Fearless Farm Frau
Written by Shana Thornhill Tuesday, 17 July 2012 14:25Living on a farm brings its own particular pains. When you realize that you shouldn’t have stabbed yourself in the foot with a pitchfork, it makes for a memorable moment.
When you realize that forking hay on a hot day while wearing a tanktop, shorts and flipflops will make every particle of hay in the whole world stick to you in some places you’d rather it didn’t (along with bugs), that’s a memorable moment (as is removing said particles).
When you were foolish enough to go to the...
Written by Shana Thornhill Tuesday, 19 June 2012 11:35Lots of things have been eye-openers in our first year on the farm. First off are the sheer numbers of bugs. Since we don’t use pesticides, it’s really incredible how many bites (or ticks) a person can accumulate on a routine chore round—and that happens four to five times a day. Luckily, I’ve got some guineas to help with that. Here’s hoping they stick around.
Weeds are interesting. Again, no herbicides, so we’re overrun with poison hemlock, which we’re starting to control with liberal use of machetes. At least the chickens like the fresh greens.
The amount of poo that two horses can produce is pretty impressive, too. It’s amazing how they can turn simple hay into fertilizer so quickly. I think it’s nature’s joke...
Written by Shana Thornhill Tuesday, 29 May 2012 14:42I may never live this down. In all my 35 years of life, this is certainly a first. Folks, please put your coffee down and have a seat—this is a hard issue for me, and I’m sure it will hit you hard as well. Ready? Take a breath.
I bought a weather radio. Oh, the shame.
I know this is hitting your mailboxes quite a while after the fact, but it was a pretty big event for us this year. When those storms were brewing on April 14, I’d had a strange feeling all day. Sometimes books talk about the hairs on your neck rising, and I think mine were not only rising but doing the tango.
The clouds were odd, the light was odd, the temperature was odd, and the humidity felt like it wrapped itself around my face with a mind of its own. Mind...
Written by Shana Thornhill Tuesday, 15 May 2012 14:41By the time this hits your mailbox, I’ll have my new babies. Yes, I’m talking about my new chickens. Remember how I said I was the Crazy Chicken Lady? You have no idea. Yet.
I want to go on record as saying that my chicken addiction is my mother’s fault. She started sharing Backyard Poultry magazine with me, even though she had absolutely no desire to own chickens. I lived in a city. I didn’t want chickens either. I still have no idea why she started getting that magazine.
But somehow, reading the articles and peeping at pictures of pampered poultry, the idea started to grow on me. After all, I’ve always liked birds, and chickens are much cheaper than parrots.
Then we moved to the farm, and lo and behold, it had a coop. Old...
Written by Shana Thornhill Tuesday, 17 April 2012 14:43As anyone who has—or has ever had—livestock, seeing an open gate gives you a particularly sinking feeling. This particular chilly, blustery day, I threw on my trusty barn jacket to hurry out and do chores. I knew I could get them done in short order and come back inside where it was warm.
As I headed down toward the barn, I saw the open gate. I saw both of my horses on the wrong side of it. I hadn’t even let the chickens out yet. I trudged to the barn to get my bucket of alfalfa pellets and started walking obliquely toward them.
Apparently alfalfa pellets weren’t going to cut it when they had the first buffet of spring green laid out before them. They took off into the field across the road. Trying to keep them in sight, I...
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