Sunday, January 10, 2016

New Years Resolutions from the Farm

I'm having a really hard time believing that it is already a new year. Last year really flew by, and I know all about that ugly saying that time flies as you age, I'm doing my best to ignore that!

So to help me get on track for a New Year I thought I would share some of the resolutions from the farm. I hear that if you share them, there is a better chance that you will be able to stay on track.

1. I'll start with the Chickens, They decided that there maybe a couple of people out there that don't realize that they are tough totally free range chickens. They don't need a sissy coop, they are only partially domesticated anyway. So if you'd like to visit them they'll be right here in the magnolia tree,

Unless the weather is bad then we'll just migrate to the carport..

2. We've heard that we are called Easter Eggers so we promise to make every morning as fun as Easter with an egg hunt. We'll make sure to move to an new spot once you find the old one..

3.  The Dogs promise to ramp up the household protection by keeping the strange guy in the jeep away from our mailbox, let you know if a strange cat wanders into the yard, or a leaf might be out of place in the yard. Just one of the three amigos, she looks like a great watch dog..right..

Watching the yard is a tough job.

4. The cats promise to help me get keep my heart rate up by leaving half eaten moles directly on the top step, right where I'll put my barefoot in the morning as I go out to feed them and the chickens.. but hey, can you resist that face..

5.The humans are working on all kinds of things like getting more organized, being a bit more proactive and working on growing  a larger selection of unusual vegetables for the market, like Kohlrabi, Radicchio and Goji berries, (we planted those last fall!)  The catalogs have come in and I'm working on my order! I might have to scout out a bit more garden space..

6. I'm also pledging to explore the idea of using beets and carrots in jams to give it natural sweetness and make them a bit healthier. I'm always looking for ideas for new flavors, so pass your new ideas along!

I hope this finds you having a really great start to 2016! We have so much planned and we can't wait to share it with you. Thanks for stopping by!  

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Christmas Trees can keep on giving

We are on the Bah Humbug side of the Holidays and didn't even put up a tree this year. But we had visited our friend Toni at Possumwood Acres, which is a wildlife rehabilitation center that works mainly with birds, squirrels and other small mammals. When we lived closer we were able to volunteer when the rescue was just getting started and now that we have moved away we try to drop in a couple of times a year to help and bring donations. I had visited at Thanksgiving since we were home for the Holiday and one of the requests was for Christmas Trees. They use them in the large Raptor enclosures as well as smaller cages as well as wind breaks for the water foul. 

We sent out a request on facebook closer to Christmas to our friends to let us know when they would be done with their trees, so we could take them back down to Toni. Then about a week before Christmas we were at Tractor Supply and they had a large group of trees on clearance, we asked what happens when the holiday is over. They said they would be disposed of unless we were interested in taking them off of their hands. We left our information and not long after we received a call to come pick up the left over trees. 

 We loaded up the trees, a few very old things from our freezer ( for the buzzards), and two boxes of collards from our garden for the swans and headed over to Hubert. Everyone was very happy to see see us arrive and with a few helping hand we unloaded quickly. 

It was one of the few really cold days we've had lately, so we didn't spend as much time hanging around as we normally would have but I can share a few pictures of the residents with you.
This is just one of the owls that have been brought in injured recently, lots of owls and other large birds come in, are rehabilitated and released back into the wild.

This is a "Tea Cup" Pig that out grew the cuteness and was put out to defend herself. She's happily digging for nuts the squirrel's have hidden in a safe new home.

This is tucker and he's happy to me sharing Thanksgiving and Christmas with us running around instead of on a plate!

If your looking to upcycle your tree too, here's a couple of ideas for you, just in case you don't have a local wildlife rehab center that is in need of trees. 

I'm originally from a coastal county and there was always a call for trees to help shore up the dunes, check with your local park service to see what options are available in your area.

Don't have the ability to haul off your tree, birds would love to enjoy your tree right in your back yard for a bit. Make sure you take off all tinsel and ornaments and set your tree out back. You could even add some bird cakes and other feeders to the tree to bring the local birds to your back yard. Once it dries out it will be easier to break part and dispose of.

Some communities have a recycling program to turn trees into mulch. That's a win win for everyone.

Another option right at home is to turn your tree into a refuge for fish! Do you or a friend have a pond then dump it right into the water. It creates a great place for fish to hide, provides a safe place for young fish or even for fish laying eggs.

There are all kinds of options just google recycling Christmas Trees for your area. I just looked it up for us and came up with lots of interesting options, including the one we did! 

Give your tree a chance to make a difference after the Holidays or even think about a live tree for next year!

Thanks for stopping by!