Friday, April 23, 2010

Fort Triforce

Not long ago Papaw scored a fabulous deal on cement blocks at the Re-Store. He brought home pallets and pallets of them for future building projects here on the farm.

It didn't take long until Kellen realized that he could remove the middle blocks and create a small shelter. With a little adult encouragement, the small one pallet shelter quickly turned into a fort; Fort Triforce.

Here are a few views of the fort:

Notice the shelving inside the fort. Those are the "swords" on it. The bows are hanging under the shelf. The taller weapons in the corner are spears. Oh, and that satellite dish? That, of course, is a shield.  Also stockpiled within the fort is water, snacks, a change of clothes, and tools padlocked into a plastic storage container.

To the older boys, Kellen and Miles, this fort is all fort. It is a stage for their battles and they have plans for outposts in the woods. To the younger children, this is a perfect playhouse. A place to take their stuffed animals and blankets. Let's just say that Fort Triforce has already withstood many a battle. In the end, it remains a fort, and the younger children are learning to be respectful of the time and effort that has gone into planing and stocking the fort. Fort Triforce stands tall.

Friday, April 16, 2010

And while I'm sharing videos. . .

Posted about this one over at Stop the Ride today, but wanted to be sure the video itself made into our family archive here (Hey I don't scrap book or keep up photo albums. This is it folks.) Sorry to those of you are getting this duplicated.

This is my brother Eric and I in 1973.

We're On the Small Screen

A few weeks ago we had a lovely visit with Tammy, The Unusually Unusual Farmchick and the Captain. They got the dime tour of the farm, and helped with sheep shearing. Tammy is creating a Homesteader Video series featuring the methods (and madness?) of homesteaders. Check out the video that she made while visiting the 100 Acre Wood: Homesteader Spotlight Video 1.  And I know that Tammy is looking for more homesteads to feature. If your homestead is within driving distance of NE Ohio, and you'd like her to come visit, send her and email.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Spring is Here!

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Spring! Spring! How I love thee! The weather here has been just perfect. Good and warm through the day and nice and cool in the evening. This really is my favorite weather. Why oh why can't it be like this all year?

The red buds are in full bloom. The Dogwoods are just beginning to open up, and our brown forest is turning green by the day. The early vegetables are in the garden, and LOOK there are blooms on my strawberry plants! The blooms are on the ever bearing plants. The June berries are not blooming yet though. And my asparagus has me a little worried because nothing is coming up yet, but I'm trying to be patient and hoping for the best.

The garden seems to bring new challenges every year, and because organic gardening is somewhat new to me, I'm constantly looking for helpful tips and information. My Organic Gardening Blog has lots of helpful information. It is written for the experienced and the novice gardener. There are posts about vegetable gardening, houseplants, pests, and flowers. Of course, I'll be mostly looking at the vegetable garden posts.

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I just love spring, and am so thrilled that is here. I love working in the garden, and simply enjoy the process of planting and watching things grow. Of course, I also enjoy the payoff that all the hard work brings. I can't wait to enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of our labors! Has spring sprung in your area? Do you have big garden plans for this year?

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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Those Awkward Teenage Weeks

Two weeks old and they are not chicks anymore. They aren't exactly adult chickens yet either. They are caught in that in between time. It isn't pretty.

But I did learn something new about these Cornish X chickens today. I knew that they were a cross between a White Plymouth Rock hen and a Cornish Rooster, but for the life of me could not figure out how that cross made such large meaty birds. Plymouth Rocks are decent sized birds, but not these huge fast growing things. And when I think Cornish chickens I think of the Cornish game hens that you buy whole at the grocery store. Small, but delicious birds right?

Well, yes, but they are only small because they are butchered at four weeks old. Yes, you read that right, four weeks, one month, 28 eight days, say it how you like, but those are very young birds. The fact that they are that size at the age gives a little perspective to the size of the chicks we have.

Still curious, I dug a little deeper. The Cornish birds are a very short yet stocky bird that is double breasted. They are crosses with the Plymouth Rock because the Rocks are a taller bird. The result is a whole lot of meat. The cross is also what most commercial farmers use, and thus is the chicken we are used to in the grocery store.

Sorry to bore you with my chicken talk, but I found it interesting. :)