Thursday, March 29, 2012

We are the 27%!

According to the 2010 census, 73% of Nebraska residents now live in urbanized areas.  These 73% live in about 1% of land in the state. 

We are the 27%. Although, it should be noted that at the time of 2010 census, we were part of the 73%, but that not relevant. 

Here is the link to the Lincoln Journal Star article.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The grass is growing!

On Sunday, March 18, the team went out and threw (literally) 75 pounds of grass seed on 1 acre of our land.  Everyday, yes, even the day after, we have been frantically checking to see if our baby grass was growing.  Today, we are happy to report, we've got oodles of grass popping up.  Better yet, tomorrow is supposed to rain after four days of warm sun.  This grass should go bananas after tomorrow!

Thanks Aunt Jaime and Uncle DooDoo for your help!  The Alpacas and Donkeys will be thrilled.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cool Pic

This picture was taken by Amy on Friday morning.  It is a beautiful foggy start to the day and we wanted to share it with you.  Enjoy.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

You can only laugh... :)

The team from a far  :)
You are given the task of seeding 2.9 acres.  Your three bags of 25lb pasture seed (not enough), a team of four, and no discernable way to actually spread the seed other than a small hand crank from when you lived in Lincoln on a measly .17 acre lot.  On top of that it is windy, you have a three year old who is defiantly "nooping" in the lawn and a one month old who is mostly asleep.

Sounds like today's hilarious misadventure.  Although I have some pictures of the hilarity, it will not paint the full picture.  If you had driven by and seen Amy driving a tractor with both kids in her lap while me, my brother-in-law and his fiance launched seed--by hand--for 2 acres you would have been saying mean things about us on facebook.  It was truly a sight.

We were urgently trying to complete this project because it is going to rain tomorrow and likely Tuesday.  Laying new seed and having the rain plant it is a win-win, so we were up to the task.  Unfortunately I did not buy enough seed and we didn't complete at least .5 acre, but we can get that in the future.  We'll see what fruit this shall bare in the coming weeks, I hope it was worth it. 
Materials in the cart
Amy and Ayla...a clear demonstration of the wind!

Aunt Jaime is helping-seed in hand!

Here I am holding a lot of seed, letting the wind do the work.

Uncle Andrew, aka 'DooDoo' helping with the fun

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Painting our Raised Beds

Amy is painting our raised beds with a stain that is tinted green.

She doesn't know I am taking the pictures, boy will she be mad!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Hey, we built that!

We have been busy this week.  Not as busy as we would like to be, sometimes two little ones distracted us, but we have been busy nonetheless.  Spring break coupled with warm weather has been a very good thing for us this week.  We took on a multitude of projects including some minor building!

The Compost Pile was finally completed.  Amy has been wanting one since we moved in, it was simply a matter of finding the right design.  We used fence posts and wooden snow fencing to create our design.  We created two different piles so we can have two separate stages of compost.  The project took around 90 minutes to complete!

Also, the compost pile is the first thing to go into the 2.99 acres of space that we must fill.  It is at the edge of the produce section and will soon be joined by...

The raised beds.  We built six in all using 2 x 10s and 3.5 inch long exterior wood screws.  These took only a couple of hours and Amy is now in the process of painting them green.  They will be the first fixtures of the produce section and will contain a variety of garden goodies.  The best part is that our compost pile will supply much of the foundation for the dirt.  Fun fact, one of the beds is going to be a baby food garden bed.  Our goal is not have to buy any baby food for Bram.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Chickens are ordered

Before we moved out here I would never have been able to tell you that people ordered chicks through catalogs.  They do.  I guess it makes a little sense, how are you supposed to start a flock (is flock the right word?) without a little help to get started.  We used Murray McMurray Hatchery, a catalog which Amy has been turning the pages of for over two years.  Today was a big day for her.

On Monday May 14 we will get a call from the post office that our 25 chicks (+1 mystery chick, more on that later) will be ready for pick up.  Amy and Bram will get in the car and pick them up.  They come in a box and are no older than 72 hours.  They have yet to eat or drink anything.  The first nutrition they receive is when they are finally in their new home.  I think it is an exercise in team building, but I am not overly sure.

So what did we order?  Great question, I'll include pictures also!

Barred Rocks  (4 ordered)
 The Barred Rock is one of the all time popular favorites in this country.  They are steady layers and lay brown eggs. 

Buff Rocks (3)
When you think of the "stereo-typical" chick: yellow, small, are thinking of the Buff Rock at birth.  They lay brown eggs.

Rhode Island Reds (5)
I say, I say, I say, you ordered RI Reds?  Could you be more generic in your chickens so far?  No.  That is the way we like, well...most of us.  You will soon see that Amy does not like to play it safe the whole time.
Silver Laced Wyandotte 5
These beautiful birds lay a fine egg, but what attracted us to them is their capability to lay in the winter.  The typical hen does not lay in the cold months, however the Silvers do.  We decided they definitely belonged in the flock.

Araucana 6
No picture of an actual bird.  This breed has been so over-bred they lack a uniform look.  I have instead posted a picture of the egg color they commonly lay.  These birds are known for laying an array of "easter egg" colored eggs.  We ordered six simply because that fascinated us.

Golden Polish 2
These are Amy's walk on the wild side.  I for one was unaware that chickens came in so many varieties, colors, choices.  Amy, as usual, embraced this and found what I think is one of strangest looking birds: the Golden Polish.  They lay eggs but if you ask me, they look like the kind of bird that the rest of the gang is going to pick on, perhaps literally.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Security Blanket GONE

A view of the PANIC.
We own 5.61 acres, which is a small kingdom.  According to the gov't, 2.99 of those acres are "agriculture" and in 2011 they were corn grown by a real farmer.  That farmer man will not be operating our land this year, we are.  As I stare out into the 2.99 acres that once were corn, one feeling pops into my mind:


What in the world are we going to do with 2.99 acres?  We don't have the money, and with two small children we definitely lack the time to do with it what we want.  You throw in the fact that we lack anything larger than a riding lawn mower in terms of equipment and we have ourselves a real conundrum.  My biggest concern is the outbreak of weeds that is going to occur without constant tending.  Enter the plan.

It's (mostly) Amy's plan and is right now just a beautiful aerial drawing of our land.  The plan won't come into full form this summer, but you can see where her mind is going.  About 3/4 of the land will eventually be fenced in and used for our alpacas.  The other quarter will be the organic vegetable gardens.  Part one of the plan is to build 4-6 raised beds that will become a baby food garden for Bram.  Since it is spring break I am looking to build those by the end of the week. 

Your positive thoughts are welcome!  :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Baby Boy is here!

I am proud to announce the arrival of our son: John Bram.  John is the family name and he will be the fifth in a row, however, we will deviate a little and call him by his middle name Bram.  Bram was born on 2/16/12 at 9:42am.  He weighed in at a very healthy 9lb 2oz (don't worry, scheduled c-section) and was a hearty baritone as he entered the world.

His big sister Ayla loves him and is always wanting to hold him.  And...she also is a humongous pill right now: sharing is hard and she doesn't get it.  We'll get there, but there is definitely new parenting strategies having to be put into place here.

UPDATE: Bram is now three and a half weeks old and weighs 11+ pounds.  He is in the 98% of almost every category and is fun to have around. 

Oh, a little about the name Bram: it is technically a nickname of Abraham and currently ranks as the number 12 boy name in the Netherlands.  It is made famous by the author Bram Stoker (Dracula), Bram Weinstein (SportCenter anchor) and Bram (from ABC's 'LOST' season 5-6).  We love the name and have found there are more Bram's out there than one would think yet it is still incredibly unique.  It pronounced like Brad with an 'm'.