Tuesday, July 24, 2012


The color came out funny when I took this picture.  The second picture is closer to the actual color.  We want to use Church Hill Soapstone on our countertops.  The quarry is right here in Virginia,  and it's completely food safe.  No toxins or chemicals are put on it.  Our builder wanted to put in granite, but soapstone is a much better fit for us as we seek out local, environmentally safe products.  Although we are not a certified organic farm (yet), our animals are not given any hormones or antibiotics.  The vegetables that we grow in our garden are raised from Heritage seeds, organically.  Soapstone is the perfect choice for us.
We've decided on kitchen cabinet color.  They will be Acadia White, which is a creamy white.  It's the middle color on the paint strip.  I think the black and cream contrast will be nice.

Monday, July 23, 2012


As we build our farmhouse, we have choosen to repurpose what we can.  Since we live on a farm and advocate buying food from a local farmer, we thought that we would try to buy as locally as possible.  It has been an interesting journey, and we've meet wonderful people !  This 1926 claw foot tub from Fredricksburg, Va., was refinished after this picture was taken.  It's carefully covered up until our new bathroom is ready for it.  We have collected some vintage, high back sinks to go in to the house.  This one is from Henderson, NC and is going in the kitchen. 
We also are strongly considering antique heart pine flooring.  That journey started on the farm with a chainsaw and poisen ivy as we cut through old logs.  We met other people who have used heart pine, and we've looked at their floors.  We searched for enough heart pine for our house, and we think we have found it.  The installer is coming to measure the house on Wednesday.  Heart pine is not as hard as other "normal" floor samples from the floor store.  It does, however, have character, is repurposed, and kind of local.  We think it will look perfect in the farmhouse.  I've read that stiletto heels leave marks on heart pine...no one should be on the farm in stiletto heels, so that works out well.  The kids were able to leave some marks on the wood (they love it when samples come, because they get to abuse them).   But the marks blend in to the wood.  With 4 kids, I need nail holes, knots, and bolt holes in the floor....floor companies call this the rustic look. 
The floor reminds me of when one of the kids was learning to write their name.  They wrote it on the couch with an orange magic marker.  And with a Sharpie on a couch pillow.  This same child (I think) and another sibling used magic markers to draw pictures on a new white dresser.  Washable markers only work on skin and clothes, I think.  I like to think of it as character.

Back in the saddle.....

We've been busy.  Busier than normal.  We knew when we moved to the farm that we needed to build a house.  Sounds so simple.  We wanted a house that looked like an actual farmhouse.  Finding floorplans was not simple.  Then we changed the interior to meet our needs.  In February our builder started working on the house.  Just getting to this point has been a really long process.  The drywall has been put up, and I'm supposed to be choosing paint colors.  And bathroom tile.  On Wednesday a floor installer from South Carolina is coming to measure the rooms for heart pine floor.  I also need to to finish making decisions about the cabinets.  That is the short list.  Hopefully blogging again will help clear my head, because nothing seems to be helping.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Summer is flying by !

As we gear up for school, we have been thinking about what a great summer we have had on the farm. We have picked blackberries...and Ryan even learned how to can blackberry jelly and jam ! We now collect approx. 15 fresh eggs per day from the laying hens. We have Black Australorps that lay brown eggs, and Araucana/Americana's that lay colored eggs. Earlier in the summer we learned how to process our own meat chickens. We have been milking our Jersey cow...getting approx. 2 gallons of fresh milk per day. We have made butter, and attempted to make mozzarella cheese. Our first try at making the cheese didn't turn out, so after we start milking Lucy again we'll try again. Lucy (the cow) is now resting and not being milked until after she has her calf in September.

We have learned something new everyday...some good, some bad. We have had to learn some things the hard way. We learned not to put a strange baby pig in with an adult sow. Claire did not want Maggie Mae (the baby pig ) in with her and hurt her very badly. We moved Maggie Mae in with Fainting goats to recouperate. She is doing good now, and she's starting to think that she's a goat !

We have also had land cleared for a new house that we will start building soon. Every day continues to be an adventure here !

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Red Wattles are here

5 Red Wattle pigs have been added to the farm. We will have piglets on the farm in August !

We also have 2 new fainting goat's who are bucks.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Dog Days of Summer

Hank has now joined us on the farm. He is a registered Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD). Hank is 7 weeks old, and he shows great potential ! Sarah, our LGD who is a Great Pryenees X Anatholian Shephard, has been patrolling the farm by herself. She does a great job...we have never seen anything like it. We have always had "indoor" dogs that were pets. Sarah doesn't need to be on a leash. She knows the boundaries of the farm, and when she hears or sees anything strange she gives warning barks. Otherwise, she is totally silent. Our Golden Retriever's bark MUCH more than Sarah does ! Sarah just ignores them...she has a job to do.
Sarah also is familiar with all of our farm animals, and protects them.
Last night, Sarah saw some deer . She ran towards them, stopped at the property line, barked and they ran away.
Hank goes outside for a few hours with us as we do farm chores. He is still a puppy, so he needs lots of breaks for puppy naps !