Category Archives: Farming

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone  from Caldwell Farm!  Hope your day is full of blessings!

Down with the Old

The chickens needed a new home due to the age of their existing house!  It leaked like a sieve.  Critters were getting in no matter what we did and killed eleven of my new chicks that were under two months of age.  The hill I walked to get to it was becoming a hazard for me in the winter months.  We moved the chickens (they were not happy at first) into a cinder block building which has electricity and water and a separate room for their feed.

Old Chicken house is made mainly of wormy chestnut. When we started tearing it down we were able to save some better boards.

After two weeks of tearing off boards when we had an hour to spare, it’s starting to look like a spooky shell!!

As we tore off the outsides, everything was thrown to the inside of the shell to burn.

The only parts of the building that weren’t wormy chestnut were oak and pine replacements over the years.

Even the nesting boxes were wormy chestnut. We saved them to use for nesting boxes in the new house.

Next we cut the main support beams on the interior and wrapped a chain around them which was attached to the tractor and started pulling it down.

Amazingly the roof fell straight down on to the interior debris.

Within two hours the fire was almost finished except for some large beams that served as ground support. It took two days for the smoke to dissapate and then it was time to pile up the tin roof and dispose of it.

Fairly simple clean up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now the chickens use the remaining area as a dusting bath!  Next spring I’ll spread it out a bit and start a new area for gardening.

The Beauty of Butterflies

My butterfly bush was an especially beautiful treat today! Very few blooms at the moment but the butterflies stayed on it all day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sedum was found with sweet nectar as well!

 

 

 

Everything blooming was covered with a honeybee preparing for winter!

Hornets_The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Cooler weather is good and upon us and we’ve actually had a fire in the woodstove several nights to take out the chill and dampness.  Fall has crept in on us with the trees changing color and the shadows falling on the ground remind me of Halloween.  Pumpkins everywhere we go and bales of straw.  Scarecrows sitting in every nook and cranny!

With fall come the acts of nature that we overlook until you almost walk into it!  By this I mean, bee nests and I walked right under this one several times before actually seeing it!

I walk along this path several times a week as do the heifers when going to water.

Can you see anything hanging from the tree?  My first encounter was in July and I walked through that path about six times one looking for little chicks in distress because they couldn’t find their mom.  I never saw a thing while walking but that afternoon I was in the laundry room folding clothes and looked out the window and there hung a hornet’s nest the size of a volleyball!

It’s now about 18 to 20 inches long and about 15 inches thick!!!

We didn’t want to destroy them because as long as you leave them alone hornets are good!  They catch thousands of houseflies!!  That’s the GOOD!

The BAD is if I had walked into their nest and made them mad!!  I would have been stung several times before realizing what was happening!  The UGLY is those insects are black, big and build onto that nest all summer.  It’s huge now!

During the day the hornets are flying in and out of it and there are guard hornets marching all over it to protect the hive.

When I walked under it in July it was about seven feet off the ground. Now it’s so heavy and hangs about three feet off the ground.

I’ve found a new path around it so I don’t disturb them!

Along with the hornets we’re seeing lots of bumblebee’s which have a nest in the ground in my rose garden.  The rose garden is a mess now because I can’t get in it to weed.  The yellow jackets and sand hornets are all over the apples in the orchards but we haven’t found their nests yet.  All of the bees make great pollinators but  they do have an ugly and  mean side!!!