Monthly Archives: August 2011

This is exciting!

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WE are finally up on the “Wall of Fame” in the produce section of Ozark Natural Foods!  Pauline Thissen, produce manager and neighbor, has been an advocate for bringing local foods to your table Fayetteville.  I think the pictures on the wall are a great visual to help connect the buyer of the produce with a face.  The farm names are posted by the local products that they have provided.  Now shoppers, you can look up at our pretty faces as well.  Also, check us out in the latest issue of The Nutshell, the CO-OP’s bi-monthly newsletter, where it talks about the farm, however my name is not mentioned (ahem) as one of the farmers (ahem)…but I guess that’s what this blog is for.

There we are!  One big happy family, staring down at you while you shop!

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Babies! And other things

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Don’t count your eggs before they’re hatched, or so they say, well we DID count them before they hatched and there were three dozen.  Post hatching, we were delighted to have 10-ish join the flock.  Now I say “ish” because there were two or so that died during the first day.  One of the chicks was hen-pecked, and had a head that was oozing.  So, I, wanting to be a day saver swooped up this chick and put it in a box in the house and treated its head wound.  This chick which I have since nicknamed “Spaz” lived in our house for about a week, then I reintroduced it to its siblings.  The Mamma hens were in this new coop with the babies and they knew Spaz was back and pecked at it again.  Ok, plan B, “Get rid of the Mamma’s”.  Well, easier said than done.  Through experience, I am an expert chicken catcher.  I have an accurate swoop, and through training am no longer afraid.  I threw the mammas into the coop with the bigger flock, and both mammas and babies started freaking out.  The crafty young somehow snuck through the fence and joined the big flock with no apparent side effects such as other hens nipping them and the like.  Leaving sweet Spaz all alone in the new coop.  Such is life.

Babies just hatching.

Little “Spaz”.  Since Spaz had been in the house, it didn’t know how to be with the other chickens.

Mammas and babies trying to figure out what happened.

And little Spaz again, trying to figure it out.

In other news, the Missouri Angels are gone for two weeks.  They will return, to over-winter here, this is great news for their help is so valuable.  Also, Paul Pakis, a previous WWOOFer, has just came back from a week-long vacation.  It’s funny, I have pictures of Paul P. and have never posted them, so to you dear reader, this may be your first introduction to him.  Paul who?  Exactly.  Paul came to us from Little Rock Arkansas, he stayed with us here for three weeks, left for a week, then came back.  He told us last night that as soon as he left and was home for a couple of days, all he could think about was coming back.  He said he had never eaten healthier, or felt better in his life.  That the farm life made him happy.  Things like this make us happy too.  It feels good to create an atmosphere for people where they feel good.  This farm is therapy.  Also, I could mention that right before Paul P. left, the Frenchies, David and Marine have returned to France.  I’m not sure how they’re doing, but I bet they’re relieved to not have to be awake and at breakfast by 6:30 am!  Happy trails to you both.

This is “Snake Oil”

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It rained last night.  A lot.  I don’t really know how to describe my joy.  We were able to catch approximately  500 gallons of water…I say this, by quickly doing some math in my head, so, you know, it could be WAY off.  I’m trying to think about approximately how long it’s been that the temperature has been over 100° F.  A LONG TIME.  Oh so long.  Months.  The amount of rain as really helpful on all levels.  The earth needed it around here.  Dry.  Dying.  Dying!  It felt like a fall day today, September-ish.  We’ve been living this summer with no air condition.  I’ll give you a second to process this.  Right, so, we have fans, but damn.  Tonight feels great.  The earth is damp still.  Paul, myself, and the WOOF-pack, (I know, I love it too), are sitting here talking about how today felt AMAZING!  Yesterday was amazing.  It just feels good.  Thank you Rain!

I said something about a head count

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The kids and I went to the library before lunch, and that’s where I blogged about the chickens earlier.  Anyway, when the kids and I came home, we checked on the baby chickens.  There were two that I felt compelled to rescue at that moment.  I found a small box and brought them in.  One didn’t want to stand up and want to walk and it’s eye’s were all crusted shut with dirt.  The next had a head wound from being pecked on by one of the mammas.  I brought them inside the house, sure that at least one of them would be dead by dinner.  I am happy to say that they are still both alive.  I washed out eyes, and treated a pretty gnarly head wound.  I felt this overwhelming need to save these birds.  After such a traumatic loss maybe?  Hopefully they’ll make it.

Talk about a Barn Burner! A story of life and death.

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The heat “wave” in these parts is becoming unbearable.  Not even those lucky enough to have air conditioning are safe.  Crops are failing, the earth is soooooo dry.  We are outside with a hose everyday, trying to keep our plants alive long enough for the fall, because maybe then it will be cool enough for the tomatoes to set fruit.  It’s limping along, to put it nicely.  The heat is the prime topic of everyone’s conversation, especially those who have lived in these parts their whole lives.  Yesterday it hit between 108° F-110° F, reports vary.  Still, that’s the hottest temperatures this region has EVER seen.  Coming from the Central Valley of California, those temps aren’t too surprising, but I will agree with the locals, this isn’t supposed to happen here.

This morning, I went to take care of the chickens, feed them and bring them water.  I let out the birds, and I notice there aren’t as many.  I walk into the coop and see our red rooster dead and laying on the side of the laying boxes.  Hmmmm.  I look around and Peter, our turkin, is also missing.  At this point I panic.  Did something get into the coop?  Where are the other bodies?!  I walk back and find Paul and tell him about what I saw and didn’t see.

“Oh, yeah.  There were six dead chickens yesterday, probably from the heat.”

This damn heat.  Those poor chickens!  My beloved Peter.

The baby chickens, about a dozen have hatched and have been moved into their own home.  We have lost two due to heat or pecking, I’m not sure, but there are ten now.  We’ll have to take a recount at the end of the day.  Yesterday the kids pointed out to me that one of the baby chicks had the bald neck, “It’s a Turkin!” they said.  When I saw it, I felt tremendous joy.  I looked over at Peter in his separate coop and told him congratulations!  “You’re a father!”  It pains me to write about his death today.  He was one of two birds in our flock that I said we’d feed until they died because we all were so fond of them.  Here is a link of how he entered our lives.  It was such a neat story, scroll down to the entry titled “Crazy Freak Weather”.  R.I.P. Peter.  Hopefully your child is also a male.

Today there is cloud cover, and there were some raindrops, maybe ten.  Just enough to say yeah, remember this wet stuff that falls from the sky?  Well, I’m going over here, I’m not playing with you today.  We’ll see.