Advancement Unlocked! Level 1 Farmer

in #farming20 days ago (edited)

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On March 31st we finally got our very own farm! Here's what's gone down so far... 😄

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The above photo is the first that was taken when we moved in. It was a misty and cool morning when we arrived on our farm, set in the beautiful agricultural belt of Nova Scotia known as the Annapolis Valley.

The #chickenbitchez survived the move. It wasn't a small undertaking getting all 30 of them here, but we made it. They have more land than ever to free range for treats. The bonus is that I rarely step in chicken poop anymore (or find it on my deck), I may have to stop calling them that name soon...

As you can see the farm came with a small chicken coop and a pretty big barn. First thing Brendan did was expand the chicken coop and build 6 new doors for the barn.

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All secure in the barn, and most importantly the #chickenbitchez approve.

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An addition was then built onto the original chicken coop, also their run was made bigger too, B used old cattle fencing and we put net on the top. The chickens free range after they are done laying their eggs, but to prevent Easter Egg Hunts we keep them penned during laying time.

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Mr. Pendock and his babes approve of the expanded living quarters...

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I think...

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Wait....that's a weird looking chicken...

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Turkeys!

We've definitely had some drama with the whole turkey thing, I could have blogged daily about it but too damn busy on the farm! We experienced hatching eggs in an incubator and having all of the babies die one after the other, days after hatching. We then bought 14 one week old turkey poults which now only 6 are remaining.

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Turkey coop built inside barn.

What we learned: Turkeys are finicky and fragile and soooooo not like chickens.

Chickens are badass, tough ass mutherfuckers compared to turkeys. That's probably why they tell you to eat chicken soup when you are sick and not turkey soup.

Anyways, these remaining 6 seem really healthy and hardy. We haven't had a turkey die for 2 weeks, so fingers crossed!!

The Need for an LGD

(Livestock Guardian Dog)

Introducing Freedom (Great Pyrenees/Sarplaninac cross) 😊

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About a month after we got here we began to notice a few chickens gone missing...sure enough one day I look out the window and see the happiest fucking FOX I've ever seen in my life trotting around the yard with a shit eating grin, deciding what kind of chicken he wanted for lunch that day.

With the chickens roaming so far it was hard to keep them from being eaten (I tried penning them full time but it breaks my heart) and no farm survives long without a good dog to watch over the livestock and chase away predators. Also she's an amazing outdoor alarm system for human intruders as well.

We haven't lost a chicken or turkey to a predator since we got Freedom! She was 9 months old when we bought her (yes she came with the name), and has put the chase on the fox multiple times.

She sleeps in the barn with the turkeys, which is a big comfort because the barn has drainage pipes that I feared mink could easily get into. Also she keeps rats and mice at bay as well so they don't eat the feed.

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We have her tethered on a 150 foot line where she protects the flocks from any intruders from the back 30. She goes on 3 "boundary walks" a day where we take her along the perimeter of the area we want her to guard.

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Kiedis taking Freedom on her afternoon boundary walk.

We plan on fencing in the front 4 acres and allowing her to fully range in it, it's tricky because she's really good at digging, and her breed is known for roaming so we need to put in quite a crazy fence for her. A project for next year.

Level 6 Gardener and #GrowFoodNotLawns Guru to Level 0 farmer was quite a big Change!

For one, what do you do when most of your land is young trees and cow pasture?

You get a Massey Ferguson!

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I'm sure we will write a song one day about selling our truck to buy a tractor and the various implements to do the heavy work required to change pasture into farmland.

Oh and you get to look so cool doing it 😄

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First you plough, then you leave it to dry out for about a week. Next you disc harrow over what you have ploughed. After that you use a spring tooth harrow to pull up rocks and sod. And after thaaaat it's all manual labour because we don't have the implement that removes all the rock and sod. Another thing on next year's list.

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After all of the tractor work and weeks of raking and pulling out rocks and sod, we ended up with a 1/2 acre main garden, with 1/4 acre of cucumbers (and failed corn) in a separate space and 1/8 acre of potatoes way in the back of the acreage. Not bad for first year!

May

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June

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July

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You know I've got tonnes of sunflowers all over the garden, that was just the first hehehe...

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In total we have 70 tomato plants (cherry, scotian, moneymaker), 100 cucumber (pickling and long english), 100 strawberry, 200 bean and peas, succession planted of course. We also have a tonne of kale, lettuces, beets, cabbage, bok choy, asparagus, raspberries, squashes, corn, radishes, potatoes, and 8 fruit trees which went in, in May.

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We lost a few strawberries to black root rot. Soil in this area had too much clay. Next year we will amend with sand, we have a tonne of it in the back of our land.

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Modest corn patch this year. We had an issue with my BFF's the crows hahahaaa...we lost all the corn from the back garden and 90% in the main garden. We will regroup and try some tactics next year.

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Right away we did the most important investment, fruit trees. This year we planted 2 apple, 2 peach, 2 pear and 2 cherry trees. We also planted raspberries, strawberries and asparagus. Gotta get those perennials going immediately!

The vision for this 1/2 acre plot is to be a perennial orchard and we will keep moving the vegetables further back on the property.

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Pickling cucumber, Brendan will be canning and selling pickles this fall.

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Scotia and Moneymaker Tomatoes, staked using the Florida Weave method.

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Sunflower patch

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Kale, and behind it more tomatoes.

An added bonus:

HONEY!

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A gentleman keeps bees on the back of our land, he pays us 24 jars of honey a year for rent. Soooo Sweeeeet!!

Literally.

I have so much I want to share...feelings galore! It's busy here, and at the same time really relaxed and peaceful...I find myself not opening my computer for days at a time.

Well, I must get back to the weeding lol.

I appreciate anyone who made it through this 4-months-packed-in-one post!

Hugs 🤗 and see you soon hopefully~~

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Ahhh!! More dreams coming true. So so so happy for you & family. What accomplishments! So inspiring. Happy Farming!! ❤️❤️

Thanks for all your positivity through it all Jill, love you so much!

That's awesome @lynds and congratulations on the upgrade to "farmer!" Looks like you have a lovely spread there.

Crows are cool birds, but they are mondo destructive to some crops. Our former neighbor "Dirty Jack" resorted to the rather gruesome method of getting some "dead plastic crows" (there's evidently a gardening supply company online that sells them) and tossing 3-4 of them around his corn patch. Evidently crows will not go anywhere near where another crow has died.

Enjoy the farming life!

Thanks for the pro tip about the plastic crows, I don't know if I want them to think I've been killing their brothers though...hahahaaa! Trying to get them to like me, they don't know I'm a good human yet. Hopefully the meat scraps I give them pays off soon :D

Wow congratulations on your new home, what a wonderful piece of land. It's so great to see so much abundance in your garden as well. It's sure going to keep you busy. You should check out the Hive Garden community, where you can post monthly updates of your homestead.
Congrats once again @lynds xxxxx

Thanks so much for visiting our farm @trucklife-family, I'll definitely share some future posts in the Hive Garden community, the suggestion is appreciated.

Oh you are making me miss my Massey! I had a 2wd 245. Then I added a 4wd Kubota with a loader. Good times.

Bummer about the corn! I love sweet corn and had to pay 2 bucks for 3! Food sure is going up!

Front loaders are extremely useful, we could have done a LOT more with one. I bet your old Massey is still running and making someone very happy <3 Thanks for checking out the farm!

Epic!!!
Huge respect to you and yours for taking the plunge.

Survival of the fittest 💪

Thanks Mark, we've been working towards this dream since 2013! Feels pretty damn good to have finally reached it!!

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Thanks, I posted in the DIY community once when I was showing some home renovations we did. I will again in future farm posts. Thanks for letting me know!

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This is so cool! Congrats on the new homestead! Tons of work but seriously so rewarding! I hope to be doing it myself here within the next 1-3 years fingers crossed.

I hope your dreams come true, and soon. Where we live food prices are going absolutely insane...how about you?

Big time, the biggest part of me that wants to go do it however is I love building and creating and creating a homestead I think is one of the most powerful things one can do right now.

That place is a paradise!
Thanks for sharing!

Thank you for visiting, it's certainly paradise to us!

Wow - looks great - hard work but rewarding !!
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