The Farm Report

      107 Comments on The Farm Report

Chareva has been spending her days overseeing the renovations at the farm while I’ve been spending mine working as a contract programmer to pay for them.  Yesterday we took a trip out there so I could see the progress.

Much of the inside of the house is still in the demolition phase, so it looks like this:

When we bought the house, the basement (which was moldy) had a garage door leading out to the driveway, and that garage door was covered with huge burglar bars.

Pretty much everything in the basement has since been ripped out and is being rebuilt.

We replaced the garage door with a wall, a door and a window.

The bad news is that a county inspector declared that the septic system had to be replaced.  From what we were told, this particular inspector never met a septic system he didn’t think required replacing.  The consensus opinion (excluding the inspector’s) is that the existing system could have merely been cleared out.  But since the inspector could hold up the renovation permits (another reason I just looooove government), we had to hire a crew to tear up what was once a beautiful front yard.

Not that the girls minded …

So I’ll be spending part of this year re-seeding our new dirt field.

The last time I visited the farm, the pastures looked like this.

A few days ago, Chareva hired this guy to drive his bush-hog around the property.

So now the pastures look like pastures.

We were surprised to learn that the back pasture has a pretty serious slope to it.  When it was covered with tall weeds, it looked relatively flat.  Nope.

My plans for paleo-type exercise after we move to the farm include sprinting around the land.  Sprinting up those slopes will no doubt get the ol’ muscles working.

At the lowest point on the land there’s a creek bed, which is currently dry.  (That will probably change this week, when the rains from tropical storm Lee reach Tennessee.)

The girls love walking around the creek and exploring.  I followed them for a while yesterday, until Sara yelled, “Look, Daddy!  There’s a skunk up ahead!”  At that point, I encouraged them to conclude the expedition.

There’s still plenty of work to be done on the land.  There are barbed-wire fences all over the place, which I’m going to have torn down.

There are also some dead trees we need to have removed, such as this one, which fell over at some point and put the hurt on one of the hurricane fences.  I plan to replace the hurricane fences with wood fences anyway, so no big deal.

Sara has a risk-taker’s personality, which can be both good and bad.  Two of her favorite phrases, in order, are “Watch this!”…  followed by “I’m okay.”  Yesterday, she decided it would be fun to swing from one of the branches on the dead tree.  I warned her that the dead branch could snap and she could end up landing on her butt.

Just about the time she was finished disputing my analysis of the situation …

She then punctuated her usual declaration of “I’m okay” with a little victory pose.

As usual, the girls protested when we told them it was time to leave, which I take as a good sign.  They’re going to love living out there with their own little wilderness to explore.

Since it was after 5:00 p.m. when we left, we stopped at our local Chipotle grill for dinner.  For those who believe low-carb diets work by boring people into eating less because the food is tasteless, I invite you to take a look at my dinner.  That’s a big ol’ portion of lettuce, shredded beef, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, onions, peppers, hot sauce and shredded cheese, with a small scoop of pinto beans tossed in.

It was delicious.  It was also quite satiating.  I didn’t go to bed until nearly 2:00 a.m., and even though there was plenty of palatable food in the refrigerator, I had no desire to go looking for a late-night snack – because eight hours later, I wasn’t the least bit hungry.

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107 thoughts on “The Farm Report

  1. emi11n


    Thanks for the reply, I appreciate your perspective. I do understand it can be extremely difficult to shoot a ball of black fur that shoots nasty chemical weapons at you. I sure couldn’t do it, I have terrible aim no matter the weapon. Skunks are kind of a special case since they can shoot back! I know sometimes It’s just not possible to be humane, I just wanted to introduce that thought into the discussion, because we should treat animals humanely whenever possible. Of course they can’t always be released. I agree 100% it does no good to deposit nuisance wildlife in someone else’s neighborhood. There has to be an appropriate location.

    Tom, I have no argument with you killing copperheads near your house or coyotes attacking your stock. As I said before, the highest priority is to protect yourself and your animals. And I’m with you on killing wasps. I myself kill brown recluse spiders whenever I find them(it’s always inside a building so it is just self-defense ^__^) Seriously, get snake tongs, they will be great for removing snakes from the tub…even if you plan to kill the snake. (Much better to take it outside to kill.) There may be ways to protect your animals without killing many predators, though… check out the Idiots guide to raising chickens, it talks about a farm that got tired of losing hens. They got rid of their coop and bred a chicken that lives free on their farm. These Black Walnut chickens roost in the trees. They’re black so the predators can’t see them well at night. And spread out as they are, nothing can swoop in and kill them all. Something to consider. I bet your girls would have fun finding the hens’ nests. And if you get the goats or sheep you’ve mentioned before, you might think about getting a llama to guard them. A llama will stomp to death any coyote that shows its face, and it can live with the flock and eat the same food. Look up guard lllamas online, it’s a neat idea.

    Someone else also told me donkeys are good protection. Never would’ve expected that.

  2. emi11n

    Yes, donkeys hate canines. I’ve heard stories from a co-worker that her donkey even goes nuts if deer come in the pasture. He’ll bray and chase them. You have to get a large donkey though, not a mini.

    I read last night that donkeys can be problem if you have a dog, which we will.

  3. emi11n

    Yes, donkeys hate canines. I’ve heard stories from a co-worker that her donkey even goes nuts if deer come in the pasture. He’ll bray and chase them. You have to get a large donkey though, not a mini.

    I read last night that donkeys can be problem if you have a dog, which we will.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Our IP provider had to move the site a month ago. I guess not all the images made it over. I’ll give them a shout.

  4. bc

    I’m laughing that you’d run around the farm for exercise when that farm needs so much work that would put you in super shape all on its own! Between the fences, firewood and renovation you’ll be fine. And the running away from skunks.

    We’ve got 70ha (umm… 175ac?) and I’m shamed by some of the old boy farmers near us who march up and down hills for hours a day. Then they disparage the younger generation for using quads. It makes you feel guilty for using a bicycle to get around. 🙂

    Best of luck with it all. I am looking forward to seeing the changes to your paleo lifestyle once you get into the farm groove.

    Good point. Once I start working on the land, it may become laughable that I was trying to dream up ways to exercise.

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