Wednesday, November 10, 2010

At the farm we are getting ready for winter

Winter means taking the sheepies off the grass and into a winter yard. We had a few trees taken down on the property that were diseased and loosing limbs.  The wood  chips make a nice bedding in the winter yard and compost faster under the sheep.

Moving logs for milling and firewood. There were logs all over the yard.

My hens are also taken off the grass and have to be plugged into supplimental light so they will continue to lay eggs as the daylight grows shorter.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Goings on at LillyZoo Farm

Fall has begun and that means harvest and wine making.
We don't let the moss grow under our feet.

Vintner  Anthony racking his wine in what we call our 'General Store'  it contains a treasure trove of interesting antiques that came with the house. This cellar room maintains a 55 to 60 degree temp which is great for making wine.

Our 2010 wine list will be a Cab Sav, Merlot and a reserve Malbec.   about 60 gallons of wine which will be ready to drink in 2012

Vintner Anthony show off some ready to drink Merlot 08

Pickled harvest: Jalapenos and pickled green beans

one days harvest with my herders/farmers

Chestnut harvest came and went

pear harvest was small this year

lots of beautiful winter squash this year

Thursday, August 12, 2010

More Roosters...

We received a rescue rooster last year that we named Van Gogh. He is a gorgeous enormous Buff Orpington but meeeeannn. His name should be Diablo. He has attacked my oldest daughter and myself despite attempts to kill'em with kindness. He is a rooster of the worst kind. Once they are bad there is no way to retrain the dominance out of them. I thought I would make some soup but couldn't bring myself to do the deed because he is so pretty. We made him a smaller coop to try and tame him and tone down his roosterness but he is none the less aggressive. Well now we have an up and coming 11 week old araucana (we'll call romeo) that could be trained to be nice if I show myself to be the dominant bird.

Did I mention the constant screams coming out of these birds that started this morning? Ugg

6mo Rooster VanGogh
I guess it is time to make a giant soup...

Friday, August 6, 2010


The garden is a little over loaded

Flowers are helping attacted all the right helpers. The girls and I saw our first hummingbird the other night

Our mix of araucanas and americanas are 10 weeks now and should begin producing blue and green eggs in October

Ant and I have been painting and he is rebuilding the sitting porch

Sitting porch

We cristened a new addition to the farm

Nicey nice!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Harvesting in the LillyZoo

Just finished a Chicken harvest of 26 Cornish X Rocks and now on to a daily harvest of:

Dried Pinto Beans

More on the chicken harvest in a later post

Friday, July 16, 2010

1 down and 26 to go

chicks at 3wks

So last night I harvested my first chick. The chicks are about 7-8 weeks now and I need to get busy. I built a fire to boil the scalding water. When the temp it 150 I gathered one little chick, lit a candle in her honor and put her in the cone upside down.  It was quick but felt like it could have been quicker. She had a better than expected life for a Cornish X Rock. (protected but out in nature and eating bugs and garden leftovers.) Now for the scald and plucking by hand. I quickly decided against that since it was late. I skinned the bird and cleaned her out. Now for those of you out there who are thinking this is a foreign concept lets just compare it to going fishing. Cleaning the catch it is pretty much the same thing.

1 down 26 to go and I will be a little lighter in the chore load... with food in the freezer.

Ps. If you are wondering, my girls were sleeping and Daddy was holding the baby who decided this would be a good night not to go to bed.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June 16

It is not quite clear enough how large the cornish X chicks are compared to the aracana but the differences is amazing and they are always hungry. Someone half criticized why I would buy this breed since it is the breed of big business but honestly with 3 children and no extra help 6 to 8 weeks is enough time with these chicks before harvest. I am interested to see if I feel a weight lifted when the work is done.
Keeping the weeds from over taking the garden is a daily job, but the pulling is worth it and the girls enjoy their time harvesting.

E my 3 year old sowed the seed for these California Poppies along with other flowers which cut well and look lovely around the house.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Garden Update

Radishes gone to seed, corn is 18inches high, egyptian onion front and center

california poppies, lettuce, arugula, beets, kale and lots of grass

sheepies top left, blackberries flowering, bed left: snap peas, red fingerlings, bed center: blue fingerlings, yellow onions, dianthus, pinto beans,  bed right: pumpkin and corn

Monday, May 31, 2010


Every year groundhogs make there way into the gardens and once they are in they must be caught. As I have learned from a couple of old timers there is nothing else to do. It is against the law to transport them elsewhere, so I am sure you can guess the ending

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Harvest this week

Lettuce and radishes

We had to separate our meat birds from our egg layers. The meat birds are growing so fast.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Garden Update

Tomatoes and peppers are planted scored from the Pfeiffer Center plant sale.
baby lettuce is ready daily as are the radishes
Grass is high, potatoes, onions, and beans with some flowers. Blackberries in the background
Grapes and quince tree loaded
Corn is growing pretty good
Garden in full force, 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Morels in season

Last years morels were a nice surprise. This years harvest was an even nicer surprise.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Our Chicken Tractors

I designed them with the help of my hubby and he built them.
See more HERE

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Weekend work

I finally finished turning over 17 beds of the garden by hand.

moving the premier fence to  the next grazing spot.

Pruning Grape vines

Protecting Chicks from the foxes

Taking a ride around the pond.

All in a weekends work.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Turning over the Garden

Thats me with my Broadfork. I love this tool. If you look close you can see a little sheep in the background grazing and right behind me are my fat as your thumb blackberries on a trellis that needs work.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

This week at the Farm

The beds are being turned, Coops have been moved from the winter spot, clean up is underway, forsythia is popping, daffodils are up, seeds are going in, chickens are free ranging.

Chicks are out and movin around

In the garden

 Sheep are grazing


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Goals for LillyZoo 2010

plant figs and apple trees

plant potatoes - blue fingerlings, red fingerlings, sweets

Start seeds indoors
plant as much edible landscape as possible

Plant a new kitchen culinary & medicinal herb garden- Lavendar
Learn more about honey bee keeping- borrowed books from the library

Broadfork till and amendment beds each week End March-May
Add more raspberries-Anne

Plant more grass seed and buckwheat cover crop for the sheep

Put up a split rail fence for the sheep and improve the Winter Pen

Make at least 3.5 gallons of Maple syrup for the year
build hoop green houses over beds with early start veggies in them

collect and process more chestnuts

Learn pressure canning
Grow 25 chickens for meat and harvest after 5 weeks for the freezer and consider for the micro CSA idea

Order and raise americanas and aracanas for pretty eggs

Use natural materials for gardening instead of buying which is so easy to do

Effectively Tally my egg production and food production to better prepare for a micro CSA business plan