Monthly Archives: March 2016

Fun weekend at the farm

I work most weekends at our church, but I had this last weekend off and we spent the whole time playing at the farm. Except at night. We originally wanted to go camping on the land, but it frosted both Friday and Saturday night, so we chickened out.

Andrew found a new place to hang his hammock.

My sister Rachael came out to the farm and was swinging Ellie in the hammock. Ellie said “You know sometimes you’re so happy you start crying?” Rachael asked, “Is that how you’re feeling right now?” Ellie answered “Yeah.” I absolutely loved that – it makes me so thrilled that our girls are loving our farm as much as we are.

We cooked hamburgers over the fire ring for dinner. I’m really getting the hang of open fire cooking. Having the right tools helps! I love this cast iron griddle. It’s ridged on one side and flat on the other. I’d definitely advise against leaving it in the rain. Not that I would do that. *whistles innocently* Andrew’s sister Laura came out for dinner, too, and it was such fun to have her and Rachael out with us!

On Sunday, Andrew and the girls worked on wiring up more lights and we all helped move boxes from our storage container into the container building.

At first we tried to keep the girls out of our way while we moved boxes, but they kept asking to help, and we finally got the hint and let them. Everything is so much better with adorable helpers!

I have a whole shelf for my canning/preserving gear! I am so excited to start filling these jars with produce from our land.

At one point during moving boxes I noticed something small hopping around. I’ve seen these tiny frogs around the pond but this little one was far away from a water source. After showing the girls, I took it to the pond and let it hop into the mud.

Soon after that, we had the most awesome thing happen! Brad, the Bobcat owner-operator who did our driveway, has struck up a friendship with Andrew. The two of them talk about country and construction stuff together. I am friends with his wife Janelle because we were in small group together through church. They are planning to buy some land in the country as well, and happened to be looking at a property near our farm Sunday. Brad suggested that the family go have a look at our farm, so without calling us to see if we were there, they just drove by – and we did happen to be there! They have two boys who are perfect ages to play with our two girls, and we all had a BLAST for the rest of the afternoon and evening. The kids went on adventures together, digging in mud with sticks and climbing in and out of the creek bed and throwing rocks into the pond. We all got to enjoy some campfire food and some excellent company. And THAT is why we bought the land – to make a place for people to enjoy the outdoors. It was definitely the highlight of our weekend. Thanks for coming out, Brad and Janelle!

A chilly, wet day

Last Thursday, before we got to the farm, a thunderstorm blew through and thoroughly soaked our land.


This battered portion in the middle of the container building instantly turned into a sticky mess.

So we spent some time inside! Emily told me “I’m taking good care of Great-Great.”

Ellie took care of baking Oliver in the toy kitchen.

In the afternoon the sun came out, and though it was still muddy all over, Ellie and I went on an adventure into the creek. She picked me a tiny bouquet.

I made a little rock tower.

I think she was having fun! I know I was!

And we completed our adventure with a ride on the tire swing.

Even though it was far too cold for ice cream, we went and got shakes at Sonic anyway! Andrew is covered in paint because he finished painting the inside of our container, and we are starting to move our stuff into our container (and take the opportunity to purge things too).

Container building is UP!

Last Friday was such an exciting day! It was the day that the pieces for our steel building were coming, so we rented a forklift and hired a driver to help us move the containers onto their piers on the same day.


Here they are prior to moving. The one on the left is my MIL’s (it went on the piers); the one in the middle is our current storage container; and the one on the right is the 20′ short container that Andrew converted into his office a couple years ago. Our container that went on the piers was behind this arrangement. We will be moving our stuff out of the orange container into the building and selling the orange one soon.


Here is the first one on the move. The cows next door were fascinated (I realized later it was because the truck that pulled the forklift out to the property looks like their feed truck).


After a bit of finagling with the southwest corner, the first container was up on its foundation and all four corners locked in place.


As we were moving the second container, the truck with the barn showed up!


The forklift did a great job unloading the truck. The building company told us to estimate 4 hours for unloading and it was done in less than two.


And then we hit a snag. The forklift was too short to lift the final container up by about a foot!


The driver tried piloting the container in from the north side of the building since it is closer to the ground. The second story container HAS to go on the south end, though, since that’s where Andrew had our welding guy weld extra supports. Right after I took this picture the forklift got stuck in mud.


I couldn’t watch anymore. I went down to my zen place – the garden – and covered the entire second bed with my nice dirt. I never doubted that Andrew could pull it off…I just didn’t want to watch it all happen.


And there he is! He did it! The top container is currently bolted down to the bottom two, plus it’s held on with chains. As soon as our welder can come back out, he will weld the top container to the bottom containers on all four corners and then construction will be done!

We had curious onlookers stop by and ask what was going on. That was funny.

Also, the bottom container’s corner is painted with the proper colors. The white is the primer; the containers will eventually (hopefully soon) be painted the field green color with the chocolate brown trim. It will definitely be less of a sore thumb then.

Our first building! It’s done!

Garden progress and signs of spring

I realized recently that I started my cold weather veggies indoors too late. So I put them out in the garden, wished them well, and moved along to starting tomatoes and peppers indoors. I also think I wasn’t giving the indoor plants enough time under the grow light, so they were very leggy and weak. If I get anything useful out of the cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, and kale that I set in the garden, great! If not, oh well, I have a ton of seeds I can start in the fall.

I gave the girls permission to dig in the pile of nice dirt for the garden and they had an absolute ball.

We’re seeing things flower all around the farm now!

I am quite certain these flowering trees are some sort of plum. We may have two varieties; the above plum is a standalone tree, but we have some thickets of plums too.

We heard a big frog harrumping in this thicket so I have no desire to mow it down 🙂

Now I’ve started seven varieties of tomato, basil, four varieties of peppers (bell, poblano, and a spicy blend), and red onions.

Starting the seeds on paper towels isn’t strictly necessary, but I love getting to see the changes in the seeds that usually happen under the earth. The above basil seeds were hard as could be, but before they sprouted roots, they coated themselves in this jelly-like substance! That’s pretty cool #plantnerd