were ever debating the merits of buying the four-wheeler, that concern was laid to rest on this day. Keith discovered (with much glee) that he could stack rolls of pipe three high on the ATV and tool around like he was driving a clown car. It definitely saved time. It also definitely looked ridiculous.
Trial run with two rolls of pipe:
Final run with three rolls of pipe.
I’m glad to say that I was proven wrong, and it was not in fact, a disaster.
We now have excellent water pressure filling stock tanks of the distant end of our field. All in a day’s work!