A couple of days ago, as I was leaving for work, I noticed a coyote creeping around the edge of my property. I handled this in a manner befitting a rational, sane adult– by which I mean I chased after him in flip-flops, waving a five-gallon water container overhead, and yelling like a madwoman at the top of my lungs. This paints a pretty accurate picture of life on the farm these days. I’m just lucky I was wearing pants (this time.)
The farm currently consists of two miniature donkeys, six growing chickens, one girl who is only moderately adept at driving a tractor, and a cat who thinks he’s a dog. Oh, and about a gazillion ticks.
I’m sorry, did you just crawl out of your skin at the though of that? Try finding them in your bed every. single. night. (Drink, Sarah.)
I haven’t slept in weeks.
There’s actually been a ton going on around here, and I haven’t had the mental space to write it all down until now, so here it is, The State of the Farm, June 2013:
Things We’re Glad Are Over
The big to-do on the farm two weeks ago is that we had our first visit from the equine vet.
Ever since my little Dances With Donkeys routine a few weeks ago, Parker has been reluctant to be haltered, and let me just sum the overall vet experience up like this: I spent at least an hour running around in the pasture with a possibly-broken toe, chasing 300 pounds of donkey that was running around the pasture with a vaccine needle still in his neck.
We’re all still recovering from that.
These boys are so worth it, but it’s clear we need to work on being better behaved for “routine donkey maintenance”. I did learn a lot from the vet though: The boys are a good weight, and that in the winter I should be weighing their food and only giving them 1-2% of their body weight in hay. The vet estimated Doc at 15 years old and 250 pounds. Parker is a bit younger, around 10 years, and 300 pounds. They’re older than I thought, but since donkeys live 35-40 years, still pretty young in the scheme of things.
This is the same vet who treated them when they were rescued by the humane society, and she remembered them being very aloof and uninterested in people, so, you know, this surprised her….
I don’t always feel like I’m doing enough, but it’s good to remember they’ve come a long way, and it appears I’m doing some things right.
The next thing we have to survive is a farrier appointment in the coming weeks, and then, god help us, a teeth shaping in fall.
If I ever write a book about living on a farm, that’s what I’m going to call it. “Really, Nugget?” has become kind of a theme in my life over the last few weeks…
They also alternate between harassing the cat and following him around as if he is the chicken messiah.
The cat, for his part, just tries to avoid eye contact.
MacGyver: The Farm Edition
There was yet another mass-breakout on the farm this weekend because someone left the gate open while working on clearing the rubble pile. Ahem. But I’ve finally figured out the best way to get them back into the pasture…
Yes, that is 300 feet of clothesline and air compressor hose tied to my sawhorses, trailer, water spigot, and mower, forming a funnel back into the gate.
Don’t let the innocent faces fool you.
I had to call my good friend Jess over for backup, to help me herd them back in, but there was no dragging involved this time, so that’s progress.
If I haven’t mentioned it before, I have some pretty freaking awesome neighbors. I mean really, I couldn’t have found better people to live across the street from. They love the donkeys, and since I let them keep some old WWII vehicles in my bigass barn for free, they jump at the chance to lend a hand if I need it.
Since they witnessed me struggling with the pile over the last couple of weekends, they offered the use of their tractor and a couple of strong backs, and in a few hours one week night, we had this…
Right? Look at all those beams!
That’s only about half of them I’ve got, but they were the hardest to get to.
So, overall, I still have no idea what the shit I’m doing or how to manage this property, but my goals going forward are to:
- Start producing: Eggs (I’m looking at you, Nuggets.). Veggies. Maybe some other things I haven’t quite figured out yet. It’s time the farm gave back a bit.
- Get properly “set up”. You know, with fences and watering systems, and haylofts. And maybe a farm-truck or a tractor.
- Put a yearly care and maintenance plan together for the property and animals. Because clearly I can’t keep all of this in my head.
Name That Farm
The very last thing on my list is to finally name my little farm. The house is always going to be The Liberty House, but the farm needs its own moniker. Liberty Farm seems a bit redundant. There are, of course, a lot of “ass” related possibilities (Cute Ass Farm, Smart Ass Farm, Broke Ass Farm, Little Ass Farm), but nothing feels quite right… Got any suggestions?
You know, I’m partial to Broke Ass Farm- but I might just be bias.
Any use of the “Broke Ass” name results in one Emma visiting one Kit to hug a donkey or 2…
Heart and Soul Farm… as in rational thinking takes second place sometimes! You just have to go where to heart and soul take you. Good luck.
I suppose, “A Pile of Ass Nuggets” would be uncouth? :S (Sorry.)
There is already a “Donkey Town.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donkey_Town,_Surrey
How about, New Donkey Town!
I’m recognize that I’m not being helpful. Good luck naming!
Pursuit of Happiness Farm? Well, that’s a mouthful, but it made me thing of your nail art project.
On the “ass” theme however, since you have two donkeys, perhaps Double Ass Farm (or Triple Ass if you want to include your own!). Or, how about “Work My Ass Off Farm”…
Clearly I have no worthwhile contributions, but please know how much I enjoy your blog. I’m so jealous of your nuggets–but my city life wouldn’t support chickens. Internet hugs to you!
Mary in North Texas
LOL! I’m also in North Texas. Love the Work My Ass Off Farm!
Which just made me think of bloody fingers, “Bloody Fingers Farm”, lol! Making myself laugh. It can be the new BFF 🙂
I don’t know you people……and I got to this DIY DIVA thing by researching tiles….your one inch tiles in the mens pee stall came up. Nice job. However…now I love(love..love)the farm stuff. I haven’t laughed, in say…..years, and BAM…..laughing now. All of it, funny. Nuggets, nippers, donk a donks. Wow. I’m happy now. May I suggest “Kick Ass Donk-a-Donk Farm”. Nooooo, don’t do it. c(@ .@)?
Well, Sassafrass Farm, because obviously. Double the asses, double the fun.
Love that one!
Yes! Love that.
“You know Jack” Farm
(oblique reference to ass, not so oblique reference to knowing very little Jack Sxxx going into being a farm owner)
In honor of the boys… Doc Parker Ranch – “Where no one gives a nugget on being an ass”
Can I vote for Sassafrass? Not only because its a little bit snigger worthy (being just a little bit rude), but the Sassafras tree has a link to brewing beer which can be DYI and encourages BBQs – total win!
I WOULD LIKE TO JUMP ON THE SASSAFRASS BAND WAGON! ITS PRETTY SASSY. JUST LIKE YOU!
State of the Farm address? Should you build a podium and read this to your animals every year? Would one of the nuggets chirp out “You Lie!” in the middle to interrupt you? Do you put donkeys on one side and nuggets on the other, or mix them up to promote bipartisanship on the farm? Could be a fun tradition.
I fully support this idea. Is the cat the lone Libertarian, the VP, or the campaign manager?
There’s already a pretty popular Blog called chickens in the road that posts about life on a farm called Sassafrass….Kit is an original type of gal, so her farm needs a name that is just hers!!
Kit, I think it will come to you while your NOT thinking about it! Can’t wait to hear what you come up with!
Sassy Ass Farm
Where the animals keep trying to gain more freedom and lots of time is spent gathering them
I am not creative with the names, but I love hearing others’ names! And I also vote for Sassafrass!
I love the ideas! Doc Parker Farm is kinda fun, Also, “You know Jack” Farm is cool. Because even if you feel like you know Jack, it isn’t gonna stop you from accomplishing anything you try.
Love the blog! I went and read all the archives. Have fun wrangling your animals and to-do lists. That’s the most overwhelming part for me and I don’t even have the acreage or animals to wrangle!
Fellow DIYer in Western NY
You kind of remind me of the little ole woman who lived in a shoe with so many ” children” she didn’t know what to do… I am surprised that no one has suggested… Back Ass Farm. I like Razamataz as a name. Hope you are able to get the fence situation under control.
Oh, and Wits End
Oh, I LOVE Wit’s End!!!
The best part is “end” is itself a descriptor – you don’t need to add on “farm” or anything else. Like Bag End from LOTR! It also rhymes with Kit’s! Couldn’t be more perfect.
That’s it, I’m officially switching my vote to Wit’s End. There’s a little bit of difficult with the apostrophe (I think technically its ” Wits’ End”) but no one needs to know.
P.S. Ignore my apostrophe comments. I’m studying for the Ontario bar right now and my own wits are completely addled…. =P
How about Nuggets’ Nest?
Otherwise my vote goes to Wits’ End ….
How about The Whole Kit and Kaboodle?
I’m anti-sassafrass, but largely because I have a stuck-up cousin and that’s her mother’s pet name for her….which would make me associate your farm with stuck-up-ed-ness (I tried). I also like the idea of the farm name somehow fitting in with the house name – somehow “Liberty House” and “farm with the word ‘ass’ in it” don’t quite match.
It doesn’t have to end in “farm” either. Technically, Kit’s property is more of a grange.
Maybe it should have something to do with being stubborn…as a reference to both Kit’s indomitably stubborn nature and the phrase “stubborn as a mule” (I know, I know, they’re donkeys but it’s close! And given the amount of time she’s spent chasing stubborn donkeys…)
Pigheaded is a slightly more controversial word for stubborn…but Pigheaded Pastures doesn’t set quite the right tone! haha
This is hard!
Scratch all the above – I’m going with Margaret’s suggestion of “Wits End”. I think that’s a perfect name! Guess I should read through the comments before posting my own =P
Long time reader. First time poster.
The Road Home Farm
I do like that!
Wit’s End is the winner.
Nugget drove (a drove is a group of asses)
Is there a particular tree or rock or hill that you feel especially attached to on the farm that you might want to name it after?
Liberty Farm – I think I get my life insurance through them…
My vote: Animal Farm.
I know it is a rip off from Orwell, but it seems you are an avid reader, and it is funny to think of your donkeys and nuggets conspiring to take over the farm. In fact, beware, as I think they have already started …
I LOVE that!
Ok, I liked Wits End Farm, but then I saw Nugget Drove and I love that one! You’ve got nuggets, two donkeys, and I’m sure someone out they might use the word ass in connection with you (LOL) so, there is your group of asses.
Nugget Drove Farm. Has a nice ring to it.
Ever read Cold Comfort Farm? Love that name. Love that book.
Culo Farm (means ass in Spanish)
Wits End…Kit’s End…has potential. LOL
Happiness Farm (life, liberty and the pursuit of…)
Haha, something Cold Comfort Farm related was my first thought too!
But I’m still going with Wit’s End
I like Wits’ End for the farm name – seems about right!
Regarding the donks, I was wondering if you had though of using a free head horse collar for Patrick? (Similar to http://www.freeheadhorsecollars.com/.) It looks like that website sells them in mini sizes, so that might work well.
I don’t know that I would leave it on him 24/7 unless you were able to find a breakaway collar, but it could provide extra insurance when combined with the halter, plus he might be more accepting of this than the halter itself when you’re trying to catch him out in the pasture. I know several people will leave these on their horses all the time, but it just seems like a bit too hazardous to me.
What about BAD ASS farm?! You ARE a total Badass!
And so is your attitude!
Freedom – the result of being liberated. And you are. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music
Ok, don’t hate me for this one, but what about Kaboodle Farm? Because then it would be Kit and Kaboodle! Also, with donkeys, gardens, nuggets and all your projects you seem to have the whole kit and Kaboodle of farm living going on!
Liberty Hills Farm
Crazy Ass farm……
or did I somehow miss that in all the comments & suggestions?
i like sassafrass. 😀
Not weighing in on the farm-naming question, but had to say a) that the chicken on the table is totally ROTFL-worthy; b) the photo of you with the donkey is beautiful; and c) speaking of making the farm pay back, would it be feasible to keep a cow or two? Jerseys or Guernseys, since they give richer milk than Holsteins. What’s the law in your state concerning raw milk sales? Here in Pennsylvania farm sales are legal, and a lot of farmers just have people pick the milk up whenever on the honor system. But you have to not mind the idea of folks coming onto the property when you’re not there.
OK, I’ve changed my mind. How about something totally different. Stansley Grange. Evocative yet straightforward, and very appropriate.
Or you could always find out the local Native American term for Woman-Who-Chases-Coyotes-With-and-Without-Pants and use that . . .
I like this native American one. c(0 . O)*
Liberty House Farm.
You read my mind because mules are a big business here in Utah and I came across a ranch the other day named “The Half-Ass Ranch”. Any farm with ass in the title wins my heart.
I don’t want to add to your to-do list but there are a few fall chores that have to be done on a farm/ranch. Like…draining and flushing your hot water and pressure tanks to get the sediment out (happens when you are on a water well system) then depressurizing your pressure tank. And…wrapping the regulator on your propane tank, if you have one, because they can freeze up. I grew up farming/ranching in TX, and if I think of anything else I’ll let you know. Just mentioned these cause I haven’t seen them on your list(s). Something for you to do with all that free time. lol
Sorry, that last comment should read “re-pressurizing” your pressure tank. This should be done twice a year. Helps you tanks last longer. My last hot water tank lasted 18yrs. I’m having to teach this to my son also. He just bought 16 acres and is going through a lot of the stuff you are, but he has horses instead of donkeys.