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Blank Slate

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Blank Slate

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We are starting out as farmers with only a small amount of experience and working with a large piece of land that has almost no infrastructure and very few trees. Working with this blank slate, both the land and ourselves, is one of the most exciting parts of this new venture but also the most frustrating. We don't have a rhythm to our day with set farm chores or an exact idea of what we will produce or how we will sell it to people.  What we do have is an enormous amount of ideas, future plans lists and current projects lists, and his and her stacks of farming books to read. I will let you guess which one is mine and which one is his.

Here is a short list of plans we have for the farm-

  Current                                                                                                Future

Reinforce fencing for Sheep                                            Build Sauna

Three new gates to separate paddocks                           Build High Tunnel for Garden

Finish second Chicken tractor                                        Winter Chickens in Tunnel

Start Turkey tractor                                                          Build Barn

Plant late summer veggies                                                Find a breed of Pigs

Amend soil for healthy spring garden                              Build Pigs a Home

When I make lists one of my favorite parts is crossing off the things I've done so I will share with you a couple of the things we have accomplished. We had a work party with friends and planted 75 saplings, Built a Pond and Culvert so we could drive a tractor to the back pastures and for future irrigation plans, and tilled our first garden and planted alfalfa and wild oats in it to enrich the soil.

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Chicklets and Poulets

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Chicklets and Poulets

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We received a call at 5 am this morning that our chicks and turkey poulets had arrived at the post office.  We knew they would be arriving in a small box and that they will have been without water or food for 24 hours so before anyone had coffee or breakfast we rushed down to our local USPS where our friendly postal woman Diana was keeping them safe on a table with boxes full of other peoples chicks. This is our fourth brood of chickens but it still feels like Christmas morning anticipating their arrival and getting to hold our fuzzy little feathered friends for the first time. The kids got to help me free them from their tiny box and put them in their new home, which is an old watering trough for the horses that used to live here. Our farm family now includes 25 Bard Rock Hens, 5 Roosters, and 8 Bronze Turkeys.

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Here we go....

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Here we go....

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   Our boxes are packed, our last days of school and work will soon be here and then what? It's off to live on the farm full time. There is so much planning and doing to be done that its hard to remember how we got here. It all started with an idea that we could grow and raise our own food. We started with some very small city gardens, then came the chickens, then the beehives, and even more chickens. We didn't produce a substantial amount of food but we thoroughly enjoyed what we did produce and turning it into things other people could enjoy. We visited farms and went on road trips where we day dreamed about having enough land to grow and raise whatever we wanted to. Then somehow without really looking for it we found a piece of land that had more space than we had ever imagined having and more than enough to grow food for ourselves. So then we had the second idea, why not grow and raise enough food for other people too?

     There have been many people and places that have inspired us along the way and here is just one to start with.

The Jubilee Farm in Carnation, Washington (jubileefarm.org)

    

    

    

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