Monthly Archives: June 2016

Happy birthday, Fields of Green!

Today marks the one year anniversary of when we bought the farm! So many wonderful things have happened – here’s a look at where we are now.

We have a pumpkin growing in the garden.

Emily’s my great clothespin helper when we hang laundry.

Doing laundry is NOT a chore when this is what I get to look at!

The garden is producing beautifully.

I’m learning about new pests…

And we have new friends as well.

I found this little guy in the girls’ wading pool! It was easy to capture as it played dead when I reached for it.

I took it to the pond and let it go, but not before taking a couple of pictures of how beautiful it was.

Ellie found a dancing partner in the corn patch…

All in all, from my perspective, the farm gets better every day! We are so grateful for it.

Grading and gravel, part 2

After a couple days of digging dirt and moving it around, we were ready to put down some gravel. It was really fun to see it come together!

One of the first places that got gravel was the breezeway between the containers. Our Bobcat guy did a great job grading the dirt and then spreading gravel. It’s a wonderful place to park vehicles and have meals now! Andrew found some long pipes in one of our fields and they fit perfectly across the top – he’s going to figure out a way to mount some tarps or canvas up there and make it a nice shady area.

Heading out of the driveway is so much nicer! This was all dirt down to the gate.

This is the site for the barn, completely level! Brad suggested we let it sit a month to see how it’s going to settle before we proceed with drilling piers and doing the concrete.

And now for pictures of my cute offspring. Emily was enjoying some grapes after swimming.

Ellie helped pull a funny carrot.

Emily did a great job helping water the corn!

Both of them wanted to get into a trench to help Daddy fix up some pipes.

Ellie got to have a turn steering the excavator too! She was so thrilled.

Most of the sunflowers that have started blooming are Lemon Queens or Mammoth, which are all bright yellow. And then there’s this beauty – I just love it!

Grading and gravel, part 1

Last week we spent nearly every day at the farm doing construction work. It was exhausting and exhilarating! We started the dirt work for the driveway, parking lot, breezeway, and barn pad. Lots of dirt needed to be dug up and moved.

Andrew rented an excavator first thing Monday morning.

The first thing he did was start to move the pieces of the barn – they were jumbled up and messy, so he was sorting them into the order they’ll need to be in in order to erect it. And he found a friend!

I’m in a super awesome group on Facebook about snake ID in north Texas which has taught me a lot about snakes. Based on his description of the snake and seeing the 4-5′ long skin, I guessed it was a coachwhip. And I was right – one of the herpetologists in the group confirmed that we have a western coachwhip. I’m so happy – these are terrific rodent control and they even eat venomous snakes.

Andrew dug and dug and dug. This is one of the many trenches he put in for water and conduit.

I helped glue pipe together, which is a very smelly job. Neither of us likes the smell of the primer or the cement; it tends to give us headaches.

Most of the work was done to the north of the container building.

We put one big trench in down by the driveway, though, for the gate controller and future keypad. Ellie was very happy to help and we were happy to have her help!

Things that are nice to look at

There are so many beautiful, wonderful things to look at on the farm!

Like the first tomato from plants I started myself from seed!

This hilarious garden rock that my goofball baby sister painted (and I LOVE it).

Volunteer acorn squash!

Tiny carrots (which were delicious and didn’t even make it into the house)

The corn patch, which got some fertilizer, pea seeds, and a mulch of grass clippings.

Hugelkultur bed #1, with most of the pea plants pulled, and many Lemon Queen sunflowers already!

Hugelkultur bed #2, also with Lemon Queen sunflowers and pink and red beans.

Hugelkultur bed #3, which is the prettiest of all, thanks to the profusion of wildflowers that grows all around it.

My adorable husband doing his geek thing on top of his container office.

I mean, really. What a magnificent place.


Updates to our plans

Surely someone in this wide world of ours has some pithy quote about making plans only to have them change constantly. The past couple months have been a period of intense work for Andrew and lots of waiting for me. He’s had a ton of work for our IT company, and hasn’t had much time or brainpower to direct to the farm projects. Now, however, we are emerging from that phase ready to tackle the next projects on the farm.

We have four things we need to accomplish in order to move our fifth wheel out.
-Grade dirt, for the driveway, for water retention, and for the barn
-Lay gravel for the driveway from the gate to the containers, and for a parking lot north of the container building
-The foundation for the barn, which encompasses getting more helical piers installed, laying plumbing, and hiring a company to do the forms, rebar, and pouring the concrete
-Build a septic system

We’ve learned a LOT! Today, for instance, we learned that we thought we could build the septic system and then tie the barn plumbing into it. But it should be done the other way around; the plumbing for the barn and RV should be at least roughly in place before the septic goes in so that the flow goes properly.

We decided to hire a septic company to do the septic system. We thought we could do it ourselves, but we just don’t know all we need to know about dirt and effluent and plumbing. Plus, Andrew’s time is far more valuable to us when he’s applying it to his business.

This week we intended to get the dirt work started. Instead we got 2+ inches of rain. Next week looks much drier, though, and we are excited about tearing up some dirt in order to get the gravel put in place!