The blog of Hope Grows

Check out to learn more about our farm.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Putting in Tomato Beds

So with Pete the Mule sold and out of the way we were able to get started putting in gardens in the pasture across from the house. We roto-tilled the area and then shoveled the dirt that was where the paths would be to create raised beds. Then we took our empty brown feedbags which we have a ton of to mulch the paths. In the beds we planted tomato plants and then mulched around those with hay to hold moisture in the soil. Over the bags we are putting some mulch that we get from the dump, leaves and sticks that are ground up.

The idea with this style of agriculture is you dig up the ground once and after that you don't till, tilling exposes your soil, drying it out and chopping up your worms. You build the soil up with compost and mulch instead of chemical fertilizers.

There is a picture of me doing my best impression of a grizzled farmer.


Alright I'm a few days late.

My neighbor tears across our pasture in his pick up truck and tells me "There is a calf stuck, I need some help." So I jump in and we go over to this man's farm (my neighbor's friend) who is about 112 (actually 87) and has been knocked over by a cow that cannot give birth to her calf. He had been knocked down already when he tried to get it out.

My neighbor has a ton of varied experience including raising cattle so we managed to get the cow into a chute which is too narrow for the cow to turn around, its head is restrained and it can't get back out because you slide a pipe in behind. In order to get the calf out, which by this point was clearly dead he needed to wrap a chain around the front hoofs and use a winch. In a word, this process was - gross. Gradually the calf emerged, first its front legs, then its head, tongue hanging, dripping mucus, followed by its body, and finally, thankfully the hind legs emerged and it was over.

We let the cow out of the chute and it immediately collapsed, apparently cows have a natural anaesthesia when giving birth. But after a few minutes she was back on her feet and seemed more or less ok.

Afterwards, my neighbor, whose hands had been absolutely covered in blood and cow poop by this operation remarked as we drove away that whats been on a farmer's steering wheel could fill up a book and I thought that would make quite the country song.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Another New Experience

Today was a typical day, feed the birds, take care of eggs, prepare a garden, help birth a dead calf. Oh lord was this gross! I have to go to bed, tomorrow is an early market, but I'll post the details on this tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Insomnia Post

Can't sleep, good time to blog. I think 5 cups of tea is too many. Sorry about the post drought, I need to just set a time and do it. I'm taking a day off tomorrow to go to the St. Paddy's day parade in Savannah, wooo. Paid vacation, 401(k), and a dental plan are some of the many benefits we have here.

I'll post some pictures, that's always fun!

This is my favorite time of day on the farm.

Before and after of the blueberry patch, we just finished clearing it out with help from folks who came down to help over their spring break. They went from sticks to buds and leaves in the past 5 days or so, I'll post a newer picture of them soon.

Our fire pit. Its good for putting things in and burning them. We're having a fireside jam with Pastor Dan and our neighbors Thursday.

Chicken Town. Population ~90