Monday, July 28, 2008

Found Objects

Over the years we have acquired things that we have found. I'm sure you all have stuff that you have found. I would love to see yours! Or at least hear about them.

Hand Pump

I found this in the milkhouse of a former little farm we owned, and I just couldn't leave it behind. It was not hooked up to anything, it was just standing in a corner behind some old boards. I would love to get it working. Does anyone have a working hand pump? How difficult is it to get this thing operational. I know I can call the local well company and they would gladly drill a new well for several thousand dollars, but is there an easier (cheaper) way?

Log Jack

I found this simple, yet useful tool out in the meadow here at our farm. It was near a pile of wood someone had cut many years ago. Maybe it started raining, or the woodsman (woman) was called in for lunch and got distracted. Who knows, but I feel fortunate to have found it and use it whenever I cut logs with my chainsaw. It would make a great gift for that special woodcutter!

The Cutter

This old wind vane is an action figure. When the wind blows, he saws the log. It needs a little TLC, but it still works! I found this in an old corn crib underneath a fence at the same previous farm. The stick he is attached to is a hand-made handle from one of Ruth's father's rakes. I have the rake part hanging in the tool shed. Gwen could make these. (She probably already has!)

What's he looking at?


This old wheelbarrow was next to the green barn underneath a tangle of blackberries, (it also had three old, metal wagon rims lying around it). Ruth has put it to good use with flowers.

Look at the way the wheelbarrow was assembled. It makes me think it was homemade. I think the tire needs some air or something.

Watering Trough

This was in the basement of the green barn. I used it as a brooder for the quail this spring and it did a great job. I would like to find a use for it. Anyone have any ideas? The bottom is not in great shape and has a large rusted hole in it. It is 2' x 4' and about 17" deep.

I have other found stuff: old doors, windows, wooden sled, etc.

What have you found that you treasure?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Chicken Update

I asked Ruth to take photos today of all the different breeds of chickens we have around here.

All of the chickens, except for the three buff orpingtons were hatched around April 1, making them about 16 weeks old. Hens generally start laying between 20 and 26 weeks. They are healthy and happy, except for some pecking of the white crested polish hens, (they kind of look like friars with the ring of hair and the bald top). I need to do something for them. I don't have a good way to separate them, but I need to figure that out.

Anyway, here are photos of all the different breeds of hens I have right now.

Buff Orpingtons (3)
(about 6 weeks old) I call them "The Little Dudes." Do you see three?

Ameracauna hen (4)
(Aracaunas have no tail) Her name is Minky because of her coloring. Her tail feathers are blue in the sunlight.

Silver Polish and a Black Polish hens (4 and 2)
Hanging out in a barn door.

Cuckoo Maran Cockerel (3)

He and I are bonded.

Ameracauna Cockerel with a White Crested Polish Hen (4)


Black Sumatra Hen (1)

Bearded White Polish Hen (2)

Partridge Cochin Hen (4)

White Ameracauna

This is Jolie.

Buff Laced Polish Hen (1)

Honey is her name.

Buff Cochin Hen (2)

Crevecoeur Cockerel (1 roo 1 hen)
Very unusual crow.
Green or blue egg layer.

Cuckoo Maran hen (2)
Chocolate brown egg layer.

Aracauna Cockerel

Nesting boxes are ready!

I leave you with Floozie. (2)

She is a Golden Pencilled Hamburg. Best buddy.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Tag I'm it!

I’ve been tagged! Ali at Henbogle tagged me to share six random things about me, and then tag six others.

I actually enjoy reading what people say about themselves.

So Here are my six random things:

1. I was "Baby of the Week" on the Soupy Sales television show in the 1950's.

2. I like (no, love) to eat potato chips after 9:00 pm.

3. I went to seven different elementary schools as a child. Springfield Elementary, Pleasant View,(twice) Burbank, Edison, Marycrest, Plymouth and Huntley. Not a military brat, a Kmart brat. My dad built most of them in the midwest and we followed the stores.

4. We have lived at our farm longer than any home since we married, (5 years). We've been married for thirty years! (I think this is our 13th place)

5. I don't like clothes. Ruth and I will go clothes shopping for me and I will hold something up and ask, "Do I like this?" She inevitably shakes her head.

6. I graduated with honors from Michigan State University. However, the first time I went to college, which was right out of high school, (Univ Wis at Oshkosh), I had a 1.26 GPA after two semesters. I LOVED TO STUDY!

I’m tagging:

chickengirl at chickengirl This is a creative and energetic young lady who has a great outlook on life. She also has lots of great stories. She raises White Silkies.

Stiggy at One Man and His Chickens Stiggy is transforming his property and himself and allows us an inside view of his life in England.

Tammie at The Unusually Unusal Farmchick Tammie is a young Hippie. She is a Homesteader and is having a great life. She lets us in on all the ups and downs of life on her farm. Lots of creative and ingenious ways to make things and have fun.

Sandy at Through a Dusty Lens Sandy is a California girl with lots of artistic ability and good insight into the world around her.

Paula at The Fraker Farm Paula has a great life and is so good at sharing her stories with us on her blog. She has hens that you won't believe!

Loring from Icono-Curmudgeon-Clast - Loring Wirbel's Rants Loring is one of the most knowledgeable people on the internet. If you read his blog, you will become smarter and better informed. He also has a great sense of humor and a lot of wit.

I could pick on many more of you. If you feel left out, believe me, you will get tagged very soon. My apologies if any of you have already been tagged for this meme.

Tag Rules:
Link to the person who tagged you.
Post the rules on the blog.
Write six random things about yourself.
Tag six people at the end of your post.
Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I was inspired to be random by Sharon. It's her fault.

1. What's your favorite pizza? Everything Pizza at Pizza Hut
2. If you were a car, what would you be and why? "
64 Chevy Belair. It's the year I started to wake up.
3. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
Great Horned Owl. I like to see without being seen.
4. Tell something about the shoes you're wearing.
My barn shoes. 10 year old Nikes with the soles worn off.
5. When you were little, who was your favorite super hero and why?
Spiderman, he was not huge, but could get the job done.
6. If they made a movie of your life, who would you want to play you?
Johnny Depp, but let's be real, probably more like Ernest Borgnine.
7. If you were at Baskin Robbins what flavor ice cream would you order?
Butter Pecan
8. What’s your favorite cartoon and why?
The classic Bugs Bunny Cartoons. (Rabbit of Seville)
9. What’s your favorite thing to do in the summer?
Be free to do whatever I want
10. What is one item in your house that you should really throw out but probably never will?
The shorts I am wearing.
11. How many brothers and sisters do you have?
2 brothers, 3 sisters.
12. If you could visit any place in the world where would you go and why?
Istanbul, I want to go back.
13. What’s one job you might like when you grow up? artist
14. What would be challenging about being an artist for you?
I have no artistic ability, none, zip, nil
15. Who is your favorite teacher and why? Miss Fruit, 1st grade. my first love

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Genetic Mapping

Farm Roots
Ruth often says that I was a farmer's wife in a previous life. That may be true. I enjoy living on this farm, planting things and watching them grow, raising chicks, gathering eggs, picking fruit, making jams and jellies, canning stuff, chasing raccoons and groundhogs off my land and other things I can't think of right now. I watched my dad do all of the above as I was growing up. He grew up with many uncles (11 of them on his father's side and 7 of them on his mother's side) who were farmers. So, along with being a farmer's wife in a former life, I also was the son of a farmer wannabe. My dad spent his professional career building malls and shopping centers, but I think he longed for the serenity and the lifestyle of the family farm. He spent many free weekends as an adult at the farms of his relatives and would often spend his summers as a teen living with one of his uncles as a farmhand. This innate love of the soil, barns, tractors and chickens has been passed on to me, his fourth child, (of 6). I don't think any of my siblings have this bent.

Lesley and I scratched out a mini garden and planted several rows of carrots and radishes, (seeds) and also some green beans, eggplant and bell peppers. The radishes are going crazy! I didn't thin them, and I'm sure that will impact their size, but the ones in the picture below didn't seem to have any problems. Ruth and I aren't sure that we even like radishes!

Once again, Mother Nature has given us a nice crop of black raspberries. I have been able to make 8 pints of freezer jam and will probably be able to make another 8 if I so choose. I prefer the freezer jam, because I think it tastes fresh. (it's also way easier!) Last night we had guests and Ruth served Maxi (German exchange student, visiting Ruth's great friend Inge), and herself a bowl of ice cream with some of these berries sprinkled on top. The rest of us were stuffed from all the food Ruth made.

Don't you just want to grab a handful!?

Winter Doldrums

Two of the pints of freshly made Black Raspberry jam, getting ready to hibernate until the depths of winter when we need a reminder of the sweet days of hot, humid July.

Uh Oh, Amiga becomes Amigo!

This is one of the "Tres Amigas" I bought to make sure I have "Easter Eggers" in my flock. Well, in the last week, Stiggy's little sister began looking a little brotherish. (S)He hasn't crowed in my presence yet, but I am fairly certain that she is a he! I love the white tail feather that is sprouting. What do you think? Amy, is this a boy or what?

Green is as Green does

Thank you to all who participated in the previous post on Being Green. I plan to do a follow-up after I apply some of the things you have taught me and aslo after I find other ways I can do a better job. Please add more!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

New Farm Friends

White Japanese Bantams

I cannot resist chicks. These two are especially irresistible. I received them from the gracious folks at the local zoo and I am hoping to merge them with the gang already inhabiting the coop. I understand that sometimes chickens aren't too understanding when it comes to newbies, but I'll try to teach the older ones some good manners. They are about a week old in this photo, and are still petite. I am hoping that I have a rooster and a hen.

Susan, (the zoo poultry manager), told me she will make sure I get a pair, so we'll see if I need to expand my new bantam flock in the near future.

A Brighter Planet

I was scrounging around the internet and saw this web site and wonder if anyone has information or experiences you can share about this group. I am in the Green Revolution in my mind and in the beginning stages at our farm and would like to know how to best get moving.

What do you do to to deal with your "carbon footprint?"
What do you do to be green?

We do the following:

  • recycle paper, glass, tin
  • raise meat chickens
  • raise egg chickens
  • have a small herb garden
  • raise vegetables; tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, pumpkins, zucchini, green beans, eggplant, (mostly enough for summer consumption)
  • carpool to work in the fall (Ruth gets 38 MPG, I get 20) OK, it's my farm truck!
  • Home AC only when it is unbearable, and then the thermostat is at 76 F
  • Whole house attic fan at night to instantly cool home to outside temperature and create breezes
  • Slowed down our driving at least 5 mph
  • can jellies, jams and syrups last year I did 120 jars total (all have been given away or consumed).
  • burn wood in high efficiency wood stove every night during cold weather
  • have a 90 percent efficient gas furnace
  • well insulated home with new windows

OK, I hope we do more than this.

I want to hear what you do.

I want to be better at this!