Snapshots of the good life!

“Farmgirl livin’ makes for a more cheerful person, no matter where you are. It’s hard to describe in words what that means–you just know; you just live it.” ~Michaela Rosenthal, in the Apr-May issue of MaryJane’s Farm magazine

Check out this adorable Barred Rock chick, one of 156 that arrived this past Thursday morning. Fear not, these chickies are for laying eggs, not for butchering! (and not for possums either!!!!!)

Farmgirl livin’ to me is…

  • planting green beans barefoot in a gentle rain
  • flats full of plants I started from seed under grow lights
  • cute lil chicks with yellow diapered bottoms
  • cute lil girls with garden hoses–watch out!
  • fresh rhubarb crisp with a few dark sweet cherries thrown in
  • grilling steaks over a pile of smoldering logs in the back yard
  • puppies frolicking with chicks
  • letting the goats do the mowing when I don’t want to
  • cast iron skillet cooking–and fried chicken fresh off the broiler I raised myself
  • collecting clean bee-you-ti-ful brown and green farm eggs and having an overabundance for angel food cakes, deviled eggs and egg salad sandwiches
  • running down the road to the neighbors to watch them capture a swarm of wild honeybees

Aren’t these “cackleberries” purty?

Check out our fully critter proofed barn stall. See all the “playpens” outfitted with heat lamps, feeders and waterers? There are six such “stations” in this one barn stall…each with 26 chicks. Four Aldi’s orange boxes, and two large green wooden crates. All in all, a cushy brooder house, completely wrapped in chicken wire so no bad guys can harm the tenants. This project kept dh and I busy till 1 am the night before–nothing like waiting till the last minute…

See the post office boxes atop the green crate? Can you believe those small boxes were home sweet home to 156 chicks? Kept them nice and warm, and we had no casualties! Yay!

Another fun thing to note, the circle of sleeping chicks who’ve found their preferred temperature range…just beyond the radiating heat lamp!

This is the other half of the barn stall full of chicks…the blue barrel is full of organic chicken feed…$100 worth! We’ll see how long it lasts…

Lovely day for mowing, but who needs to? Just turn the goats out…see my irises? They’re the only flower that goats and chickens leave alone…to my knowledge and experience! Behind that grain bin is a nice expanse of green grass, home to our two field pens. When they are full of chicks, I get to traipse down the hill twice a day to check their feed and water, croon at them a bit, and move their pen to fresh grass. Thus the term: Pastured Poultry.

I’m in love with this 10 inch cast iron skillet my mother in law gave us. It’s the best for frying chicken,ย  scrambling eggs, baking deep dish pies…

By the way, this chicken was my smallest of the broilers, weighing in at 4 lbs 14 oz. Not too shabby! We even had a couple that were close to 7 lbs! One chicken was just enough to feed our family of 5, with one piece leftover. In telling my mom this, she said that in her childhood, one chicken had to feed their family of 8, andย  her mom always claimed that her favorite piece was the neck. What a woman.

Saving the best for last…rhubarb crisp! Watch for a post soon in which I explain my reformation from being a rhubarb snob into a rhubarb hog…this is GOOD stuff! We are a family of converts…

This is the life for me! “Have what you want and want what you have”…right?

10 thoughts on “Snapshots of the good life!”

  1. The good life, indeed! What darling chicks. I’ve been 56 years off the farm I was raised on. How I love hearing you express your love for the life God has given you to live! I’m going to copy Jana’s recipe and put it in my cookbook. Sounds so good. We’re praying for the safety of those chicks.

  2. Ah, Mary Lynn,
    Thank you so much for the pictures. I am trully envious of the farm life you are getting to live and enjoy!!! Trully “Little House on the Prairie”, am I not right? Except you get the priviledge of electricity and plumbing to take away the true “roughing” it of the late 1800’s. I know what you are doing is hard work, but you are so enjoying the fruits of your labors! I echo Aunt Dorothy on how I love hearing you express your love for the life God has given you to live!!!
    Love,
    Jan

  3. Mary- no more pictures of fried chicken or I’ll fall off the wagon- right on over to your house even if I have to run.
    seriously, its good to hear about your farm life. I hope to have one too someday.

  4. Mary-You have taken on quite a project. I have 2 barred rock hens. One comes immediately from the fartherest parts of the farm when I call chick-chick because she knows I have a goodie for her (usually a fat grub from the garden). She eats from my hand and remembers from year to year that I have goodies when I call. I have a hen that hid out in the hay barn with a nest of 22 eggs and managed to hatch out 14 so I am also back to raising chicks. I have another hen in the calving barn and am setting 2 others in pet crates in the hen house. Mother used to hatch out 10 or so batches, sometimes taking the chicks as soon as they hatch and setting a new batch of eggs under the hen. That seems a bit much to me to make the poor hen set another 3 weeks so I don’t reset them but do steal the chicks for their own protection. I’ve lost a couple of hens to possoms but cyotes, bobcats and racoons are the worst. If a racoon finds the hen house and starts raiding it, there is little that can be done. They can rip holes in the most secure barn or building and wreck havoc. I remember the demise of Mom’s last 5 hens. We heard the hens calling help! help! from our bedroom window late at night and a very sleepy John grabbed the gun and out we flew to the hen house. John quickly dispatched 2 coons but not before they had gotten a couple of hens. The last hens refused to stay in the house and roosted in the trees and we had to spend the rest of the night hearing them call help from their chosen roost but were helpless to aid them because we couldn’t find them or the coons in the dark. It was several years later that I couldn’t control the grasshoppers and finally resorted to raising chicks myself. One of my biggest joys on the ranch is raising the animals but it can also be the saddest when death touches them. Hope all stays well with your chicks. Martha

  5. What a great report. The best part, by far, is the pleasure it’s giving you, and your girls’ eye opening experiences.

    How about a loan of a goat? Not really nor is it possible in the confines of city code restrictions but I have long wished I could have one.

    It’s better reading than many of the stories of the settlers and their adventures. Best part is knowing you and yours.

    And you wondered why you were worn out too. But you can look back with great satisfaction on this time and better yet appreciate non-doctored up food stuffs.

  6. It seems that chicken and eggs in your farm is really good and tasty. Looking in photos of two dishes really makes me hungry. It think it really fun to live in your farm because chicken and egg supplies will be endless.

  7. We really think you’re starting to get into the spirit of this whole concept of “the good life” – simple living on the farm. The joys, the satisfaction, the good tired feeling at the end of the day, the knowledge and experience you are gaining about raising your own food. The responsibilities of caring for your animals, the duties, the compassion at their loss – these are things that can’t be learned in books – they are learned only by first hand experience. Learning about the realities of life, death, and our role of stewardship in God’s creation. It’s something that’s hard to quantify, but the majority of folks in the current generation are missing out on the daily benefits and blessings of it.

  8. So many great comments! I love hearing from you all!

    Mom–keep on praying! So far we haven’t lost a one of these little cuties!

    Jan–I would have made an awful pioneer w/o electricity and plumbing, lol, this is the perfect age in which to try to “go back to the land”, huh! What really appeals to me about the “olden days” is having my hubby home full time. Now that would be the golden touch to this country life. Thanks so much for coming over and commenting! Love ya!

    Bethanie, why didn’t you tell me a pan of fried chicken would be the way to get you here! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Come anytime and I’ll figure out a healthier way to fix chicken, lol! Hope you get your acreage soon!

    Aunt Martha, I loved hearing about your “pet” Barred Rock! Mine are the same way! I call, “Chick, chick” and they come RUNNING from all directions with their skirts all hitched up, lol, b/c they know I have some scraps or something. After reading your account of hen raids, I’m feeling blessed to have only dealt with the possums. I sure hope no coons/bobcats/coyotes get wind of our enterprises here. Sigh. I know we have them around. I think raising your own chicks from eggs is amazing! What fun. Thanks for telling me your chicken stories! I really enjoyed them.

    Aunt Ruth, we’d give you a goat if you wanted one. We’re not too impressed with the Boer variety! They are nice looking but kind of persnickety. I’d rather have flowers than goats!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Yes, the non-doctored up food stuffs is a real draw. It’s so satisfying to eat stuff straight from the garden, sometimes hose washed, sometimes not! The only problem with having all these chickens in my freezer, is that it was so much work, and they are SO delicious, that I’m kind of hoarding them back for special occasions! And no one but me will realize just how special they are if they happen to get my hard-earned chicken while at my house! Especially in this day of getting whatever you want in the grocery store, and not knowing what stuff has been pumped into what you get at the grocery store. And I know sometimes it’s easier and more affordable to just ignore all the scary details! Been there, done that. Thanks for your fun comment!

    Jonas, the egg supply is definitely endless! Until I get more customers, that is! ๐Ÿ˜‰ We do have a lot of fun around here.

    Farmer John, what a great summing up. It’s exactly that outlook that makes this so satisfying. I’m so happy for your part in teaching us how to do all these things to the max!

  9. That definitely sounds like fun! MY hubby was wondering-how long does one of those organic grain barrels last?

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