expanding the urban farm // welcome bees!

smokerApparently I wasn’t kidding when I called our chickens our gateway animal. This weekend we decided to add bees to the list. bee boxWith great encouragement and lots of help from our friends at My Local Honey we have been getting ready for our fist hive. Jake, Canaan and I made the trip out to a near by bee farm and picked up our starter pack which we then loaded up in the car (yes thats right, over 10.000 bees in the back of our 4runner) and brought home. getting them set upJake got straight to work loading them into their box – he was super excited. I can’t wait to harvest our very own local honey at the end of the season!

Note – I’m pretty sure after reading this post my sister-in-law might never again visit our home but don’t worry Lace, theres a bee suit here with your name on it! And we promise to share our honey!

Oh and now that the chickens are in their awkward adolescent phase they  have been promoted to the out doors. Things are really moving along over here! teenage chickensAnd if it didn’t already feel like a zoo around here, take a look at the neighborhood pet.neighborhood petThat is a peacock and it is on our house or according to Everly ‘upstairs’. He stopped by for a visit the other night while we were having friends over for dinner. Just a little meal time entertainment! Yeesh!


would you like some salt with that wound?

For my birthday in March I wanted goats. Yes, you read it correctly, goats. When I was little my grandparents had goats – Jacob and Esau – it was a great experience for us kids. I really want Everly to grow up knowing that eggs, cheese, milk and meat don’t just come from the grocery store. This may sound ridiculous to you but if you think about it its the perfect arrangement. In exchange for a little food and water they could manage our unruly lawn and give us delicious milk and cheese, maybe even some meat and a sweater, who knows! Technically we aren’t allowed to have pets where we live but I kind of feel like a goat is more of a resource than a pet. Needless to say, Jake wasn’t having it. Don’t get me wrong he’s on board with this whole ‘someday farm’ thing, just not right now while we’re still renters. So I dropped it.

THEN, other day when we walked into our back yard after not really going back there for two weeks. HOLY MOSES is it out of control! Let me explain. First of all its HUGE! It’s basically a small field, 8,533 square feet thats a fifth of an acre. We also have giant trees that have provided us with a bounty of fir needles and twigs as well as more shade that we know what to do with. And the grass – I use the term ‘grass’ loosely – mostly consists of weeds and clover. I don’t know if you know this but weeds and clover grow WAY faster than grass.

Jake began to mow and nearly 45 minutes into it this is how far he got:I realize from the look of this photo that it seems like he got pretty far, its the angle, trust me. It’s four lines of mowing to be exact, which is roughly 1/6th of the yard. Ugh! At this rate by the time he gets to the end of the yard the beginning will be overgrown again! By the way, can you find the fire pit in this picture? No? Thats probably because the clover swallowed it. The daunting task of doing this weekly brought words out of Jakes mouth that I was not expecting, ‘lets get a goat’ he said. YES!! I was SO excited! We started researching it and found that its actually much easier and highly recommended to keep two goats as opposed to just one. Apparently the are ‘herd’ animals and stay out of trouble better when they have a buddy. So two goats it is! We started planning the best way to house them, what kind of feed they would need, all the things we could do with the milk, I ordered a book. We even talked to a guy in Eugene who said he would have two goats for us by the end of the week!

As the week went on and I got more excited about it, Jake became more realistic. Bummer for me and the goats. Since we are still renters and will be for what feels like forever we can’t be sure that wherever we live next will be as good of a home for goats as where we are now. So he we decided that the responsible decision was to just mow the lawn. I was really disappointed for a few days but finally forgot about it until…my book came in the mail yesterday. When I ordered it I was expecting to already HAVE goats by the time it arrived. So sad. Sometimes I really hate being a responsible adult. I guess I’ll just have to read it and store up all that goat knowledge for later. So heres to you future goats I’m dreaming of your delicious fresh milk and cheese. And to you our jungle of a backyard, don’t expect to be watered come summer.