Was it really a year ago now since you stopped by for the last full and proper farm tour? Well! I'm glad you stopped by today....
Though everyone will likely have come out to say hello, it's the youngest two who will lead the way. By bicycle (short as the ride may be) Adelaide and Harper lead us through the orchard, where you might hear this oft-repeated conversation.
Adelaide: Orchard, mama? Where's that?
Mama: You know Adelaide.
Adelaide: Oh right. (Hands on hips.) But really, Mama. Those tiny trees? With no apples? You call that an ORCHARD?
Mama: Just you wait.
Abandoning their bicycles, they'd stop for raspberries. (See, Adelaide? Berries! An orchard!) Harper would present you with one in each of his little hands and say, "You want the small one or the big one?.....Um, maybe you would like the small one."
And then we'd say hello to the bees. Two hives are thriving and doing oh-so-well and making SO much honey (one was the swarm and the other the swarm left behind with a new and healthy queen made). The third hive, the purchased package from this spring, is barely hanging in there. We debate about how much to 'help' something along that naturally isn't doing well on its own....and we talk to friends who know more than we do...and we get better and better each time at 'reading' our bees.
You'll likely ask about the color of the boxes, which will launch me into a whole conversation about paint color not at all related to the bees, but entirely related to my, um, love for painting.
While I fill your ears with more thoughts about the bees, and for certain about the paint, than you probably wanted to hear, and little ones pick berries nearby, Steve will most certainly have wandered to the garden right next to the bees (he can only handle so much paint chat). From the safe distance of outside the fence, he might be wondering what on earth is going on in that jungle. Or he might be marveling at just how much is actually growing in said jungle. It's hard to tell. Let's move on, shall we?
We head to the barn, where the turkeys are still in the brooder waiting to be big enough for pasture. (And yeah, maybe they're waiting for some fencing too. Someone's always waiting for more fencing.) These new turkeys of ours are doing well - we've had very little loss in these early days (I swear it's the molasses and apple cider vinegar that I put in their water, which we'd never done before). Though they're in a rather awkward-looking adolescent phase, that doesn't stop them from being the primary chosen plaything for all little ones.
With pockets full of grain and scratch from the barn, or scraps from the kitchen, we head to the main pasture where the sheep, hens, and duck live. While Adelaide has the full attention of the sheep, Harper sprinkles scratch for the chickens and invites you to do the same.
There is duck chasing. And catching. And kissing. (Oh my.)
Adelaide will show you all the tricks of her sheep. Like how Charlotte climbs the chicken tractor on command. Or how she can get Cinnamon to keep her hat on.
Walking in the direction of the pigs, we'd look around the pasture - both fenced and unfenced and invite you to dig some fence hole posts with us. Wanna?
Arriving at the pigs, we'd find Harper testing out the fence (pretending, that is). "Yup, it's on! Careful!" he'd warn you. These two fellas might give your pant leg a little nibble (it kind of tickles), always looking for a snack. Adelaide would remind Paul and Arthur (also known as Pauly Spots and Arty Pants) to mind their manners. They generally do.
Leaving the pigs, we'd come to almost complete the circle back to the house as we see the Freedom Rangers. They're about nine weeks old now, and we've been so pleased with the switch to this breed so far.
As we head back to the house, we'd likely come across Angry, everyone's favorite chicken (who isn't really very angry at all). Angry doesn't mind fences very well, but that's okay, she's always a pleasure to see popping around the corner in the barn, dooryard or kitchen (well, she tries, anyway). Adelaide would tell you where Angry's latest laying spot is (in the upper barn, in the insulation....what?).
At this point, Annabel would likely want off my back, Harper would be asking for a snack, and the boys, who long ago ran off for the treehouse or bike trails, will have set up the iPod dock outside so they can show you their latest breakdance moves. And I think it's time for a glass of wine, yes? Or tea? One or the other...it's a pleasure having you stop by.