Pioneer Memories – South Dakota Style

Before migrating out to southern California, my grandmothers side of the family pioneered their way around the farmland of South Dakota. That wasn’t an easy life. In the photos that follow, you will see my great grandfather out on the farm as well as two of my great great grandmothers and even my great great grand uncle.

My great grandfather and his team of horses out on the farm in Mitchell, South Dakota.

Out on the farm in Mitchell, South Dakota stands my great grandfather with his team of horses.


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Made in USA Composter

A relative recently picked up a ComposTumbler from an estate sale for only $35 and then sold it to us for the same price! What a deal! I think our new ComposTumbler will be a great compliment to our other compost piles and our newly built in-ground vermicomposter.

I’m excited to see if the ComposTumbler can really produce usable compost in as little as 4 to 6 weeks, and what’s even better, it’s Made in the USA!

What kind of composting do you do? Leave us a comment and let us know.

How Do You Chop Your Firewood?

253/365 [chopping wood]

Image by Difei Li via Flickr

As the seasons change and the air temperatures plummet, those of us with pot belly stoves or wood burning fireplaces find ourselves digging into our firewood supply and heating our homes with nice cozy fires. It not only saves a few bucks on the monthly heating bill, but it just feels right.

So this begs the real question…

How do you chop your firewood?

Buying pre-cut wood
Do you buy your firewood already cut and split? This is fine as long as you have a few hundred dollars a year to spend restocking your firewood supply. Hopefully you’re buying it by the cord from a firewood dealer and not by the armful at the supermarket. That can be expensive!

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Apples, Apples, And More Apples!

A heaping stack of freshly picked Granny Smith green apples awaits processing
Granny Smith Apples

We have some relatives that have a Granny Smith apple tree that does nothing but produce fruit by the bushel. Recently, while shooting some family portraits, my relatives were kind enough to send me home with some so I ended up bringing home a bushel if not two!

Can you ever have too many apples?

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The Brave Little Chickens

Last month, in an article titled, The Chicken and the Beast, I wrote about our 75lb Labrador Daisie and her strange friendship with our hens. Now, I’ve got video to back up my story!

If you’re having trouble viewing the embedded video while using Internet Explorer, you can either try viewing this page with a different browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, or you can view the video directly on YouTube.

I hope you enjoyed the video of Daisie sharing her food with the chickens. This is not a rare sight around here. The chickens try and share her meal every chance they get. I really think these hens are part pig!

What odd relationships do your pets have? Leave a comment and let us know.

The Chicken and the Beast

Black Labrador

Image by Mr.OutdoorGuy via Flickr

I bet a lot of you think that you have the best dog in the world right? Well I suppose that it all depends on how you define “best”. I don’t know if my dog is the best, but she sure is pretty nice!

You see, my 75lb Black Labrador not only allows four full grown hens to free range around her yard, while never barking at them or chasing them, but she actually allows the hens into her personal space. What I mean is, she’ll be laying on the patio slab and she actually allows the hens to perch up on her back while they peck at her fur. What is this, some kind of poultry massage parlor?

Daisie, our ferocious four legged beast, also allows the hens to peck her food right out of her bowl while she’s eating. She never growls and never snaps, and she even let’s them peck at her mouth while she chews! Seriously, what is going on around here!

I guess her mild manor towards her friendly, feathered, yard-mates is due to the fact that she was never raised to be mean and she was around to see the hens raised from practically the egg up.

I’ll probably never really know why she allows those hens to be so close to her, while at the same time guarding the yard from other critters and intruders, however I think it’s pretty clear that if I want to go bird hunting I’m gonna need to get another dog!

Do you have similar experiences with your farm animals? Leave me a comment and tell me about your funny pet relationships, and I’ll post pictures as soon as I can sneak up on my little three-ring circus.

Photos From The Urban Farm

Gallery

This gallery contains 11 photos.

Some may call it urban farming, while others may simply dismiss it as gardening. It’s true, but in my case, I call it urban farming because approximately 30% of my little one-third acre of residential property is dedicated to growing … Continue reading