Our dream started many years ago as we sought for more efficient and effective vegetable production on a quarter-acre lot in our quiet Houlton neighborhood. We quickly realized that we were able to produce enough vegetables for us, and most of our non-farming family, utilizing just over 200 square feet of garden. While there are lots of neat-o whiz-bang chemicals out there that might help produce higher crop yields, they also cost a lot money, and sprinkling nuclear green mystery stuff on our gardens just didn’t sit well with us.
We reached out to a farmer friend, who was thrilled to provide us with all the truckloads of aged cow manure that we could ever want. Sure, it smelled a little funny around here for awhile, but our plants exploded with growth and vegetable production. As we sat on the back deck one evening, we pondered: “Exactly what are we going to do with all that food?” A momentary panic set in, since we didn’t really have any sort of plan in place for harvest storage. But we managed.
The fun part about the backyard garden, is that the entire thing was just one huge experiment. Some of it paid off, some of it didn’t. But seeds are relatively inexpensive, and it was an overall fun hobby to keep us off the internet during the summer months.
What’s a farm without a few chickens? To be fair, a lot of people also point out: “What’s a farm without a few cows?” but we’re not going to go there; nor are we going to get any cows.
Way back during the “backyard days”, we decided to get a half a dozen chickens for eggs for “personal use”. Our manure-sharing farmer friend also helped us out with the chickens, and wound up giving us, honestly, way more chickens than we had space for. Un/Fortunately, several turned out to be roosters, so they had to go back home after a visit from Animal Control. Who would have thought a silkie rooster could crow THAT loud?
Video proof on the left. This was actually taken from the neighbor’s Facebook page.
Since then, however, we now have a fully-loaded coop of ISA Browns and Leghorns, and even two of our original silkies.
Oddly enough, though, we managed to avoid any roosters this go-round, but have started providing both white and brown eggs to several local customers, as well as Trailside Country Store in beautiful Millinocket.