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A Year in the Life at 5R Farm

We’ve been snowed in at the farm for five days due to 18 inches of snow that just won’t melt, so what better way to spend the time than sitting by the wood stove and thinking back on all that we’ve accomplished in the last year. Looking back at my blog, it’s easy to see that 2013 was definitely the year of the rooster. When we started our chicken flock, it wasn’t long before I realized that we had too many roosters. Although I was quite fond of each and every one of them, by February it was time to say So Long, Ringo. I rehomed Grayson shortly thereafter, and that was soon followed by losing Henry to a predator attack (R.I.P. Henry). That reduced our rooster tally to three which was a big improvement, and things began to settle down a bit. We let Momma Millie set on some of our own fertilized eggs, and she hatched out two adorable chicks, one of whom would become our green-egg laying Good Girl, Grace. The other turned out to be yet another rooster who started off a bit of a trouble-maker (Where’s Brown Rooster?) but soon became our Back Door Rooster Man and was later promoted to King of the Castle.

This year we built a Greenhouse and Beehive, and in April we installed a package of 10,000 bees in the beehive (The Bees are Here!). The garden season got off to a great start thanks to the new greenhouse, and by May I was pleased to announce The Veggie Garden is Planted! By September we had our first Bit ‘O Honey, which was followed by a busy late summer and fall in the garden due to a Whole Lotta Canning Going On and a Rainy Garden Wrap-up.

We lost a few of our favorite ladies this year. Sweet Pea 2 was the first to go up to the Chicken Farm in the Sky in May, followed by our saying Goodbye Sweet Sussex in June. It wasn’t long before roosters were back on center stage as the ladies began to look a little worse for the wear due to a bit too much Rooster Love, so we moved Reuben and Ramon into Bachelor Pad #2 in the lower pasture. By July we were again faced with The Rooster Dilemma as it became apparent that four of the six adorable chicks we spontaneously adopted from a friend’s grade school classroom had grown up to be roosters. When the roosters were six months old, we took a big step toward self-sufficiency and decided to harvest them and make Coq au Vin.

We moved to the farm full-time in October, and now we get to enjoy all of The Little Things that make country life so enjoyable. December turned the farm into a Winter Wonderland due to record setting cold temperatures and a dusting of snow, and it was during this time that we lost Sweet Pea 1 and Sweet Pea 3. Despite the sadness over losing the Sweet Peas, I have to admit that it was a very good year at 5R Farm, filled with new experiences, a bountiful garden, many joyful days, and a few sad ones too. As we begin 2014, I look forward to the many more wonderful adventures that I know are sure to come.

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