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A Skeptical Mare, the Valuable Soil Test, and Burying Beauty

Dolly had her "What the heck are you humans thinking" look after a hard day's work cultivating onions in the rain. That red tool next to her has springy teeth to yank weeds out of the ground. Chiara nimbly handled the tool while I tried to steer Dolly right down the center of each onion row. Casualties were minimal. I rented 1 acre last year, and expanded to 3 acres this year. Last year I spread lime and trace minerals on the single acre. Can you see the boundary between my old land and the new running through the middle of the picture? Let's hope I can keep this trend going. My soil test and minerals have paid for themselves several times over in increased biodiversity and soil tilth

Make Friends With Giants

When someone gave us 4 teenage roosters, we turned the birds loose on the farm. That couldn't be a worse fate than becoming cat food, could it? A Cooper's Hawk got one the first day. Raccoons got two more a day later. We kept an eye out for the survivor. Someone called him Lucky, and the name stuck. He spent his days around the horse paddock. Then I heard a chirping in the night, the sounds of a dozing chicken. The chirping moved around. Lucky? He was perched on Dolly's back. We saw him ride the ponies every day. He's spent more time on them than I have. We even took him for a ride down the driveway, but he hopped off and was last seen trying to make friends with Joe's hens.

Worth It For The Beauty

I never understood the term "eye candy." Until the crimson clover bloomed at the squash patch. Jenn and I spread handfuls of crimson clover seed last fall, hoping the plants would protect soil over the winter and add nutrients. But now I think the real reason to plant this crop is to feast my eyes on it. Now I have to mow it before it goes to seed. I feel a pang of sadness to remove such beauty from the world, but it was also my decision that brought it here in the first place. I'm glad to be in the cycle of beauty creation. Where do you create beauty?

Did Freya the Goat Discover Perpetual Motion?

When I go to milk the goats, sometimes one teat is emptier than the other. It's rarely the same side on the same goat. I'm suspicious. Especially because two years ago I was hanging out in the goat pen when I saw Freya stroll over to her sister Pumpkin and take a drink of milk from Pumpkin's udder. Is Freya drinking from other goats? Then I need to vote her off the island. Have the goats learned to drink their own milk? Then I need to invest in goat-resistant brassieres for the whole herd. She looks so innocent, doesn't she? For now, I'm getting more milk than we need, so it's not a big deal. But if you want to hang out in the goat pen and solve the mystery, there's some goat cheese i

At Least Everyone's Feet Stayed On

The ponies tolerated my attempt at plowing the front yard. It was a big pull through tough sod in tight quarters. Chiara handled the plow while I steered, and no one's feet got run over by the plow and its sharp blades.

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Woodinville, WA 98072, USA

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