Getting the garden together this year has been a long, arduous process. Like many farmers in Missouri, we’ve been sitting around the last two months with our thumbs in in our bums, waiting for the weather to be decent enough to get in the garden. It’s been really cold and really wet for a really long time. This is how we prepared our soil for this year’s garden.
Friday night I rushed home from work to see what Ms. Broody Pants was up to. One of our buff orpingtons had been sitting on her eggs for 20 days so I was almost sure that when I got home I would see some chicks. But alas, no chicks. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be, maybe the chill last week was too much for her. But Saturday morning I went out to the coop to check on the chickens and looked in her nesting box. A tiny yellow chick with a black spot on its forehead was peeking out from underneath Ms. Broody Pants. She did it!! She hatched a chick! I ran to the house to grab my camera and by the time I got back out there were three tiny faces peeking out from underneath her wings. Three beautiful chicks!
If you give Autumn a chicken coop, she’ll probably want some chickens. If you give Autumn some chickens, she’ll probably want some more. If your chickens start to lay eggs, your friends will probably want some eggs. If your friends want some eggs, their friends will probably want some too. If your friends’ friends want some eggs, you’ll probably need more chickens. If you want some more chickens, you’ll probably need some more coops. Translation: We’re building not one but two additional coops so that eventually we can have three separate thirty bird flocks. By keeping three separate flocks, we’ll be able to sell eggs for consumption, hatching eggs, chicks and full grown chickens. And we are really effing excited.
When we first got into raising chickens, we researched many different breeds. We knew that we wanted to get buff orpingtons because they’re a great utility breed. Then we were gifted three Easter Eggers and immediately fell in love with them. But we knew we wanted to raise a whole flock of one specific breed to keep in a dedicated coop. A breed that was really special, unique or rare. It wasn’t long before we discovered the marans breed. They’re a rare breed that lays a coppery-chocolate colored egg, which is really badass. They’re also James Bond’s favorite egg… mega badass. We had to have them.
So, we’ve got this spot by the entrance to the new wood shop that needs a retaining wall. We had to dig the floor to the new wood shop down about 10 inches. On top of the fact that it was already 8 inches lower than the shop next to it. This left us with about 18 inches of hill that just can’t wait to slide in front of the door and block the way like a big dirt bouncer at a wood shop club. So we decided to build a railroad tie retaining wall to hold all the dirt back and guess what? We had a bunch of railroad ties laying around the farm. Perfect!
Spring has finally sprung here at the farm! Let’s just hope it stays this way. Now that it’s April, Missouri’s weather needs to get its act together! Anyway, we’ve started to notice some signs that spring has arrived; the hyacinths in Rob’s flower bed have started to bloom, we have a seriously broody buff orpington, the greenhouse is full of seedlings and germinating herbs, we have construction projects out the wazoo and there’s this bright light coming from the sky… oh yeah, the sun.