A True Family Farm

When our boys help in the gardens they represent the fifth generation of the family to work the soil on Kimker Hill. Four generations still live on the farm today. Strong family bonds and a deep love and respect for the earth influence all of our farm practices.

Our gardens provide us with the best and purest of food, matchless beauty, and the ultimate earth science classroom for our homeschooled boys.

Sustainability is a popular buzz word among small scale agriculture. To us it means giving more than you take. Putting back what you use. Remembering that this beautiful earth will last forever and it's our commision to care for. In our gardens we try hard to follow these ideals and work with the earth's design, not against it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The chicks got a new home today!

We moved all 27 chicks to their new home today. They have really grown quickly, except for the two little ones that hatched last, they are so cute and tiny.

We knew it was time to move them out of the garage when they started getting out of the brooder on their own when we went to refill their waterer. It was just too crowded in there.

So, on this beautiful, sunny morning, Bear, Nate, Sydney and I carried them out, one or two at a time, to the "old big coop." Yesterday, after Danny got home from work, he and the boys moved it alongside the new coop and got it ready for them. It was fun to watch them as they discovered the big outdoors. The coop has a rather large screened in area with a tarp over it for shade, so they have room to explore. They all move around it in a pack as if they were still in the brooder.

After they were all settled, we moved the fence around both coops with fresh grass for the rest of the chickens. We had to laugh when I opened up "The Eggmobile" (that's what I'm calling the new coop) and the chickens came pouring out of it. It didn't take them long to check out their old coop. They seemed totally mystified when they couldn't get inside, and then taken aback when they noticed the chicks. We're hoping that by the time the chicks get big enough to integrate into the flock, they will already be used to one another and get along.

As the day progressed, we realized we moved the chicks outside on a rather frightening day from their prospective. New home, new neighbors and then rain followed by major storms. We had a lot of lightening, thunder and even hail (but nothing compared to last year's hail.)

This past week has been very productive in spite of all the rain. Danny took a few vacation days off work to be able to work even harder on the farm! He and the boys finished putting up t-posts and cattle panels for the tomatoes, cucumbers and beans. They spread a lot more hay on the gardens, and Danny got a lot planted (transplanted and direct seeded.) He also built inner covers for the beehives and got them installed. I'm almost finished planting the tomatoes, I think I have space for 12 more plants.

This year we are closely guarding our "just-in-case replacement plants." We have moved them in and out of the hoophouse repeatedly because of all the storms. Last year, when the golf-ball sized hail hit, all the extra plants were either on the back porch or in the hoophouse and they got shredded along with the ones in the garden. This year, we're not taking any chances.

Well, the summer market in the Tower Grove Park is off to a good start. If you haven't been there yet this year I hope you can join us soon. We're there every Saturday from 8:30am until 12:30pm.

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