|Taking a Break
I’m sure hoping that those who signed up for the Ranch’s updates are still out there as it has been a very long time since the last newsletter.
This past December made two years at the new location and it has been a very eventful experience. Besides installing the new fencing, building a new garden shed, and designing and planting the new garden our entry into the local Farmer’s Markets has been an outstanding venture. In addition another five acres has been acquired for pasture land for the horses and goats and to obtain rights to the entire one acre pond.
This is a glimpse into the progress we have made since 2015.
The red lines indicate the fencing that existed when we originally occupied the property in 2015.
The orange lines specify the fencing that was erected in 2016.
The yellow lines designate the fencing that was put in this past year, 2017.
Directly after finishing this massive project, the new garden shed was placed in its new location. It will get a lot of equipment out of the shop and is centrally located between the orchard and garden. Now we just have to finish off the inside.
Originally it was going to be an additional chicken coop, but that is another story. We started 2017 with almost 30 chickens and a great crop of eggs.
|Gone but not forgotten
Then the raids began. We can only guess at who is/are the culprit(s) as the ground is not good for tracks. One to two at a time the birds began to disappear. Sometimes there would be feathers and sometimes not, sometimes a body and sometimes not but always a loss. It can only be coon, possum, owl, hawk, or possibly bobcat as the dogs seem to keep the coyotes at bay. After each and every bird was lost we began again. This time we raised another 30 birds only to lose them again. Not a good year at all. We are at it again and have 20 beautiful birds growing out as I write this sad tale. This time however we are going to fence an area alongside the chicken coop and put a top on the fence. This will give them a safe place to grow up and give us some time to erect some new topped pens in the orchard. Guess their free range will be reduced a bit.
As is normal with me, it is design, build, redesign, move, build again and so on and so on…Redesign is in progress even if it is only in my head at the present time. The compost
pile is growing slowly but will produce much needed fertile soil for the Spring. The original pile that came with the property has been
cooking for two years now and I will tear into that as soon as the wintry weather bows its icy head to say goodbye!
2017 was the first year we got serious about participating in the local Farmer’s Market. To our surprise, we were a bit successful! We won’t ever get rich doing this, but we love the atmosphere, fellow vendors, and customers. At least we are able to make
enough to pay for the feed bill and a few other items around here. Every little bit helps! We started out at the Bay St Louis Market, moved to the Poplarville Market, and will shortly begin a new Market at Stennis. During Winter the Bay is too cold and Poplarville closes down for the Winter. Stennis however is an
indoor market so I’m looking forward to that one in particular.
We’ve had great response to our eggs, breads, jams, preserves, pickles and herbs. Seems my baking and canning is a success! This year I even made Eldeberry Syrup, Nature’s Tamiflu, and Pear Vinegar with pears from the orchard. I’m getting there!
The critters are doing well with the exception of the chickens. Horses, donkey, and goats are fat and sassy. We had a great crop of babies at kidding time this past Spring and after sales now have ten does and two bucks (soon to be wethers).
Life is good at the Ranch!
Don’t Judge the Moment,
LIVE IT ! ! !