Mischief, Mayhem, and Chaos on the Farm!

The three Furies (although furry, as well) Ichabod, Ozzy, and Piscus.

Yes, it has been a busy Autumn. Beside the usual fall chores around the homestead, we have acquired a few new residents to our farm. When Bella lost her sister, Pookie, a few months ago, she seemed inconsolable. Of course, I figured she needed a buddy. We visited our local animal shelter, and well….found a sweet little kitten. With two other siblings we just couldn’t separate.

A few weeks later, there was a knock at the door and two young ladies stood on my porch with a tiny black kitten. “Is this yours?”

SONY DSC

Ophelia. The little princess that rounds out the bunch.

As soon as she was placed on the floor, she claimed our home as hers. She immediately made her way to the food dish. The boys clamored around her and impatiently waited for her highness to finish eating. She licked her paws, cleaned her face, and promptly fell asleep in the dog’s bed.

The kittens grow daily, it seems, as they create chaos, mayhem, and mischief all throughout the house. Bella is fine, as long as they stay out of her way. She has taken a special liking, though, to the little princess, Ophelia.

SONY DSC

Bella, the matriarch of the bunch, seems nonplussed with the new additions. As long as they stay out of HER chair.

Early in August, we noticed a sign at our local Tractor Supply store. Fall chicks are here! We had already considered adding a few more chickens to our flock as we wanted to continue our small egg business next spring. I already had an idea of what breeds I would like to try, and we were happy with the chicks available. We came home with six new additions.

We purchased 3 Silver Wyandottes (or so we thought!), 1 Black Austrolorp, and 2 Brown Isas. Good future egg layers with sweet temperaments.

As the chickens quickly matured, we realized that our Silver Wyandottes were displaying unusual feather manifestations on the top of their little heads. After considerable research (thank you Google), I discovered our Silver Wyandottes were not what they seemed.

SONY DSC

They are actually, ahem, Silver Polish chickens. The ‘punk rockers’ of the chicken world.

https://www.mypetchicken.com

This is what our chickens will eventually grow up to look like. (Image from mypetchicken.com)

Not exactly what I originally had in mind, but I laugh every time I go out to their chicken coop to attend to them. They are flighty, erratic birds with friendly dispositions when they settle down. They lay white eggs, instead of my favorite brown eggs, and are not known to be as productive of layers as I had hoped, but they certainly do bring a particular ‘Whimsy’ to our farm.

SONY DSC

The young pullets graduating to their new home.

So, Whimsical Moon Farm continues to grow with each season. Signs of Autumn surround us as the raised garden beds slowly get cleaned out and orange and red leaves fall from our maple and locust trees around the property. Mornings are cool and misty and the days grow shorter and less intense.

A fat, pumpkin colored spider, bumblebee on a late Echinacea bloom, and Mosey inspecting newly harvested corn field.

Autumn has always been my favorite season of the year. As always, I look forward to the cooler weather, sitting around the fire pit drinking hot cocoa of an evening, and finding quiet, less frenzied moments to curl up with good books and write in my journal.

Here’s to a Whimsical Moon Farm Autumn season.

SONY DSC

Autumn, ready for Autumn.

Take a peek at our soaps! Whimsical Moon Farm

 

 

 

And The Winner Is…….!

My daughter Kayla pulled the winning name out of the highly technical drawing hat.

Drum roll please…….the winner of the festive herbal soap gift box from Whimsical Moon Farm is: TIM BOUCHER! Congratulations Tim, and thank you for participating in our gift soap give-away. If you would be so kind as to drop me a line with your address, we will get your soaps sent off to you pronto.

SONY DSC

Handcrafted herbal soaps made right here on our farm.

Thank you to each and every one who participated in our drawing and for taking a peek at our shiny, brand new web-site, Whimsicalmoonfarm.com. And a special thank you to everyone who has ordered our soaps, sugar scrubs, and beard oil. We are incredibly grateful!

SONY DSC

Whimsical Moon Farm.

We handcraft our herbal soaps and herbal products right here on our farm using herbs that we grow and dry. We feel blessed to be able to grow our farm and our cottage business right here in East Cornfield, Indiana.

Again, thank you everybody who participated in our give-away and a BIG congratulations to Tim Boucher, our winner.

Turning of the Season on our Farm

The last sunflower of the season; Mosey sniffing newly-harvested cornfield; the garden is winding down; lazy autumn cats; end-of-summer barbeque.

 

Since I’ve moved to our farm, I have found my year is now measured not by the days of the month but by the seasons. My calendar is based on the work and events on Whimsical Moon Farm and the farmers around me.

People who farmed had a different way of understanding time, one based on sunlight and seasons, ebbing and flowing in activity like river water. Their year was alive, growing and dying.”  Jenna Woginrich, sheep farmer.

Living on a farm, you would think that Spring would be my favorite season of the year. You know: renewal, Mother Earth waking up again after a long Winter, newly planted gardens, baby animals….but truth be told, I am all about the Fall. I love the cooler temperatures, the slowing down after a hectic summer, harvesting and ‘putting by’ the last of the garden bounty, and the beautiful fall colors. Orange, russet, yellow and red.

trees

Autumn glow at a nearby lake. This picture was taken last fall.

Although my summer garden beds have pretty much been laid to rest, there is still plenty of activity all around me.  The agri-farmers have begun frantically harvesting their corn and soybean crops. The weather here in East Cornfield has been spectacular for this time of year but the farmers still race against the perfect timing of dried corn on the stalk and the possibility of a thunder storm stomping across the fields.

The dance of combine, tractor, and over-flowing wagon has begun circling around us, as we are bordered by crops on three sides of our tiny farm. We hear the revving of Farmer Matt’s tractor early in the morning and prepare ourselves for a day of loud engines, blowing chaff and dust, and the abrupt change of our landscape.

Farmer Matt maneuvering his combine across our tiny road into the soybean field on the east side of our farm, cleaning up freshly harvested corn field, hauling the filled wagon to the grain bin, harvesting the soybean, the corn field next to our farm as it is cut down.

The hard-wood trees have begun to change color and the squirrels have been frantically busy burying dried corn on the cob, black walnuts, and dried seed heads they discover in the flower bed and herb garden. Many of my favorite wild birds have already flown south for the Winter, so all I have at the feeder now are nuthatches, a lone red-headed woodpecker, and mourning doves. I’ve kept the hummingbird feeder up as I still have hummers swooping in each morning and evening.

Even though the days are growing shorter, the chickens continue to lay their eggs, keeping us supplied with tasty omelets and frittatas.  They have become fat and sassy chickens, their feathers shiny, and their loud ‘crowing’ when one just laid an egg never fails to make me smile. Sometimes I will sit on the side porch sipping my first cup of coffee of the morning, and listen to their gentle clucks and watch as they scratch the ground, entertained by ‘Farm TV’.

There are plenty of chores around the farm that need to be accomplished before the weather turns cold, including shoveling over the garden one more time, cleaning up the compost pile, closing up the storm windows, and maybe even getting that shed painted. The furnace needs to be serviced and we still need to fill up the propane tank. (I never look forward to that!)

The ‘girls’ rearranging their attic, autumn fire-pit, the tip of a recently buried cob of corn the squirrel placed in a fresh mole hill, falling leaf tangled in a cobweb, I LOVE Halloween!

Yes, I love Autumn. And I love living on Whimsical Moon Farm. As I’ve grown older, my definition of success has changed dramatically. Living a life that makes me happy, surrounding myself with freshly grown food and outdoor activities,  working with the seasons and the rhythm of the farm, and building a sense of place and community, Autumn is that time of year I can take time to reflect and appreciate this simple way of making my way in the world.

I send you Whimsical Moon fall blessings with hot spiced cider and fresh baked pumpkin bread on the side.

 

 

 

Morning on Whimsical Moon Farm

 

Now that Spring has finally claimed her season here in Central Indiana, morning has taken on a whole new vigor. “Lets make hay while the sun shines” is certainly fitting around these parts as the nearby farmers have their tractors revving at the crack of dawn tilling, fertilizing and, prepping the soil for corn and soybean. The farmers are about two weeks behind schedule so their activity has taken on a frantic pace. They will work well past sunset, their huge headlights on top of their tractors taking on an alien spaceship appearance. I half expect to wake up the next morning and see crop circles in the fields.

My morning always begins very early with the half-grown cats bounding from floor to chair to coffee table, taunting the St. Bernard while swiping at one or both of the Chihuahuas. It is feeding time on the farm.

A quick shake of the catfood bag, and all four cats come galloping into the laundry room, sliding to a halt in front of their food dishes. Then I check on the chicks scratching away on the floor of their make-shift brooder, refilling their chick feed and refreshing their water dispenser.

Mosey, the St. Bernard, herds me into the kitchen while the Chihuahuas dance between his legs and I get them fed and watered. Tossing a small handful of reptile sticks into the turtle tank, I get Kayla up for breakfast. She usually requests fruit smoothies, but this morning we decide on scrambled eggs with sauteed vegetables.

My chore list today consists of lighting our huge burn pile, clearing out more renegade mulberry saplings, picking up the last of fallen locust tree limbs from the last wind storm, and mulching the flower bed. I’m itching to get the garden area tilled, but I should probably wait at least another day or two for the soil to dry out. Our little front tine rototiller doesn’t chew through the dirt like Farmer Matt’s International tractor.

Besides the regular household chores, I check on the tomato and pepper seedlings under the grow light and determine they need more growing time before moving them to the cold frame to harden off. I get some sourdough bread rising on the stove top and take a gander out the kitchen window to see which birds are coming to the feeder. This mornig we have our male red-bellied woodpecker, several red-wing blackbirds, five goldfinches, a couple of nuthatch regulars, an unexpected blue jay, and a pair of cardinals, the male a vibrant red. We have a pair of turkey vultures nesting in our rustic old barn, but I don’t see them floating above the farm this morning. My roommate, Mindy notices a small bunny hopping across the back yard near the wood lot. Its tiny ears poking up out of the grass.

Mindy begins getting ready for work and I realize lunch is just around the corner.

It’s been a full and productive morning on the farm. The growing season is upon us and we can expect many more busy and hectic mornings to come.

Peepers!

We have chickens! We brought home six baby chicks Saturday. Three Buff Orpingtons and three Ameraucanas.

I set up their brooder in a plastic tote tub with fresh shavings, chick feed, and a watering dispenser with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar added to help alleviate the possibility of disease.

I have a heat lamp hanging over them to keep their temperature around 80-90 degrees. We set their brooder inside our bathtub/shower to protect them from the rangy farm kittens that have grown into rangy farm beasts.

Mosey, our St. Bernard has taken it upon himself to stand guard and protect them as they cheep-cheep and forage around their tub.

In about five or six weeks they will be moving out into their Coopacabana  and should begin laying their eggs around five months.

Mornings begin early here on the farm and now we wake up to the chipper cheeping of the chicks. (I worked hard on that one!)

I hope y’all are having an egg-cellent, whimsical day!

 

 

Today’s Post

Post

After a hectic, intense week working on the “Blog Like a Pro” challenge last week and being pushed way beyond my usual comfort level in regards to all things computer, I decided this was all I had left in me: This post!

With the weather finally leaning towards sunshine and warmth in this part of the cornfield, I will have more interesting things to post beginning next week. Especially since soon we will have baby chick escapades to contend with and seeds to get started under the grow light.

I hope each of you is enjoying the arrival of Spring and find a little whimsy in your day. Thank you for being a part of Whimsical Moon Herb Farm.

 

 

And the Winner Is…..

270The winner of the Spring Renewal eBook drawing is: HumbleBee Farm.

HumbleBee Farm can expect to receive the Spring Renewal: Herbal Tonics and Cleansers for Body and Soul in your e-mail box on Saturday, March 26th, 2016.

Thank you everybody for participating and for spending time with me at Whimsical Moon Herb Farm.

Have a delightful, inspiring, creative, abundant Spring, y’all!