The Goats Have Arrived!

After messing around for over a year trying to get ready for goats, we just decided to take the plunge and get some!! Ryan has been working on the fence for the last month and we had a space ready in the barn…

Last night we traveled to Hornyak Ranch near Erie PA and spent two hours with Amber looking at various does and kids. We decided to get a couple of does with kids at the side and Ryan and Shelli got a pregnant doe. So instead of 2 or 3 goats, we came home with SEVEN!! They are a bit skittish so we are just giving them some time indoors to get used to the new place before we try putting them in the pasture.

Goats Arrive

This video is a little out of order – sorry – but it shows us going to get the goats.

Brief Update

Sorry we’ve fallen a little behind; as you can imagine, we’re in the “crunch time” for farm work so time on the computer is pretty limited. Here’s a photo of a portion of our most recent harvest. We’ve picked close to 100 quarts of strawberries this year!

It’s growing!!

We tried a few experimental things this year and it’s exciting to see things growing.

We started two beds of asparagus. The crowns languished in the ground for almost 4 weeks and we were beginning to wonder if they had rotted with all the wet weather we have been having. I walked out to the garden on Sunday and was excited to see 6″ tall spears where there was nothing the day before. The beets and carrots are also up. The little seedlings that I grew and transplanted also look very happy. They actually benefited from the cool, wet weather. The tomatoes and vines that I put in our experimental straw bale garden look very happy and healthy.

This year we had an exceedingly long wet spring and I wondered if we would be able to plant anything. But we are now one week away from Memorial Day (our “safe”  time to plant) and our entire garden is planted and there is no sign of frost anywhere in the 10 day forecast. I attribute much of our ability to early planting to our raised beds…others in our area are unable to till their soil or get in their conventional plots because it has been so wet.

The chicks are almost two weeks old and starting to feather nicely. “Egg” chickens are so different from “meat” chickens…they are trying to fly already and barely eat anything.

April showers…

 Our long snowy winter has turned into an even longer wetter spring. We are dodging rain drops in an attempt to put in the garden I have planted broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts that I grew from seed. Last  week Keturah and I planted beets and carrots. The other night Ryan and Shelli helped me weed and plant 3 more beds…we planted peas and onions.  I put in a few  Butternut squash plants too. Now the main garden is full-since half of it is strawberry plants. The berries are blooming and it is looking like we’ll get a good crop this year. I planted tomatoes and a few vines (not sure if they’re melons or cukes) in our experimental straw bales. Kent is faithfully working on more beds so that I can finish planting– peppers, potatoes and beans. In spite of the nasty weather, we are ahead of schedule for the year.

Last Saturday we fenced the main garden….deer love starawberry plants. This is phase one of our double ring of fence  around the garden with chickens inside. Hopefully we will finish before the chicks get old enough to go out.

Harvest Host approved and listed in Aprils directory

We were approved as a Harvest Host and got listed in the April directory. We can accommodate one rig. It is a slightly tricky back in spot, but an experienced driver should be just fine. There is wifi and electric available at the spot.

Signup over at to get your directory listings of free places to park.

Peonies Lillies and Tulips – Part 2

Some pictures of the (nearly) completed flower bed work.

Paula got a lot of work done on the herb beds, too.

It was great to have the grandkids to help!

East drive looking east

Looking west

Herb beds

Peonies, Lillies, and Tulips

Things are starting to bloom at Big Oak Ridge.

Mulching the peonies and lillies

Today we were blessed with another day of reasonable weather. We mulched around the peonies and lillies that form a border around the front drive. We also cleaned the “big coop” in preparation for the arrival of new chicks soon.

the second photo is a view of the fountain in front of the house and the flower beds. Tulips, grape hyacinths, jonquils, and daffodils are in full bloom this week.
Fountain and Tulips

Using Pampas Grass as Mulch – Howto

The first “Big Oak Ridge” educational video.

Hard Day’s Work

Today was the first really nice day we’ve had, and we put it to good use. We gathered and shredded the Pampas grass, cleaned and replanted the strawberry beds, planted some asparagus, and redid the paths in the garden. Photos and videos to follow soon.