If You Build It, They Will Come: Final

It was Spring 2016 and our farm and garden routines were working out nicely.  Our goal for the year was to keep new additions to a minimum…

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Wifey won’t notice a few more ducks!

Building Indigo Acres, over the past two years, had been a nonstop adventure! We admitted we were a bit tired and ready to have a routine.  But, Spring meant only one thing…baby animals!  A few new additions would not throw off our routine, right!?

 

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Welcome Tuck, Ozzy and Finn!

Keeping with the theme of “minimum changes” for 2016, we decided to begin raising our own meat chickens.  (As you have probably figured out by now, we are not very good at sitting down and just going with the flow!)  Raising clean, healthy and chemical free food is one of our main goals at Indigo Acres.  For more information how and why we raise meat chickens, read…  https://growingself.blog/2017/06/30/fruit-and-curry-chicken-salad/

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In only 8  short weeks, these Cornish Rock chickens will range between 7.5-8.5 lbs when processed.

Since we decided to begin our meat chicken adventure, why not add raising turkey to our adventure list!

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We only raised 3 turkey our first year. As much as I enjoy birds, I have to say that the turkey is not one of my favorites.  Regardless of their personalities, they tasted yummy!
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Our chicken flock grew and grew!  Look at those beauties!!
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Our duck collection continued to expand, as well!  Have I mentioned how much I love duck eggs!
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Ophe was no longer a puppy!  She had become a bear!
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Growing Up…

The gardens continued to grow and expand. Our fruit trees, although young, provided us with some beautiful, organic fruit.

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Apples, Asian Pears and Peaches!
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2016 was a salsa year!  We canned approximately 75 jars of salsa!
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2016 was a prolific berry year!  We made black raspberry, raspberry and blackberry jam!
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As the holidays approached, I enjoyed creating some of my favorite treats to share with others.  Who doesn’t enjoy rock candy and fruit pies!
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         There would be one more new addition for 2016…Meet Murphy!

2014-2016 was proof that hard work, determination and passion pays off!  We had followed our dreams and made them a reality!  The foundation of Indigo Acres was strong and would only grow more beautiful and unique with passing years…

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Do What You Love, Love What You Do

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…

Roda

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Just because it is snowing outside does not mean two crazy ladies won’t find a way to grow tomatoes indoors!  We love a challenge!

If You Build It, They Will Come Series…

 

Do What You Love…Love what You Do!

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Indigo Acres, Est. 2014

 

If You Build It, They Will Come: Part VIII

It was Fall 2015 and we had finished out first successful harvest!  We had much to accomplish before Winter’s winds and snow would arrive.  Our compost piles were huge and ready to go!  It was time to add fresh nutrients to the garden soil.  This would also give us a nice head start to planting in the Spring.  And yes, there was much singing from the tractor, during the two days of hauling compost!

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Change was in the air and Fall had arrived!  It was time to pull out the muck boots and enjoy my favorite season and everything it had to offer!

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Stocking up on hay and straw, for the winter, was a must.  Comet made sure the job was done right!  That bird takes her job very seriously.

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As the holidays approached, I decided I would try to make wreaths and swags for the farm, using the pruned branches from the evergreen trees and shrubs.  I so enjoyed this creative holiday event and have continued the tradition each year since!

Another one of my favorite holiday traditions is making rock candy.

It was amazing to think that another season had passed by, on the farm!  The animals had grown up and there was not a baby to be found!  (No worries, that problem would be fixed in the Spring!)  Ophe had grown tremendously and was over 100 lbs and still growing!

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Look Mama, I still fit in the Gator!

We finished the geriatric chicken house before Winter arrived.  It was time to move the old girls into their cozy, new home!  Spring was just around the corner and that meant only one thing…baby birds!  Check out this link on why we built the geriatric chicken condo! https://growingself.blog/2017/03/08/the-geriatric-chicken-condo/

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The Geriatric Chicken Condo

We continued to prepare the chicken runs and coops with straw, for the Winter.  As you can see from the photo, the girls love to help where they are able!

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This would be the LAST year we would rent a cherry picker to hang a wreath on the barn!  We purchased an 8 foot artificial wreath, with LED lights.  It was going to live on the barn year round!

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Winter arrived on the farm, once again.  There is such beauty and peace this time of year. Although it can be frigid outside, I do enjoy the simplicity of the season.   Well, until there is an ice storm or -30 degree wind chills!

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This was a season of ice storms!  Although the chickens did just fine, I found that a pair of yacker trackers, for my muck boots, saved me from slip sliding away!
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Snow was minimal, but freezing rain was here to stay!  I would choose a foot of snow, over an inch of ice, any day!

Spring would be here before long…  Seedlings were started in the under garage and baby chicks and ducklings were purchased!  What a fun way to make the ending of Winter pass by a bit more quickly.

March was upon us, which meant we survived another Michigan Winter!  Due to the lack of snow, we were able to start construction on our hoop houses, sooner than expected.

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For complete step-by-step instructions on how we build our hoop houses, check out this link! https://growingself.blog/2017/03/25/help-from-a-hoop-house/

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There is nothing like a few cattle panels to create a sturdy hoop house!
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We were ready to begin growing greens in March, in Michigan!
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When the magnolia tree begins to bloom, we know Spring is right around the corner!

It was difficult to believe that it had been 2 years since we broke ground for the building of the barn!  What a busy 2 years it was! The goal of 2016 would be a year without projects…time would tell!  If you have missed any posts from the If You Build It They Will Come series, check them out here and see how Indigo Acres began! Next Wednesday will be the last post for the If You Build It, They Will Come Series…  You won’t want to miss it!

Do What You Love…Love what You Do!

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…

Roda

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If You Build It, They Will Come – Part VI

Spring was in full swing on the farm.  It was May 2015 and the perfect time for baby animals.  It was an easy decision… we would expand our duck flock!   I so enjoy ducks and their eggs are completely divine! These cute little fuzzy friends are Indian Runner ducks.  Once fully grown, they appear more like a wine bottle with legs!

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Pure joy!

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The ducklings grew and changed quickly! Within 6 weeks, the they were starting to show their true colors.  By June, it was warm enough outside that we were able to move the ducks to their permanent run.

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Look at the cuteness! (I am referring to the duck!)

Construction of the garden cottage was coming along nicely.  Were were excited to soon have storage a bit closer! Hauling tools back and forth, from the house or barn, was becoming a bit daunting.

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We decided a little deck would be a handy addition to the garden cottage.  Two of our sons built this small deck, on a Saturday afternoon!
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All that was left to do was apply a coat of tinted water seal.  It was the perfect job for another one of the teenagers!

She was finished!  Now we could fill her up with tools, a potting bench and solar lights!  We added a little nook behind the cottage, for it was one of the only shady areas in the potager.  We finished the cottage area by adding a stone path and many cottage garden perennials.  Now, we had to just relax and watch them grow!

We had one more building project for Spring of 2015…the Hay Barn!  We needed approximately 450 bales of hay to feed the goats and horses, for a year.  The hay would be delivered in July, so we knew we had another construction project that needed to start, ASAP.  As much as we would have had fun building the structure, we knew time was not on our side.  Once again, we handed the project over to a crew of professionals!

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The Hay Barn did not need to be fancy.  It just needed to store hay and keep it dry!
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Making progress…
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Another project was complete.  And, with one day to spare!  The hay arrived the next day, after the final touches were complete! 

I have a love/hate relationship with the hay wagon!  I am thankful when it arrives, for I am able to provide the critters with high quality feed.  Stacking hay is also a great workout! But, why does it always have to arrive on the hottest, 90 degree day of the season!!??

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Diny and Oatmeal no longer looked like babies!  In just a few short weeks, these two trouble makers would meet two new friends, Pippin and Sam. 
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Ophe was growing and growing and growing!  Unfortunately, we came to the realization that she was not the sharpest tool in the shed.  This made training extremely time-consuming and difficult.  To this day, we remind ourselves that she might not be very bright, but she sure is one happy and loving dog!
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Peace…

Spring had come and gone. It was time for planting the potager! Our first harvest would be right around the corner!  What an exciting time it was…

Do What You Love…Love What You Do…

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…

Roda

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Note:  If You have missed part of the “If You Build It They Will Come” series, you can link to them below!