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After I retired I wanted to stay busy on our farm. My almost 30 year career was in the hunting & fishing industry, so raising the birds I had hunted for years was a natural for me. Being married to my best friend, wife & help mate is all I could ask for. My wife of 34 years and I love living on our farm and doing the chores it takes to maintain it. We are living a wonderful slow life in our retirement. Our grand daughter is such joy. Having a big garden to feed us, raising bees for honey, loving our pets and no debt. I feel blessed to have enjoyed this country living and sustaining our family through growing our food and simple ways my whole life. I am happy to see others across this great country deciding to live instead of just collecting more. A less-stress farm life is making us very happy. *******************************************************

Monday, April 25, 2011

Rain, Rain & More Rain!!!

It's been raining almost constantly for days. The thunder rolls are pretty much non stop. When it finally stops everything green will explode. I am really looking forward to a big garden harvest this year.  We have been trying to work on the brooder barns but it is just to nasty out so we are on hold.  Won't need them for 3 weeks so really no hurry.  We just mainly need to put down the floor tarps and pine chips and get the heaters in place and tested. The grains are coming up in the fly pens and we are going to plant some sorghum in a couple more. We are getting ready to send out a bunch of 2011 price lists and wait for responses.  We decided to pre-sell about 80% of the birds.  I am helping a young couple start a small game bird farm.  I usually do not share any hard earned raising secrets (if there is such a thing), but they are good people and with the number of farms quitting we could use some young folks doing this for the future.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We are Beginning the 2011 Growing Season!

We received our first batch of 3000 northern bobwhite eggs yesterday and now have them incubating. Seems like a long time ago since we hatched quail.  We have a few thousand adult birds pre-sold and are still getting inquiries every few days. It would be so easy to expand even more, but I am happy and really enjoy doing this at our current levels.  My father has had so many health issues and just can't get around very well, but he came out to the farm and helped me place the eggs in the trays and incubator. He was the most dedicated quail hunter and had some great dogs. Even though he can't hunt anymore he sure is glad to help me raise the birds he once hunted every year for over 60 years. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring Time is Great on the Farm


With the temps in the 60's to 80's and warmer nights I think spring has sprung.  We really enjoy being country folk when everything starts to come to life.  My day usually starts going out on our front porch with a cup of coffee and some breakfast.  Debbie joins me and being English she has her morning 'spot a tea'.  Our redbud, dogwood & russian olive trees are leaved out, but the oaks and hickories are just coming to buds. Our country grass is just spotty green, but it will be full soon. We have an almost 2 acre yard and it looks like a park when everything is green. As the sun comes over the woods behind us the animals come to life.  Being that we live in the middle of the woods there is wildlife galore. The birds this time of year are eating, hunting mates and nesting all day. Their songs and flying around can keep us in awe for hours. We seem to have dozens of cardinals chasing each other through the trees. We have 5 bluebird houses and everyone has a nest in it.  We try to feed them mealworms, but with so many of them it really gets expensive. I bet this morning there was 50 finches fighting for food on our feeders. The goldfinches have all but lost their winter yellow colors. Robins are all over the yard, prancing and singing for a mate and looking for worms and bugs. The crows are really noisey and a little annoying, but they are doing their thing, too. The bees are everywhere. We are hoping for a lot of honey this summer.

My favorite this time of year is the Mockingbird. Our yard has a few tall persimmon trees along the outer perimeter and these birds will find the tall trees and just sit there and sing all kinds of different songs for a long time.  This doesn't last very many days then they are mated and nesting, but it is so cool.  The hummingbirds are just arriving. We have 4 feeders out and will add a couple more as they gather. I think we usually have about 50 -75 hummers all summer. The orioles, grosbeaks and many other migraters always give us a visit. That will happen anytime now. Debbie loves her flowers and has thousands.  The phlox and many others are making it known it is spring. My favorite is the hosta.  We have them scattered all over and they really brighten our place up.  I raise a few Bonsai trees, too. They are beautiful tiny trees and I enjoy trimming them. This weekend we are going to work on our fly pens.  Fix any holes, clean around the electric fence and start tilling inside to plant crops for the quail. Over the winter Debbie made three family quilts. One for our son and  his wife, one for our new grand daughter and one for me. Debbie is very talented and we all are greatful. Real soon know it will be very busy, but I am going to take time everyday to enjoy my retired rural life.