Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Yeowzah, chickens!!

While this long winter month is waning, I've been feeling a growing impatience for some forward motion on the business of the farm. I reminded myself that my goal is to embrace each day and not feel anxious or stressful. Every goal has "big steps and little n's," to quote All Creatures Great and Small.
We had already taken each of the catalogs we have here at the farm and marked them with what interests us.  Here is a picture of some of the catalogs with our notations.

I created a notebook organized loosely by type of vegetation. Then listed alphabetically each item (I am a former school librarian after all.) On the tomato pages (yes more than one page of tomato selections!) I listed each catalog name, the page number, the variety and cost per unit. We could then look over all of the tomatoes we were interested in, could see immediately who was selling what at what cost and be able to refer back to the catalogs easily for our final tomato choices. Now we have a lovely little notebook. Because it's a 3-ring binder and we're using simple college ruled 3 hole punched paper we can easily add or subtract whenever and not lose our organization.

The joys of decision making for plants are still ahead, however. What I worried about most was that the breeds of chickens we had hoped to order might go out of stock before we got around to ordering. With that fear in my head, yesterday I suggested to Anne that it was the time to decide and order our flock. Yeowzah! We are now expecting and our due date is roughly May 23.
Here is a picture from our Murray McMurray Hatchery catalog with 3 of our choices starred.

For the fun of it, we also ordered a few chocolate runner ducks. Won't they be a hoot!
Just taking this step has totally energized me. And so, why quit while you're on a roll? We decided to go out and measure the area where we want to establish our orchard. The snow was perfect for marking off perimeters with our boots. Then we measured. The plot we will start with is roughly 60 feet square. And so in we trooped to sit down with graph paper and our lists of fruit trees. The picture below is of our notebook and Anne's very temporary sketch of the orchard's square footage. Not to decide where within the space each would go, but to be sure there would eventually be enough space for each variety.

By the time we had completed that, it was dusk and time for dinner. Today we'll put in the tree order and begin dreaming about future juicy, tasty, lasting rewards. We're already thinking up names for all the girls that will be on the way. Let's see, Dulcinea, Billina, Rapunzel .....


  1. Oh Sharon, I just love how enthusiastic you are about ordering plants, chickens and trees! Plotting out your new farm - how wonderful! I never imagined there existed a chicken catalog! It will be so exciting to see things develop for you and Anne.

    And thank you so much for your comment on my blog! I feel like we should get together and chat over a cup of tea! Perhaps some day....
    Yes, we do have more snow already falling, with a promise of 10 to 12 inches! Fortunately, my husband is back from China and will take care of the snow with his big snow thrower! I'm grateful!

  2. I am so thrilled for you! I would love to have a farm and be choosing chickens from a catalogue! I only have a small garden with 3 hens. I can't wait to see pictures of your runner ducks!!! Thank you for visiting my blog. You are welcome to pop over any time!

  3. Sharon, how exciting to see our farm taking shape with the chickens, ducks, and orchard. You and Anne are doing a great job. Looking forward to a visit soon. Love, Jerome