Spring on the Farm

 

As things begin to really warm up here at Ervin Highland Farms,  on this Sunny afternoon I have found a window while Iona is asleep to catch you up on what we have been up to since Iona has joined our crew.  I thought I would have more time to write after the baby was born and it turns out that wasn’t true.  There is so much to share from our location here on Mystery  Cave Road with new animals, fences, water features and even some new things happening with our homeschool routine, I can’t wait to share.

On April Fool’s Day I was packing every last item that belonged  to my family from the Silver Run Cabins and moving it to the new Yome.   The doors and floors still need  to be completed but we have been staying here for well over 6 weeks and have completed alot of other tasks.  We finshed  our outhouse, cleaned all of our stored items from the winter out of the chicken coop, purchased a shipping container, which allowed us to clean up alot of miscellaneous corners of wire and collections of things.  I was finally able to start my chicken coop.  Luckily, my neighbor Sonia was looking for someone to give 3 DOZEN eggs to and ran into me on our dirt road and a friendship began! Well it turns out she was preparing to leave her little farm down the road for the summer and needed someone to watch her 4 favorite banty chickens for a few months in exchange for all 10 of the larger chickens.  And so began my chicken herd.  The next week my friend Britni sold me 8 teenager chicks and I am proud to say they are all alive and well. Almost…all of them, actually the first day, as I was putting them into the coop one got away and she was eaten by a predator one night about a week later.  

We have one of the four special banty chickesn sitting on a nest full of both banty and brown large eggs, so keep your fingers crossed I may have my own Banty bunch when these four go back to Sonia in August.  

Also very exciting news is the baby bunnies are here! We have 5 gray bunnies available June 17th, they are crossbred New Zealand / Flemish Giants.  There were 6, but one didn’t make it.  I also bought 6 guinea chicks but we are  at 50% survival as of right now.  Guineas are hard to raise from chicks but I am going to order a solar powered heat lamp for a brooder box or chicken coop that they sell at the local farms store so hopefully I can find some more chicks and have them eat all the ticks around our yard near the Yome.  The other option is tick granuals which sound really nice as long as they don’t poison any of my animals. 

I also have two female Nigerian Dwarf goats at my friend Britni’s farm, and a male at our friend Byron’s cabin just waiting for their awesome goat pent to be ready.  I had mentioned two other female goats on our website, “Gypsy and Joane” however their owner was able to arrange her schedule to be able to keep her goats instead of selling them to me. My friend Britni has been patiently waiting since January for my fence to be built so I was excited when we found more goats for sell and took a ride one night to her friend Amanda’s farm in Harrison.  It was like girls night out, only we had our youngest two children Iona and Brenna and we just got to stop at the Taco Bell on the way to buy the goats.  Ladies’ nights have really changed as I move further away from my wild twenties.

This week Billy is building the goat fence and he is more excited that part of the fence he is building will be for his long awaited highland cattle.   We also have a roll of fence our friend Brandon gave us so we can put a pen up arund our pond and  buy pigs to mate and fix our pond.  We will put them in to eat up all the vegetation growing in the pond first. Once they have eaten all the cat tails and other plants from the bed of the pond we can put clay down and they will run around and stomp the clay into the base of the pond which as legend has it, should “fix” our pond so it will hold water.  It was beautiful when it was full this spring after a real “gully washer!”

The plan is to put the goats next to the yard where the chickens are free ranging around the coop.  This fence is the 4 inch square mesh wire with cedar corner posts and metal T-posts every 8-10 feet.  There will be nice metal gates to separate the different spaces into goat pens.  I plan to milk the goats to make soap, lotion, milk to drink, butter, and cheese. In order to have milk the female goats will have to have kids. He is building a goat house out of cedar posts we harvested from our property and we will be getting some rough wood from the lumber yard to build the walls. The male goat will have time in a separate pen when the females are close  to giving birth.  As  you move closer to the entrance of our farm near the driveway, we will have 6 inch square mesh fencing to keep the highland cattle.  This will begin our rotational process  and  give us safe spaces to keep the animals as we experiment with electric fencing on other pastures.  If we have baby pigs Bill plans to keep them in the back pasture with solar powered electric wire fencing.

 

She was serious when she said, “let’s just go camping….forever.”

Laundry Day

Old Fashioned ways

We have been so blessed to be able to wash our clothes at our friends house. I found a laundry mat close by, in Timbo, rather than driving to Harrison. Now with my new “WONDER wash” I can wash smaller items down at our spring and hang them out to dry.  The kids were interested in helping because this was the first time I used it, however, as I am editing the original post, I can tell you, we are going to need to use some fabric softener on the socks because, stiff, laundry line socks seem a little… unpleasant. It’s like, ” I wonder if these have been washed.”

All jokes aside,  I do wonder if my children will be treated differently due to our choice to revert back to the old fashioned ways of living.  It is hard for a child to understand why we would want to live in a smaller home with less amenities. My children understand the basic idea but it isn’t something they can explain to their peers.

 

 When we lived in our old house  and had beautiful appliances, the people who were our friends did not visit. Here, our neighbors visit, and do not seem to judge us for lifestyle.  I found myself showing people pictures of my old house to prove we are worthy of their friendship, but people are different here. Everyone understands why, without explanation. They are more interested in how they can help us, rather than judge us.  Children though, they say what they think, like, “you guys need a bigger house.” Or the look two kids gave each other when Bruce said, “I helped my mom by putting my bed away,” in class.

I have been trying to keep up with the Jones’ for too long,  the race is over, they won. I want to teach my kids that their value is not based on what people in the world think, but how they treat people, how they act, who they are will be what draws their friends to them, not what they have.

 

 

 

“Yoga helps me build strength, balance, and focus.”

-Donna Ervin, certified yoga instructor


 

Outdoor Yoga schedule

  • Tuesday 9:00 am – stretch and strength
  • Thursday 8:00 pm- relax and recover
  • Saturday 9:00 am – hike and balance
This is the link to the first yoga practice,
June 1st,

Outdoor Yoga for Strength 


Yoga practice

This summer I plan to start teaching yoga classes outside at our property. Starting Tuesday morning, June 1st, join me for yoga at 9 a.m. rain will always postpone our practice until the following day. The yoga I practice is focused on breathing, building strength, flexibility, and focus. I am a faithful Christian mother and believe in a God who is strong enough to show me ideas from other cultures and allow me to practice exercises and techniques that will strengthen this vessel he wove together and I can use my body in this life to glorify His name and share his peace with my brothers and sisters here on earth.

 

 

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