Family, Garden

Fairy Gardens

Our sweet neighbor came over to play with Elizabeth today. But Elizabee had homework. So, even though Emily is a “big kid”, she spent the afternoon with Daisy, teaching her to plant a fairy garden. 🧚‍♀️ 🧚‍♂️ I just love that girl!! ❤️❤️❤️

#urbanfarm #farmtofork #fresheggs #chickens #eggs #cooptofork #coop #barn #farmlife #coopdreams #coopgoals #fairygarden

Chickens, Family, Silly Chickens

Blue Silkie

Oh my goodness!! I almost forgot about this! This right here is why I wanted a silkie chicken!

It was an overnight pioneer historical re-enactment at Sutter’s Fort with the all the kids. Daisy fell in love with this fluffball of a chicken! She followed it around all day.

(And, by the way, wasn’t she the most adorable doll-baby prairie girl?) ❤️❤️❤️

And also, no, I won’t be posting pictures of me in my pioneer getup after two muddy days of no sleep. 😂

#urbanfarm #farmtofork #fresheggs #chickens #eggs #cooptofork #coop #barn #farmlife #coopdreams #coopgoals #silkie

Chickens, Family, Getting Started with Chicks, Keeping Chickens

Bringing Home Baby

Those of you with kids probably went through something like I did when you were expecting your first baby. Remember how everyone had advice and opinions about what kind of diapers, or pacifiers, or baths, to use? Remember the strong opinions of well meaning aunties about nursing vs. bottle feeding, or vaccines? And god forbid we get into sleeping habits, or discipline! Do you remember the first time you walked in to a Babies-R-Us? Personally, I wandered around overwhelmed, and stunned, by the vastness of it all, and finally fled without having bought a thing.

And do you remember, how, once the baby came, there were some hiccups along the way, and a learning curve, but eventually it mostly worked out. And how all that advice was kind of helpful, but also, that you figured out what worked best for you. And that it turns out a lot of different choices work for different people. And that your kids have somehow grown up to be pretty spectacular, whatever diapers you used, or mistakes you made.

That’s what it’s like with chickens. I wanted chickens for twenty years, and was afraid I didn’t know enough about them to do it. I will forever be grateful to Lisa Steele for sharing her experiences at Fresh Eggs Daily, which is what gave me the confidence to try. There are a lot of different ways to raise chickens. But it’s not as complicated as it seems. And you have to figure out what works for you. Want to keep the little ones inside to cuddle and stay warm and get tame? Great! Want to raise them in a grow out pen or a barn? Sure! Want to have your hen be mama? That works too! Medicated, vaccinated, fed only organic – all reasonable choices. Three hens in your urban backyard, or too many to count, with roosters, on rolling green acres, are both perfectly reasonable. Heritage breed show chicks, hatchery eggs for incubating, a handful of fuzzy yellow babies from the feed store bin – will all be lovely, spectacular, chickens.

So I’m not going to tell you what you ought to do, just what works for me. It doesn’t all work out perfectly. My kids have learned the phrase “farm strong”, because sometimes chickens die. But we have also each held a small chick to our chest until the chirping stopped and it fell fast asleep against us, warm and soft. We have had the magical joy of a first egg. We have laughed at their dinosaur run, and learned their personalities, and hunted for precious eggs hidden in the straw. My hope is that I will give someone else the confidence to give it a try. If you have questions, I’m happy to answer them. But also, you will figure out what works for you, and it will be fine. You can do this! ❤️

Stay tuned for the first steps of getting set up for baby chicks…

#urbanfarm #farmtofork #fresheggs #cooptofork #chickens #eggs #coop #farmlife #prettycoop #coopdreams #coopgoals #prettyeggs #chicks

Family, Horses

Hobbit Horses!

Growing up among horses, and teaching riding, I saw my share of scary horse accidents. I always taught horse safety, but accepted some risk as par for the course. Until the time came for me to put my own babies on the back of an animal. While I will always love regular sized horses, and riding, suddenly the idea of putting the life of my tiny child in the hands, or hooves, of a thousand pound animal, known to be skittish, with rock hard hooves swinging at the bottom of a six foot fall, seemed preposterous.

Enter mini-horses! These guys are as gentle and sweet as a family dog. And they’re small enough that a two year old can lead them on her own with confidence, and learn to pick hooves or curry with basically no risk of injury. A fall is no higher than off a tricycle. It never occurred to me to own mini-horses. Like most of the animals in our barn, it was sort of by accident, they basically found us. I’m so glad they did!

#cooptofork #urbanfarm #farmtofork #minihorse #hobbithorse #horses #fresheggs #chickens #eggs #coop #farmlife #prettycoop #coopdreams #coopgoals

Family, Garden

Peonies for Gamy

I adored my grandmother, Marjorie. She was strong, and smart, and independent. She taught me to love piano and politics, how to bake a pie, and garden. Our Daisy is named after her. (Daisy is a nickname, as Marjorie comes from the French word for Daisy.)

My grandmother loved Sarah Bernhardt Peonies. I was thrilled to find some in a catalogue to add to my garden. That lush, frilly, decadent, bloom is what they looked like in my grandmother’s garden. So beautiful!! I got bare roots, which is… the other photo. I have no idea what to do with them. Do you just stick them in the ground like a bulb? I need all your advice please!

Family, Farm to Fork, Things I Like

My Favorite Chicken Mug

A lovely rainy afternoon. Reading “Tumtum and Nutmeg” to the girls, coffee in my favorite mug, (I absolutely covet all the Jacques Pepin chicken dishes – look how silly the chickens are!) And fresh baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies – crispy, chewy, warm, and SO delicious. Made, entirely on her own, by ten year old Elizabee, from her beloved Auntie Nada’s recipe. ❤️❤️❤️

#jacquespepin #chickens #giens #oiseaudeparadis #coffee #surlatable

Chickens, Family, Silly Chickens

My Little Chicken Tosser

This is Daisy, my six year old little farmer. She is my constant companion in the garden, and loves her chickens maybe even more than I do. She calls herself “the chicken tosser”, which is less nefarious than it sounds.

When it’s time to put the chickens in for the night, she picks up each one, and carries it to the enclosed run. With a flutter, they fly from her arms into the run, hence the “tossing”.

Since Daisy was tiny, she has taken a little stool into the coop, (which does look a bit like a play house), to sit and talk to her chickens for hours. She also likes to carry a chicken, usually Helena, around the property on a “tour”, where she points out tasty bugs and plants. Daisy makes chicken keeping so much more fun!

Family, Home

How It All Started

On our first date, I told my husband-to-be that someday I wanted a house full of happy, loud children, a piano, horses, dogs, and chickens. By the way, I also still wanted season tickets to the theater, good yoga classes, and a French bakery nearby. A few months later, we were wandering past art galleries on a warm summer evening and saw this painting. When it turned up on my doorstep, I knew he was a keeper.