Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music

Tonight, Margo and I sat around the firepit outside which is always a good time. This night was really good because there are lots of good sounds outside this time of year. It was nice just to sit and listen to the music. Here is a quick rundown of the things we heard.

Rooster crowing over at the neighbors
Frogs croaking in the pond
Frogs croaking in the trees
Dogs Barking in the distance
Crickets chirping (a sign of summer arriving)
Whippoorwill calling (a sign of summer)
Girl screaming for help in the distance (just kidding)
Owl hooting
Helicopter flying over.

It was a very pleasant evening.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


We bought some chickens this past week. We have been looking for some for a while and I finally found some in the paper for sale. We bought 13 total and they are several different breeds, all egg-laying chickens. Three of the chickens are Araucana and they lay blue and green colored eggs which is kind of cool. Anyway, I am really excited to have them, chickens are quickly becoming one of my favorite farm animals. We have been getting 8-10 eggs every day so we have been using all our egg recipes. If anyone needs any eggs let us know.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I should have been an architect

It is finished. Today, I finished the barn and I am very happy to be done with it. It all went up really well and I did not have any major problems getting it all finished. I wish I had a nickel for every time I hit my finger with the hammer and I would be rich. It does not look too bad, it's just a big silver building. We now have the capability of having more animals which is nice. I am not sure what all we will get this year, my next purchase will probably be a calf to raise and butcher in the fall. I wanted to say thanks again to all the guys who helped us put the trusses up. And I wanted to give a really big shout out to Jeremy for going the extra mile and helping me a lot with putting up boards and tin. Here are some pics so you can check it out.



Back (faces the road)


The Architect (notice the tuxedo shirt)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

You might be Amish if......

Today was barn raising day. It wasn't the greatest day to work on it but it wasn't too terrible either. I was worried about all my measurements working out but it ended up going together great so far. I am building an open face barn and I am using old chicken house trusses that hook to a post. The lumber and tin are also off of old chicken houses, it is cheaper that way. It is 20' by 30' which should take care of most of our needs. I invited friends out to join in the fun because there was no way Margo and I could do it on our own. My friends who took me up on the offer were Todd, Zack (my brother), Jeremy, and Jonathan. My friends who did not come to help are not my friends anymore. Just kidding. I am very grateful for everyone's help because I could not have done it without them. We got the main trusses up and Jeremy and I got all the wood on the top to nail the tin to. It will take me a few more days to get it all finished. I am very pleased with it so far, not to bad for not being Amish. Whenever I get it done we can get more animals since we will have shelter for them. Here are a few pics from today. Click on the pictures link on the side to see more.

The Crew from left to right:Jonathan, Jeremy, Me, Todd, Zack

Barn Raising

Big Pimpin'

What we did today

Monday, April 09, 2007

Earthworm Heaven

A few posts ago, I talked about a new type of gardening I am trying at our farm. I thought about how to set up my garden long and hard because the best spot for the garden is an area where it stays a little more wet because it is a low lying area and there are some underground springs in the area. After discussing with my uncle who is a Master Gardener, I decided that I wanted to do No Till, Raised Bed gardening. I bought a book about it called The Vegetable Gardener's Bible which I highly recommend to all you vegetable gardeners out there. The book teaches you to use the W-O-R-D system-Wide rows, Organic methods, Raised beds, Deep soil. In theory, you don't have to ever till and you don't have to worry to much about weeds because you use lots of mulch. It is also supposed to produce twice as much from the same size garden because you use wide beds.
Here is a rundown of my garden. For now, it is about 40 feet by 40 feet but it may get bigger. My rows are 40 inches wide and the paths between them are 24 inches wide. I dug out the paths and put that soil on the beds to raise them up. This past weekend I went to the City of Fayetteville's Compost Facility. They take leaves, grass clippings and other yard waste from people and compost it. They have big machines that turn it. When it is fully composted they sell it to the public for $20 a truckload. They even test it to make sure it is safe for gardens and it gets the organic garden seal of approval. This compost is the best compost I have ever seen in my entire life. I was so shocked when I saw how good it was. I highly recommend it to anyone to use in their garden. Back to my garden. I used the compost to put on my beds to help raise them up some more and help improve my soil. I then got some free straw from the UofA horse barn. It is the stuff they rake out after it has been used in the horse stalls. It is about 95% straw and 5% horse manure. I am putting that on top for mulch to help keep the moisture in and the weeds out. After this year I will use old leaves from our place for mulch. In the paths I am using newspaper with shredded paper on top for the walkway. That will keep the weeds away and provide a mud free walking space. By the way, I need a lot more shredded paper, so if any of you have access to shredded paper please save it for me and I will get it from you the next time I see you. Hopefully an earthworm village will move in to the garden soon and they will take care of all the tilling. It is a lot of work getting it set up but once it gets going there won't be a whole lot of work to do except mulching in the fall, and planting and mulching in the spring. I hope it all works as well as the book describes and as well as the picture I have in my head. I probably won't have it completely going until next year but I will get some plants in this year. Here are some pics of the garden so far.


After building the rows

After putting on the compost from Fayetteville-notice the difference in color from the normal dirt above and the compost.

And finally, after the straw.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The News You've All Been Waiting For

We have big news we wanted to share about the question we seem to get most often these days. We are having a baby. We found out for sure on Friday and we are very excited. We decided we had waited long enough. Most of our friends already have a baby or two so we thought we should join in the fun. It seems everyone these days tries to come up with a creative way to tell people but I thought it would be kind of fun just to put it on the blog. Anyway, this will mean big changes at the Farm of Hale. This may be jumping the gun but we already have some first names in mind. If it is a girl - April. If it is a boy - Fools.