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Operating as usual
And some update shots from inside the barn, we finally finished all the gutting and currently have 4 stalls boxed in and the (2 story) tack room getting ready to go in in the very near future!
Upgraded so of the grounds maintenance equipment. Ragnar finally gave up the ghost so this is his replacement, leaving the moving jobs around here done in 1/3 of time!
Liz has gotten to get to a bunch of lessons at Pendragon Farm this summer with BDF Celebration “Party” and Fancy. Plus a few shows at which she has been kickin but with Fancy!
A little over a week ago I needed to stop at the hardware store and grab some supplies for the barn. Unfortunately the store cat bit a little kid that was harassing him and cooperate told the store they needed to get ride of him. They were very excited when I offered to take him because I’m a regular in there and they know he is going to a good home. His name at the store was Mr. Bojangles, but we changed in a bit to Jango! Everyone welcome Jango, he is a brute weighing a minimum of 25lbs!
Unfortunately we lost Ruxpin earlier this summer. Then along cake MegaChunk. He is a character and not very photogenic. But he’s a great hunter and loves to tell you he is wanting attention.... alllll the time!
An old face returns to live with us. Shilo is back! We had him in Belgrade and when we moved back to NC he went back to my moms. She got out of horses and gave us first option to bring him here to live out his days with us. He is probably one of the most laid back horses ever and love to be all up in your business but in an entertaining way. He’s great for me to ride and other adults with minimal riding experience or needing a reintroduction after being away from riding for a while.
Introducing BDF Ollivander! Our new addition this summer. He is the foal of Lizs mare Ember. He keeps up pretty busy with upgrading electric fences and feeding twice daily. He was a bid of a butthead until after he was weaned. Now he an absolutely awesome colt! And huge, don’t know if he will ever stop growing!
It’s been a super long time since we’ve posted anything and I’m about to bombard the page with post and pictures to bring everyone up to date with changes and new faces on the farm. Unfortunately life takes turns that we don’t expect and we roll with the punches. We didn’t have a garden this year, we didn’t sell chicks, raise meet birds or pigs. Eventually maybe we will raise a pig or two each year for ourselves and maybe a few meat birds but the big totally self sufficient farm selling to local businesses and at a farm stand has kind of been put in the past and we are moving in a new direction. Liz is continuing to grow in her nursing position and I’m back in school at NTI for HVAC-R. On the weekends work on the barn happens and other projects or improvements around the farm. The following posts will bring everyone up to current.
And there we have it! Roll away nest boxes for the new coop! No pecked eggs or broody hens! The chicks we purchased this spring started laying yesterday, figured I should get this done. Built this for a mere 10 bucks!
Fond a bit of time to work on the new coop some more today. Ceiling is all wired in, walls all closed in and the floor has been sealed. I’ll let the floor dry overnight and then put some fresh shavings in tomorrow. Getting closer to a finished product for the ladies.
My first time making pickles! The ones on the right are sweet fridge pickles and the ones on the left are fermented dill. I’ll let ya’ll know in a week how they turned out. I’m going to try fermenting while cherry tomatoes and hot peppers later, probably try doing some zucchini too!
If you are in the area the farm stand is open this afternoon. Some Amish friends of mine have brought some of their Certified Organic Produce to sell. They have carrots, cukes, zucchini, peas, and a few varieties of beans.
Progress on the new coup. I’m taking a crash course in pre-1900 building. Every piece is a custom cut because they didn’t build anything level. It’s coming along though.
Broody hens are obnoxious... so here we have the first 3 going into the “Broody Breaker”. It wouldn’t be quite an issue if I hadn’t gone from 12-17 eggs a day down to 2... but these girls are quite determined to sit and nothing has ever hatched. So now I have two that are siting on a pile of eggs which need to candles and see if they are viable or stink bombs in the making.
The Hugest THANK YOU! To my in laws Wes Booth and Donna Booth for the new addition to the farm! They knew that my Simplicity Riding mower blew up and they bought a 22Hp Craftsman Riding mower with bagger, snowblower, cab attachment and wheel weights! It mows beautifully and was such a great gift for the farm! Thank you guys soooo much! Since our equipment gets names, I have decided to name this one “Gilly” in honor of Wes. Also the chickens will love the bagger feature because now the get fresh greens in their pen that they have effectively turned into a barren waste land.
Well, I blew up the Simplicty mower and have decided to cannibalize it to get a few other things running right. Now Ragnar (75 Sears and Roper) and Hippo (44inch two behind rough cut) are up and running. I was able to chop down the craziness in the front horse pasture this evening. It’s great to see that the investment in pasture mix seed payed off and the field has filled in nicely. Tomorrow will be another day filled with getting the other field areas back under control.
Finally! All seedlings are in the ground as of today. Irrigation is all working properly. Off to a better start to this season than last.
So today started out okay and then the ole riding lawnmower gave up the ghost (I think it blew the engine). So now I’m waiting on a new fuel tank for the backup mower, which should arrive in a week. Then we built a second stall in the run-in that wife has been asking about for a while. All went well with that project until the very end when my cordless saw burned up. Not having a good equipment day here at the farm. Now it’s time to relax with some adult beverages and friends around a fire!
Got out of work today with plans to start dismantling the greenhouse for its move to its final location. Abruptly realized that my ladder was too short to reach the peak in order to remove the wiggle wire. So instead I put a new chain on the chainsaw and began working my way from the edge of the field into the woods. The plan is to eventually open up another 1000x300 pasture. Slow going, but every little bit counts. The bigger stuff will be fire wood and the brush pile is going to be chipped and blown back into the cleared area in order to keep as much carbon on our land as possible.
All of the new chicks moved from their brooder boxes today, to their temp coop/stall while their bigger approx 14x 20 coop is being constructed.
Here we are a week and a half later than we were doing this last year. Purposely done this time though. I learned a bit about not starting my seedlings so early last year and weed pressure. Doing garden prep again, but this time with a rototiller, new drip tape and landscape fabric. Lessons learned and advancements made. Hopefully this year will be a productive growing season. PS thanks Steph and Brooks Thompson for the new garden journal. It shall help to fine tune the gardening for years to come. (My instructors actually said keeping a good journal is one of the most important things to do as a crop farmer).
So we finished our first degrees on Saturday. Liz begins here new nursing job in the next few weeks and I’ll be trying to get a few projects done on the farm this summer before starting back to school at UMO for a BS in Environmental Science with a major in Sustainable Agriculture. So relieved that we have gotten this far and so ready for the next challenges.
On another note, seedlings are all ready for transplantation no after the full moon! Time to get busy!
Garden bed work being done and all seeding for transplants is done. All new drip line irrigation and landscaping fabric... we will not get beat by weed pressure this year!
Better Days Farm
Breaking ground and picking rocks for the garden area. Going to til it over one more time and pick some more rocks. Now to wait for the weeds to come up and torch those little suckers before transplant time.
New chicks arrived today! All survived shipping and are happily eating lol
Today we gave an obnoxious broody hen her own little area and 5 eggs. We don’t need more chicks, but she was determined and I was tired of getting pecked every time i collected eggs.
Also started some seeds tonight! Sierra Blanca Onions, Gold Coin Onions, Eclipse Onions, Plum Regal Roma Tomato, Mountain Fresh Plus Tomato, BHN-968 Cherry Tomato, Defiant PHR Tomato, ACE Bell Pepper, Capperino Hot Pepper, Red Flame Hot Pepper. More to do tomorrow after work.
Upgraded our brooder box situation today to accommodate the 4dozen chicks we’ve got coming in. I call it the BROO-D-LUX 5000!
Maine Federation of Farmers' Markets
Happy National Ag Day! We're celebrating Maine's 140+ farmers' markets, and all the farmers and producers who make them happen.
The first ever picture of the elusive creature known as Phantom the feral barn cat. We don’t know how long he(?) has been living in our barn. Our first sighting of him was last winter, and we tried to trap him, but we ended up with Ruxpin in the trap, quite offended and crying to be released 🙄 then we didn’t see Phantom for almost a year so we thought he was gone. This winter we’ve seen him almost weekly, but usually he runs into his hiding place in the hayloft as soon as he sees us. Tonight he sat and watched us from afar for a while, while we patted Ruxpin, and I was able to snap this pic. At this rate, Phantom will be domesticated in a short decade! 😆
It’s been pretty busy around here and spring is coming soon! Me and Liz are graduating in May! Liz has accepted a Position at Redington Fairview Hospital after graduation and I will be transferring to UMO for a BS in Sustainable Agriculture. Even with busy school schedules and work we are still learning and working towards a successful farming season.
*Building a germination/seedling room so we don’t have to have the seedling racks in the living room this year.
*created this years garden plan and put our order in through Johnny’s Selected Seeds.
*Experimenting with building mock watering systems.
*Learning to Bake different varieties of bread and biscuits.
*Trying our hand at dehydrating as a food storage method.
*Learning how to preserve food through fermentation.
*Visiting the UMO Campus and exploring the SusAg program and facilities.
Getting a little bit of learning in on this dreary Saturday.
BDF is ready for Christmas!
Better Days Farm's cover photo
Originally we purchased a farm to just supply healthy food for ourselves. We like to know where our food comes from and what has gone into growing it. What better way to know where your food comes from than to grow it yourself? But then we thought, “Why should we only supply ourselves with healthy food? Lets work towards providing our local community with a affordable and healthy food supply.’ It is slow going and we’ve probably lost more money than we have made, but we learn more every day. This is our second growing season and I think we are getting a handle on crop production techniques. We were not born on farms and everything is a learning curve. Our goal is to have our farm stand open, selling our own crops next season and hopefully do some greens over the winter and get them into local restaurants.
We try to keep up with posting the goings on here on a regular basis. The purpose for this is to be transparent for our followers. Following our page, you will see our successes and failures, highs and lows, finished projects and larger projects that are in progress. We will also keep updating on the techniques we use to grow our produce.
If you have any questions that we may not cover or even suggestions on a way to do something that may work a bit better, please feel free to reach out to us.
|Saturday||10am - 6pm|
|Sunday||10am - 6pm|
We are a local garden center that carries a huge variety of annuals, vegetables, perennials, trees and shrubs!!!! Our employees are gardeners themselves and offer a wealth of knowledge! We love what we do and would love to share our passion with you!