Monday, April 29, 2013

T-Shirt Models and Flock Updates

posted by Beck

JP is ready to enhance his chicken operation.
We have 28 chickens, who are producing between 16-20 eggs a day. JP has started selling a few dozen a week to some folks in his network and we're still giving some away to friends/co-workers sporadically.
The original concept of the chicken coop design (full post on this to come one of these days) was to accommodate laying hens on one side of the coop and breeding hens on the other side. Since we weren't quite ready for the full operation to begin last year, JP did his little turkey side project last instead. With only two turkeys left and robust egg production occuring, he decided it was time to move fully into All Chickens All the Time mode.
The poultry auction only happens once a month, so JP decided to load LJ up in his pick up truck and they would go together to sell the turkeys. LJ has never ridden in the truck before, so he was beside himself with glee. Before taking off though, JP had to wrangle the turkeys into a crate.

LJ stood outside the coop chanting, "You can do it daddy! You can do it! " and "Gooooooo daddy, goooooo daddy!" Then he cheered. So awesome. I need him to stand by the treadmill and do the same thing for me.

Being the super sophisticated, totally "authentic" country people we are, it was only appropriate that they wear their most obnoxious "country" shirts to the auction. JP sported his Duck Dynasty t-shirt and LJ wore his "Nothing Tips Like a Cow" shirt from Kansas City. (We all might have a variation of this one.)

A few hours, a chocolate muffin and some chocolate milk later, my bird peddlers returned with a box of 10 baby chicks. They are currently in the garage brooder under the heat lamp waiting for their turn to join the rest of the flock in the Chicken Mansion.

This brings our grand total to 38 chickens.

We thought this was a lot.

Then we talked to our friend Simon. He's a dentist, but his grandfather has a huge farm and pretty massive chicken operation.

To put things in perspective, he has over 100,000 chickens.

Wonder what his chicken "coop" looks like?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Things are scarier at night

posted by Beck

I was startled awake by what sounded like a semi truck about to run into the house.

Not a good way to wake up. And trust me, as the mom of two little ones, I get woken up a lot.

This was different. The kind of wake up call that shoots you out of bed in a heartpounding panic.

I rushed to the window, trying to get my lens-free eyes to focus on where the noise was coming from and what kind of vehicle could possibly be on the back of our property in the middle of the night. They finally landed on a bright light in the distance. Maybe it's a car leaving from one of the properties behind us? But, that doesn't explain the noise? And there's no road there. Odd.

Then the light got brighter and brighter. It was coming straight towards the house through the vineyard. It was like a nightmare I've had before. My brain tried to process a) what was going on and b) what to do next. Get away from the window? Grab the kids?

Just as I was about to bolt, the subject of my concern came into view as it flipped around and started back down the next row of vines. It was illuminated as it made the turn and I saw that it was a tractor of some kind spraying a misty substance into the vines. A little relieved, but still confused, I backed away from the window.

By this time JP had finally woken up. Oh yeah, they were going to come spray sulfur* on the vines in the morning, he says. What time is it?

I check my phone. 12:35 AM. So yes, technically it is morning, but really?

I checked on the boys and prayed that the loud noise and bright light wouldn't wake them up and got back in bed.

Our neighbors are going to kill us.

*Many varietals of grapes requrie a sulfur-treatment to guard against mildew. Petit Sirah, the type of grape we grow, is actually mildew resistant and doesn't require this type of maintenance, but our buyer has asked us to do it as part of our contract.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vine Life Snapshot

posted by Beck

Yesterday morning I was getting the kids up and around when JP came in from doing his daily chores.

"Do you have shoes on?" He asked.

Yeah....I replied.

"Do you want to come help me herd a chicken?"

These things shouldn't phase me anymore, but they still totally do.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Birthday Greetings From the Farm

posted by Beck

Happy birthday my dear JP!

I know that many times my words and actions say otherwise, but I want you to know that I think you are one of the smartest men alive. Your entrepreneurial spirit, though it drives me crazy sometimes, makes you a wonderfully unique person who dreams big and won't just settle for the status quo. Everything you do - even in your down time - is related to something that can make a better life for your family. You never stop thinking about your next goal; your next dream for our family. I don't always appreciate this gift in you, but I want you to know that I see it. Even when things don't go the way you plan, I love you for trying. I love you for the potential you see in life; in us. I love you for wanting to create a legacy for our children and our children's children. I am thankful to have you as my best friend, husband, and father to our children. Your style isn't appreciated by everyone (yet), but your quiet leadership and vision are the hallmark of who you are and I can't wait to see where your dreams take us. I love you!

Now, enough mushy garbage. Here are some really bad, kind of pun-ny birthday greetings for my farmer husband.






So, dear readers, give our "farmer" some birthday love!
I want to see some JP shout outs in the comments!