Monday, September 30, 2013


The Moose and I took a short hiatus from typical life and headed to Ellijay, GA to spend a long weekend with family.  Family travelled from Wisconsin to join us, Matt, Steve, Dort and Samantha and we along with my Mom, Padre', Daughters #1 and #2, and Kevin had a great time!   Just couldn’t get enough of that little girl, Sammie!
Panoramic view from the back porch of the cabin

We spent some time at the Amicalola Falls, the highest falls in the Southeastern US.  Daughters #1, #2, Padre’ and Kevin (daughter #2’s other half), climbed the 425 steps to reach the top.  The rest of us chose to drive up the 25% grade road and view it from the top, without all the effort.

view from the top of the falls
near the reflecting pool at the base of the falls

view from the reflecting pool to the top of the falls
On our way back, we stopped off at a huge pumpkin patch.  It was amazing at the number of pumpkins! 

On our final day together we headed over to an apple festival, picked apples, watched a pig race and the best part of the day was watching Sammie in the petting zoo.  Every kid should pet a goat once in their life.  She was a girl after my own heart, she was most amazed with the chickens!


Typical family gathering, lots of laughs and too much food!  Now we’re both back to reality, but so very thankful we had the opportunity to visit with family.
Thanks to our dear friends for taking care of things at The Compound while we were gone.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Drumstick Trees

Until just recently, I never heard of the Moringa Oleifera tree.  Aka Drumstick tree.  Have you?  One of our co-conspirators at The Compound found out about them, ordered some seeds and now we have a plethora of drumstick trees.


Here’s what Wikipedia had to say:

  is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Moringa, which is the only genus in the family Moringaceae. English common names include moringa,[1] drumstick tree,[1] from the appearance of the long, slender, triangular seed pods, horseradish tree,[1] from the taste of the roots which resembles horseradish, ben oil tree or benzoil tree,[1] from the oil derived from the seeds. It is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree that is native to the southern foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India, but widely cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical areas.

Well it grows great here in Central Florida, from what we can tell, and it is a fast- growing tree.   The leaves (the most nutritious part; B, C,A, K vitamins, beta-carotene, protein, etc) are used in soup, or cooked like spinach, oil is pressed from mature seeds, or the seeds can be removed from the pod and eaten like peas or roasted like nuts, roots taste similar to horseradish.

The Moringa tree has been used in other parts of the world to combat malnutrition.   Now you know, thanks to Ron!

If you want to learn more, here’s the link to the Wikipedia site.  There are thousands of other sites, but they seem to sell the end products.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Curious Chickens

I'm always amazed at how curious chickens really are.  Start digging a hole, moving mulch, unloading the truck and you'll soon have a few onlookers.  They just can't help themselves!

Miss Rose and Miss Lacey

They were not happy to be told they had to get down. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wish List Update - Dock Railing

Deanna helped me finish staining the dock railing that Ron put up for me back in February.  It was one of those projects I never got around to, until recently.  So we went from this:

To This
 And this:

To this!  Please ignore the green slippery stuff growing on the dock itself.  Now back on the list is to power spray that nonsense!

One of these days, I'll actually be able to sit out there and enjoy the serenity!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Happy in Dole Valley - Knitting Pattern Giveaway

My friend Lisa over at Dole Valley is having a give away this week.  Copies of her knitting patterns.  Her work is just beautiful.  If you're an avid knitter, or just starting out (like me), I'm sure her collection will be great inspiration.

Happy in Dole Valley

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

They Call Me the Chicken Whisperer

They've started calling me the chicken whisperer at The Compound.  Actually, it should be the crazy lady, that when she makes a kissing sound usually means treats and I don't want to miss out, Lady.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Container Interior Support Beam Construction

I sound like a broken record, but it was another HOT, HOT, HOT Saturday at The Compound! 

R&B picked up a dozen pressure treated 4x4's this past week, and we used everyone of them including another we had already on property.   When I say we, I mean the Moose, Donnie and BJ.  I spent my time mowing and taking care of my chickens.

The guys really did a great job, considering the heat which was hot enough outside, and the further you traveled inside the container, the more stifling it became.  I set up a fan, to at least provide some air circulation.  Not sure how much of a difference it actually made.

I made sure they took a break, drank water and had a bite to eat for lunch.  Needless to say, they all needed a shower! 

The posts were placed on each side and top, then two beams were connected on the top for roof support.  Each beam will be connected with screws and bolts. 

The first set was placed back a few feet, as the entrance is already reinforced to support the doors.  Each subsequent "arch" will be approx. 10' apart.  The posts are placed in the grooves, so the length between each arch is approximate.   105" high x 95" wide archways.  The last set of archways will be worked around a walk in cooler.
You can see the start of the connections for each post.  Each hole has to be pre-drilled, which is not an easy task.  Actually, nothing was easy.  But between the three guys, they made it look easy.  They work really well together.
Here you can see the ceiling beams going up.  We plan on adding two additional 4x4's on each wall (like the ceiling beams).  This should provide some additional support, and give us plenty of areas to connect and or build shelving.

I think they were all happy with the progress.  Tired and sweaty, but happy.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Favorite Photos of the Week 9/14/13

Miss Izzy

Pig Pen

Miss Corrie

Panoramic of the flock

This picture gives you an idea of just how many chickens we have roaming The Compound



Young 19 week old Rooster (no name yet)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Responding to MDR and Container Update

The Modern Day Redneck had some questions from our last post and we thought to follow up with some more information.

After doing some extensive research, below are some links that represent the ideas we are going to implement on our container, to insure wall stability.  The first link is from a company that build these professionally and were willing to share their ideas.  We think they'll give you a really good idea for how to proceed.

On the top outside we are going to weld on a piece of flat iron, across the center length (40'), to help with stability and then we plan to bolt a center 4x4 beam on the inside top, through the flat iron.  Additional 4x4 supports along the inside walls and ceiling will be placed approx. every 10', which will help support the walls and ceiling.

We'll keep you updated as we progress.  Let us know if you have any questions, we really like hearing from you!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

On the Hunt

We are on the hunt for angle iron!  We need lots of it.  We will be shoring up the container we had delivered a few weeks back.  Since it will be buried, it needs to have some additional support on the outside as well as inside.  Containers on their own are not made to handle weight on it's sides, so we've come up with a plan, after reviewing how others online have been handling this issue.

Angle iron!  It will be welded along each side and top on the outside.  We are collecting old bed frames, and have a local scrap yard collecting some for us as well.

The water table is only about 4' down in our area, so we are not burying this container down 10', like I've seen in some of the videos.  So the amount of pressure from the dirt will not be as great, but we'd rather take this step and know we won't have any issues.  It would really stink to put this in place and have the sides cave in, and then have to start all over.

We will also place 4x4's in the inside in arch formations.  This will provide support on the inside as well as give us areas where we can connect shelving for stabilization.  No one wants to reach to the top of a shelf, and have it tip. 

So our group is searching high and low for the materials to move forward on this project.  I'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Farmers Change of Heart About His Chickens

Found this on a blog I follow.  Should only be watched if you love chickens.  It's a good story, but it made me cry.  I'm a softy, especially when it comes to my chickens.

One Eyed Jack!

Long ago my Padre' used to tell my girls a story about a pirate named One Eyed Jack.  He's been referenced to over the years, and now I have a young rooster given this name. 

It happened a couple of weeks ago.  I noticed the dirty feathers on his neck (they wipe their faces clean, and it's one of the first signs you may notice if a chicken is not feeling well), and went to take a closer look.  His eye was closed.  It had some goop running out, so the Moose and I got him cleaned up and put Neosporin on his eye.  We've done that a couple of times since, and it's remained the same, but less goop.  No idea how it happened;  fighting/playing, etc?

His temperament is fine, although the other birds do sneak up on him and he's a bit more skittish since he is caught unaware.  He's eating, drinking and doing all the things chickens normally do.  We'll keep an "eye" on him.  I know, not funny...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Just in Time for the Walking Dead

Zombie Response Kit If you get a chance to check out the link, please do. My daughters started a small business, and this particular one is just in time for Halloween parties and for the season premier of the Walking Dead on AMC.

I wish them great success.  I know they'll do really well.  They've put in a considerable amount of time, and of course they're creative like their Mom!  Knowing them they'll keep changing things up, so I look forward to future ideas.

Free at Last!

We let the 18 week old White Orpingtons out of the coop and run for the first time.  They've patiently waited and watched the adult flock for weeks on end.  Eat bugs, grass and dust bathe. I'm sure they were jealous.

We showed up on Saturday to the normal crowd and subsequent stampede at the gate of the run to be let out.  The teenagers held back and gathered at the gate waiting for someone else to take the first step outdoors.  They really are chicken, chickens!  I approached and they raced back in, so I made a move and was able to heard them outside. 

From that point, unless they came in for water, they spent the entire day outside.   Each bird that flew over sent them scattering for cover under the robellini's.  But they were not afraid to investigate The Compound. 

They were not ready to go back in at the end of the day, and the Moose, Donne and BJ helped heard them back in. 

We have happy chickens!

Now the youngest, are patiently waiting to have their chance at freedom, next month.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Just another reason...

Just another reason to learn to raise your own.

Upsetting the Apple Coop

We upset the apple cart coop this past weekend.  The teenagers now at the 18 week mark were transferred over to the adult area.  Needless to say, we have around 40 chickens trying to either keep their current standing in the flock or finding where they might fit in.  Add in an overall level of fear by the teenagers and the stress level in the coop was palpable.

It will take them a couple of weeks to sort everything out, and then all will be right with the world yet again, until the final group of young'uns is moved over in about another month!  I'm equally stressed during these times.  What Mom is OK watching her little one's get bullied!

In the meantime, the youngest batch had their area expanded and will allow them some extra freedom to stretch their wings, and mock fight on occasion.  It sure is fun watching them grow up.