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Emily planted some flower bulbs and as she divided them into groups of 3, she commented that, "you have to use math in gardening."

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Sarah with three of her young chickens.

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Our two male ducks' winter home is all set.

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Enough firewood for the season - truly a blessing.

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This is our new chicken coop for our 12 young chickens.  My father and step-father helped get most of it started and then Mike put on the roof with the clear section so they have extra light during the winter months.  Our older chickens are in a section of our barn.

Tonya GunnComment
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Some of our chickens enjoying the chicken tractor Mike made from scraps that we had around the homestead.  They are helping dig up and fertilize the garden for next year.

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Yesterday afternoon, Mike and I worked in our front yard garden to make our first official rows.  We are making them 30" wide with 18" walking paths between.   We were inspired by The Market Garden and the Urban Farmer.   Our front yard gets full sunshine so we have been very slowly digging up the sod using a pickaxe (one of my two favorite gardening tools).  This past summer we did grow squash and pumpkins in the area.  I just made piles of goat manure compost and planted. I also threw in a few other vegetables as I was able to dig up the sod.  In addition, I have been putting goat manure compost on the entire area beginning last fall.  This fall, the soil is already looking much improved.    The reason we are doing the 30" beds is because there is a whole industry of compact farming tools available including the two wheel tractor which we hope, over time, to be able to invest in.  But for now, we are doing the best with what we have and making even just a little bit of progress nearly everyday keeps us motivated.

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Along the same line of using what we have, I created a front garden area right along the house this past spring.  The goat manure compost was added as well as perennials I found around our property including some black eyed susan flowers, tansy, lupine, and some others.  But I am leaving the front part of the area open for vegetables.  I planted kale early in the spring and we harvested that right up until the end of the summer.  These beets were a late summer planting.

Tonya Gunn
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The chickens greet me as I do my morning chores.

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We don't need these anymore!  The electricity was out from Monday morning at 5:00 am until about 6:00 pm Thursday evening.  We store jugs filled with tap water in the basement and were thankful that our neighbor let us fill them up twice since he has a generator that powers most of his house.

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We did buy one - Wednesday morning - unfortunately on credit, but our business couldn't wait.

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After I take care of the animals in the morning, I usually walk around a trail loop that we made and this time of the year I like to pick up dry sticks for tomorrow morning's fire.

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New in the shop today!

Tonya GunnComment