It is a very busy time of the year for the new farm. Our 90 baby chicks are almost old enough to be moved to the farm, the vegetable seedlings needed to be moved from the garage to the greenhouse, we inherited a shed from some friends that needed to be moved, the grass and weeds were finally tall enough to need mowing, and the county burn ban has been lifted so we can get rid of the big brush piles that have accumulated over the last year. With all of that on our plates I decided to take a weeks vacation from my city job to get a bunch of these tasks knocked out.
First up was evicting the youngest chicks out of the greenhouse, and combine them with the older girls living in the temporary coop. This needed to happen so we could get the vegetable seedlings out of the dark garage and moved into the greenhouse. It actually went really smoothly until mice invaded the greenhouse and ate two flats of tomato seedlings. 150 tomato plants gone in a night. We put out traps and caught 6 mice. The rest of the seedlings are now safe.
On to getting the farm ready for the chickens… Last week Farmer Jen drove all around Needville and Fairchild looking for an old cotton trailer that we could turn into a mobile chicken coop (chicken tractor). She got a call a few days later, and the next day we drove the jeep into Pleak, TX, hooked up the cotton trailer, and drove the 15 miles back to the farm very slowly. Luckily we didn’t have a tire blow out, and we made it safe and sound to the farm.
Another fun adventure was loading 25 – 2″x10″x16′ boards for the raised beds onto our 11′ long trailer, and towing those 15+ miles to the farm. But, amazingly, we made that trip without incident as well. Once we got the lumber to the farm we spent a day building 10 raised beds.
Up next? Moving our new shed. It took everything the little Kubota could give (and then some) to move the shed into its new location and get it leveled on cinder blocks. The tractor’s front end loader popped off one time, we snapped one hook that we were using to pull the shed, and pulled the other hook out of the 4×4 it was screwed in to. We ended up pulling the shed with the jeep. In the end no one got hurt, and we got the storage shed into position. This is going to be VERY useful to have at the farm.
In between all of these jobs I actually had some time to get the whole farm mowed. Due to last years drought I hadn’t mowed in 9 months! It took about 4 hours total, but the grass and weeds are now all a respectable height. We just need to get the chickens moved out there, and I’ll never have to mow again.
Speaking of the chickens and rain… Lola was not amused at all of the rain we got earlier this week.
So what’s left? This weekend we are going to burn the brush piles, put a roof on the cotton trailer to make it safe for the chickens, and put up the electric chicken fencing (UPS says it’ll arrive on Friday). If we can get all of that done this weekend we’ll be fully ready to move the chickens to the farm at the first sound of a rooster crowing… hopefully that won’t happen for another 2-3 weeks. Next week we’ll need to have 20 yards of garden soil delivered, and then fill the raised beds. After the beds are full of soil we’ll install deer fencing around them, and run drip irrigation lines through them. We will then be ready for planting the week of February 15th.