Monthly Archives: January 2017

Breaking the Silence…and other such musings

Our blog has been silent the past few months, mostly the business of putting the farm to bed, getting kids back in school and taking on some new adventures occupied our time. We have also been much occupied, musing over the direction we want to take this little piece of land.  This will be our fifth spring here and while in some respects we have come a long way and in others I feel like we are in the same place we were four years ago.

Last year I pushed really hard to get our names out there and to grow enough produce to sell, we had a bumper crop of spring lettuce that was glorious and we were able to sell what we didn’t eat ourselves.  We also did very with eggs, sometimes I wasn’t even able to supply the demand for them.  But aside from that it was a bust, spring crops did well, summer and fall failed horribly.  We put so much time and effort into crops that either didn’t produce or were over run by bugs and field bind weed.  Organic farming is hard, so very hard.

When we bought this place four years ago we felt so drawn to this run down, un-loved piece of property.  We knew it was going to be something special, what we didn’t’ know is that it wouldn’t be exactly how we envisioned it.  There are other, bigger, plans for this place.  I’ve always felt this was going to be a space for healing, I figured it would come by providing good food to the surrounding community, and it still might, eventually, but I think it will be more than that.  So this year we are scaling back some.  Part of the garden, about a third, is going to spend the season covered in black plastic to kill the bind weed that has taken over, the next three years we will be doing that.  I am going to focus on my medicinal herbs, to expend my family’s personal herbal pharmacy and to share.  We are working on a major addition to the farm house, a dowdy house, for my in-laws to live so we can care for them in their elderly years. I am going to be working on expanding my holistic healthcare business, I am a footzoner, and I am taking classes to become a master herbalist. We plan on working on creating fertility in the area designated as the “peach orchard” and will be planting trees in the next few years and have great plans for a large raspberry patch that will eventually be open to the public as a “pick-your-own”.

Wonderful things are in the works for this little piece of heaven that is ours.  We hope to make is a place of peace and healing that people will want to come to.

Badger Wars

We have mentioned before Quail Run Farm at one time was home to a den of badger.  A couple years back, we found a badger den on the property.  It was a ways away from the house, and in an area that was not being currently used.  After some research we found that the badgers would help us with a couple of problems we may have on the farm.  They eat gophers, and also are know to kill rattle snakes.  So we left it alone and told the kids to stay way from the area.  Badgers have a large area they cover, and move from den to den.  They moved from our property a little while later and we have not seen them since.

Well, until we went for a walk just west of our property.  (We were taking some pictures of the flax that was in bloom.)  Then we found a badger battle zone.  We took some pictures to show that there was another active badger den, and that it declared war on some of the local pocket gopher mounds.

Here is the badger den.

Here is the badger den.

When also found some claw marks that were left close by.

IMG_6473 IMG_6477We then started looking around, and found several gopher mounds that had been dug out by the badger.

IMG_6479 Here is one where you can see the gopher has refilled its hole.

IMG_6481The battle was pretty massive, there are a lot of mounds that were dug up by the badger.

IMG_6482We have found that at times, the best approach is to wait and see what happens.  We try to keep a balance between nature and farming.  Unless the wildlife interferes with our farming, or causes a danger to our family or livestock, we will try to leave it where it is, and let nature take its course.

I don’t know if this is the same badger that was on our property a couple years back, but if it is, I am glad that we let it do its thing.  Anything that will help us take out the pocket gophers naturally, is a friend of ours.