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Farm tour

Ruth Stout style garden, year 1Everett and Missy (from Living a Simple Life) were kind enough to invite us over to their new homestead for lunch on Saturday and I leapt at the offer.  There are few things I like better than a farm tour --- a great chance to walk around someone else's operation and get ideas.

The farm was beautifully manicured (way out of my weed-overgrown league), and I'm sure lots of you would love to see pastoral photos.  However, being who I am, I took a few pictures of the chickens and then a whole bunch of pictures of the garden.
Straw mulched garden
Everett and Missy made the wise choice to spend their first year on the farm focusing on infrastructure, but they didn't ignore the garden entirely.  Instead, they planted a few cucurbits down by the creek, hired a nearby farmer to plow up a field to plant a clover cover crop in a second area, and then spread thick straw mulch over a third area.

This third area, of course, was the one that caught my eye --- a patch of lawn being transformed into a budding Ruth Stout garden.  Mushrooms were already hard at work improving the soil, and worms had clearly been attracted to the moist, bare soil beneath the Buckeye chickensmulch.  The couple's free range Buckeye chickens loved scratching up the mulch to find critters...and depositing their own organic fertilizer in exchange.  I wouldn't be surprised if this plot turns into a bountiful and trouble-free garden next year.

Of course, we didn't escape the farm tour entirely unscathed.  Like they say, August is the only time you have to lock your car in Appalachia --- otherwise, you'll come back to discover it full of zucchinis.  Thanks for the produce, the delicious lunch, and the tour!

Everett and Missy's chickens are the only ones I've met who honestly don't need our homemade chicken waterer --- they prefer the fresh, flowing water in their personal creek.

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Thank you both for coming out. I can't wait to get together again. This time I'll bring Mark's DVDs.

I think that mystery veggie might be a very early, unripe heirloom pumkin. I see one under there today that is almost totally orange. We'll see! They'll either ripen into something or rot on the vine, but I'm not picking any more until I know what they are.

Thanks again for the visit. I keep meaning to get a video up of me making a chicken waterer bucket, but we've been over that whole "Not enough time for Everett and his projects" thing already. ;-)

Comment by Everett Mon Aug 2 16:35:49 2010

We really had a great time --- thanks for having us!

An heirloom pumpkin makes so much sense --- I should have guessed that. Whatever it is, it's in the winter squash group, which means that it won't hurt it to leave it alone until the vines die back.

Don't worry too much about the video --- we'd love to have it, but are in no hurry. I hope I wasn't too single-minded about telling you to take time off. You know what they say --- there's noone so evangelical as a convert. :-)

Comment by anna Mon Aug 2 17:57:59 2010

One very unique homestead, $1,500 per acre, the opportunity of a lifetime