Friday, February 11, 2011

Once upon a pond . . .

Maybe my journey to become a hobby farmer began with a cool, April day while I stood looking at our small, but nicely-sized pond all surrounded with weeds and prickly bushes.  I remember having what I have come to call my "Hey, wait a minute," moment.  It was either accept the neglected pond never cared for or "Hey, wait a minute; I can do something positive about this." 

So for two months I chose a clump of prickly bushes and attacked.  Slowly, but surely, I liberated the pond.  From there the plans grew.  I dropped rocks in the area where the spring entered the pond to rid that area of mud.  Each year brought a new project - creating a rock dock to watch the water and anything that might move in my fishless pond, planting water lilies and marginal pond plants, to perennial flowers around the edge.

Somewhere in the process I came across a magazine called Hobby Farm Home.  Within those pages I found wonderful possibilities for our small corner of country.  I started with babydoll sheep.  Hey, wait a minute - don't we need sheep to help mow our lawn and fertilize, too?  If it was good enough for Thomas Jefferson, well . . . count me in! In Hobby Farm Home I found information about Brown Chinese Geese - great weeder birds.  Hey, wait a minute - I have weeds, I have a pond, that will work!  We now have our lawn mowers and weeders.  It seems there were also some Buckeye chickens featured in Hobby Farm Home.  Hey, wait a minute I have a farm, and horses, and sheep, and geese - why not chickens? We could use some eggs.  The rest is history. 

I love the farm and I am fascinated by the interaction of all the animals.  Who knew that one could retire from teaching only to discover that in your heart you really were meant to be a hobby farmer?

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