Posts Tagged ‘farm’

Our 13 hens came home to us a few nights ago, a little spur of the moment. So, a hill-billy train? Indeed, it was.

My neighbor Mel has graciously been keeping our 13 chickens in her barn. She raised them from chicks, because they came right around the time our little farmer came. So, 14 babies at our place was a crowd. The plan all along has been to move them over to our property once the high tunnels were completed, so they could hang out in there, and till the soil for us. Unfortunately, there have been some unforeseen delays. And since the weather is FINALLY nice, it’s time to move them outside. So, Mel had a spare, mobile coop she let us borrow in the meantime. Getting said coop and chickens three doors down, on a busy street in the ‘burbs is something not to be missed. So, let me paint you a picture with, well, pictures.

Here we have Joe, Mel’s husband as the engineer, Farmer Rich, is steering the coop, and Mel is stabilizing it.

20130501-222624.jpg 20130501-222644.jpgI think it was at this point that I was giggling uncontrollably, and Mel shouts out “It’s a Hill-billy train!!” with her slight Texas accent. I, on the other hand, am of the hardy stock of central Pennsylvania mountain folk, and generally prefer “hick from the sticks,” but in this situation, the “hill-billy” in “hill-billy train” hit the nail on the head.


Where am I, you might ask? Besides taking pictures, I was bringing up the rear with RJ in the stroller. It was a sight, indeed.


If you were one of the lucky ones to drive passed us during the big move, thanks for giving us a wide berth, and not giving us the bird! (Ha! Pun intended!)


It was a fun time. And, now the girls are home, and enjoying the new, temporary digs.

So, a BIG thanks to neighbor Mel for everything! What we won’t do for our chickens!!


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As you can imagine, things have been mighty busy around these parts, what with the new baby, two humungous new high tunnels (full blog post on them to follow), and all the other shenanigans life throws at you. Thus, I’ve neglected to update the ol’ blog. Forgive me.

First, our little man is going on 6 weeks old already! Can you believe it?! Me neither.


Second, our high tunnels are amazing, and a little intimidating. They should be completed in a week or two. Then, our new flock of chickens will be moved from our awesome neighbor Mel’s barn, into a tunnel to turn and fertilize the soil for awhile.099

We have gotten some things done in the field. The peas are coming up beautifully, as are the onions and garlic. We just got greens, radishes and carrots planted. I’d like to say having a new baby, and recovering, is the only reason we’re farther behind than we’d like to be (which is true!), but the weather hasn’t cooperated very well, either. It’s rained so much that the beds are just mud pits. When we do get a nice day, everything remains too wet to plant. So, as farming goes, we wait for Mother Nature to take the lead.




Our next planting day we’ll hopefully get the cold crop seedlings (cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, etc) in the ground, and the seed potatoes. I have the warm weather seedlings (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) started, and they seem to be doing well. Now, we just need warm weather!


We also made the new feeders for the 5 chickens we have at our place. It seems to be working well. It’s minimized labor, and reduced what feed the chickens waste. And they were easy to make!


That’s about it for now! Thanks for checking in!


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1. The baby chickens are getting big! Nearly a month old! (Photos courtesy of neighbor Mel, my baby chick care taker)

chicks chicks2

2. Our Baby Seedlings are moving right along! I moved the cold-tolerant seedlings to our 3 season room today to start the hardening-off process.

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3. And FINALLY Baby Collingwood is officially scheduled for arrival on March 21st, in the evening!! Woohoo! We’re ready! Wish me luck!


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Okay, not HERE, exactly, but they are three doors down at my neighbor Mel’s place. If you recall, she’s an angel kind of neighbor, and agreed to keep our babies until after OUR baby gets here. I know, we have the best neighbors ever.

Anyway, I waddled my way over there to snap a couple pictures and cuddle a few fluffy little fuzz balls. They’re so darn cute. And just think in 4 months or so, they’ll be providing a whole bunch of families with fresh, healthy eggs! We ended up with 13, (a bakers dozen, if you will), because the hatchery has a “meal maker” deal that they give you an extra chick for free if you agree to donate eggs or meat to a local food shelter. I have the contact information for an emergency food pantry not too far from here, so I hope to arrange a weekly donation of extra produce and a dozen (or more) eggs once things are in full swing.

So, without further ado, enjoy these pictures of the babies! 🙂

Baby Chicks, 1 day old

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Hi All! There’s not much to report these days around Collingwood Farm. We’ve had LOTS of events, but none farm related. Mostly, I am anxiously awaiting a day that is dry, and Farmer Rich has an hour to till up the garlic patch. (I’m only 3 weeks late already!) And, we need to pull up all the plants from this years harvest to compost.
Unfortunately, the head farmer has been put on strict instructions by…everyone…that she is NOT permitted to till, shovel, lift heavy things, or otherwise be useful around the farm. I mostly just feed the chickens these days. 😦 But, it’s worth it for our tiny turnip.  It’s just boring.

We did lose our sweet, best laying hen, Nettie, to a hawk in early October. That was a bummer. So, since I have no other news, we’ll dedicate this post to her.

Have a great weekend everyone!



PS: If we have any helping hands in our area, this pregnant Farmer would love a volunteer or two to help finish up the fall prep! 🙂

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You may have noticed that our farming season came to a screeching halt. Granted, we had over 12 weeks of vegetables for our CSA customers, as promised, and we’re still harvesting large quantities of things, but I had grand plans for tilling, planting, and harvesting well into the fall. But, you know what they say about best laid plans…Because something more important came up. I mean, it’s a real doozy. Perhaps the biggest news we’ve ever had to share here at the Farm.

That’s right… We’re expecting our first baby!! Due in late March. 🙂

It’s amazing how quickly weeds grow, and rows don’t get tilled when the head Farmer has morning sickness for 3 months.

In honor of the occasion, I have compiled a list of farm-related statements I considered using to break the news to you, our dearest Family, Friends, Customers and Readers. There were a few regarding soil fertility and seed planting that grossed Rich out, so I’ve been asked to omit them for your own comfort.

Without further ado, here is the corniest farm-related ways I could think of to share the news:

  • “We’re expecting our own _______!”
  1. lil’ pumpkin
  2. tiny turnip
  3. baby bean
  4. lil’ peanut
  5. lil’ sprout
  6. baby bug
  • “This hens having a chick!”
  • “The corn is on the cob!”
  • “The bee is in the hive!”
  • “The pea is in the pod!”
  • “The horse is in the barn!”oh wait, no, that means something else.

So there you have it, the corniest ways to spill the beans! (HA!) I know I missed some really good ones, so feel free to share the ones you come up with!

We sure are excited. In a few years we’ll have the pitter-patter of little feet walking over freshly planted seedlings, and tiny fingers pulling up transplants instead of weeds. Something tells me we’re going to have some really good days ahead on our family farm.

Thanks for taking the time to share in our joy. And I promise, next blog post will be back to business!


PS: I anticipate I’ll be nesting soon! (Hardy-har!)

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We just got home from camping for 3 nights. It was great! Our unfortunate timing left me slightly worried about our chickens, as the news was reporting a juvenile black bear roaming in the area. (We live in the ‘burbs, so it’s not the norm around these parts.)

When we pulled in the driveway, we knew something was amiss. The garbage was tipped over. On closer review, there were rocks pulled away from the base of our chicken coop, and tears in the fence!

Luckily, all the chickens are accounted for. It’s obvious Mr. Bear gave the coop a decent workin’-over before giving up. Lucky chickens. (Maybe they’ll start giving me some eggs?!)

Then, I meandered into the garden. He DEMOLISHED our corn rows. Fortunately, or not, we didn’t get corn this year because the raccoons stripped the cobs before I did. It didn’t slow the bear down though! In the process, he damaged some large portions of the fence.

He also left a huge pile, which I won’t share a picture of. (You’re welcome.)

So, we’ve been home for a few hours and are unpacking the camper. I open the door, and there he is! Waltzing his way over our damaged fence back into the garden. I only got the one picture above before my husband scared him off. He’s a cute big, fuzzy, frightening black bear, but I don’t want him setting up shop in our yard. It kind of puts a damper on the whole farming business, seeing as how he’s eating our produce, and attempting to eat our livestock! Yikes!

Local police said to just wait him out. Hmmph. Check back soon, ’cause I’m sure they’ll be updates!


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