Before we get too deep into 2015 I wanted to post the final look of the Fridge Line as it stood in the final days of 2014. If you recall, the Fridge Line is the central trail that bisects the farm into north and south. It terminates at the back of the property in the exact middle of the western line. The trail name, "Fridge Line" comes from the broken down and decaying fridge that sits beside the trail. The video highlights:
If there’s anything universal when folks start thinking about farming, it’s, “what are we going to name our farm?” You know, the simple question is easy to bandy about and arriving at an appropriate name is even easier when the farm is still in the visionary phase. The second the ink dries on the deed, throw all those names aside, because not a one of them is going to make sense or ring with that same sweet melody it initially had when you are standing at the edge of your property and see what you have actually done to yourself. Yes there’s always the path of least resistance that has a long standing tradition, the old family name followed by ranch, farm, homestead, compound, etc, but let’s face it, that ain’t us. Come on people, easy just isn't the way we roll.
Embodying the spirit of our farming philosophy as well as conveying our central business purpose were two essentials when it came to naming our property. The common driving factor at the core of our farming passion is fun. If we are not enjoying what we are doing, something is wrong. Now as far as the business side of things we both agree with the KISS philosophy all the way...keep it simple stupid.
So, one gloomy Saturday we were heading to the property and were passing the farm of the county’s hay baron when Mark muttered in jest, at first, a simple three word name that actually sounded plausible. We played around with it, using it in sentences: “Let’s get a dozen eggs from XXX XX XXXX Farm”. “Did you see that XXX XX XXXX Farm is selling honey and goat meat?” “Let’s drop by XXX XX XXXX Farm and see what’s in season.” Damn, it was actually working. Snatching up a scratch piece of paper and scrounging a pen from the depths of the glove box, Mark scribbled the name so all would not be lost before the pain of manual labor erased our memory banks.
Rounding the final turn to the property, the overcast sky cracked. Collecting our tools from the trunk and mustering strength from the warm sunlight we trudged into the depths of the property, and I muttered to Mark, “we’ll see if it sticks.”
Over the next few months, our property grew into a farm with the addition of our livestock - goats and honeybees. And believe it or not, it stuck. Yeah, sometimes under our breath we would mutter the name with a sarcastic note, but hey, it still worked.
So, what’s in a name? Like we said before, everything. And that’s why we have decided to name our little farm and future farmstead, Must Bee Kiddin’ Farm.
PS: Thank you to all of you who helped in the naming of our farm. We’ve heard that line out of the mouths of more than a few of you, and we’re sure even more have muttered it to yourselves after a casual conversation with us or reading a blog post.
On New Year's morning we spend a few hours at the farm feeding the goats and checking on their general well-being. Because our time was limited, we divided the labor. Mark wandered down to visit the beehives to make sure they had enough food, while I walked the interior of the net fence to make sure there were no issues there. I walked a little ways around, goats following faithfully behind me, and looked down, maybe about 3 feet from the fence was a dead rabbit.
I called Mark. He inspected the rabbit and found one small bite/mark on his neck (yes it was a boy, I checked). Knowing that a dead animal was nothing but predator bait and not knowing what the predator was, we took the little guy home to take care of him there. During New Year's dinner, I gave the entire scenario to my father-in-law. He's been around the wilderness block a few times and has a healthy amount of knowledge. Before I ever finished my explanation, he was ready and named our culprit. Weasel. Okay. Weasel.
Mark, suspicious of the unusual suspect, Mr. Weasel, took a more traditional tack and named Mr. Bobcat as the culprit, while I was basically clueless, but leaned in the direction of my husband...until we Googled weasels in Florida. It was all over the internet, so it had to be true. They are generally menacing creatures who hunt down rabbits. By the end of the Google search were kind of scared of Mr. Weasel. Father-in-law still had it! Okay, this was easy stuff! We can deal with weasels - baited rat trap at the base of a tree.
Saturday night we camped out. What I didn't mention in the post was that we took our little dog with us. He's a Cairn Terrier and is always, always on alert to scents and noises. He is the main reason we did not sleep well. He kept sensing, something, weasels maybe, all night long and barked to let us and everyone around us know. Along with our little dog there were other farm animals in the general vicinity that night making quite a racket. There were the ducks and geese and roosters from up the street. Down the way a bit a donkey was giving something the what for as well around 3 am.
We have a trail camera set up on the south west corner of the property. We've seen squirrels, a raccoon, an opossum, a coyote, a rabbit and an escaped goat on it, but no weasels...ever! Mark pulled the SD card today and we anxiously put it in the computer to see what was on it. Are you ready for it?
It's not hard to figure out, we now have a Wampus Cat, a.k.a. bobcat, hanging around the property. It's time to dispatch the predators. We have two more goats that are pregnant - one is really, really close and the other not too far behind. It's kind of funny, because we were chatting with our neighbor Saturday afternoon and he mentioned seeing some BIG cat tracks on the dirt road. No mention of weasel tracks.
We don't need these types of visitors. A nice rug for our bunk house will be nice.
Now I wish it was a weasel.//tr
Yep, sure enough 2014 just flew by and the new year just rolled right in with what seemed to be a blink of the eye. Before we let 2014 get small in the rear view mirror here's the latest tour of the property's west line as it stood on the last workday of the year. Of course the video shows the state of the west line but I'll also bullet point the main items outlined and discussed.
It was decided a proper camping trip was in order this past Saturday night. We camped out a few weeks ago, in our tent, without proper cushioning. It's Florida, the ground is sand, how bad could it be? It took over a week to recover from that night! We came right home, got online and ordered up two proper cots.
Getting set up was a bit of a problem, because, well, the cots didn't fit in the tent. Not even one of them. So we improvised. We started with a nice open area with a lovely view of one of our small meadows. We gathered a large tarp, a hatchet and some wood poles.
We erected 4 corner poles, and attached the tarp to each to give a break from the dew and fog moisture through the night. Low temperatures that night were only supposed to be around 68 F - one of the many benefits of farming in Florida! We put the tarp up and due to a late afternoon rain shower and a very old tarp we had to make a slight adjustment to the cover by adding two additional poles and a middle cross beam to shed the water.
Next we added a campfire, a couple of chairs and some cozy bedding and there you have a nice camp for the night!
For the most part, the night was uneventful. I didn't take into account how damp it gets at night, and did not bring ample covers. Luckily we have more than enough fire wood and were able to keep a hot fire going all night. We heard coyotes off into the distance howling at the full moon, but they never put any pressure on our property.
Can't forget our breakfast of champions!!
In just 10 days we will have owned our property for 6 months. My how time flies! Looking back we have achieved so much in this time. The monthly wrap-ups are clickable under categories in the side bar just in case I've forgotten to list something here.
We sat down on January 1, 2015 and have outlined our goals for the coming year - it's a big list, but we are so excited about it! Stay tuned!!
Finally, in closing out 2014 and ringing in 2015, we would like to thank everyone who has visited the blog. We would also like to thank everyone who has supported and encouraged us.
In 2014 a couple of 40-somethings decided to make a change. The purchase of 10 raw, pine scrub acres along Florida's Nature Coast started it all. This is that story.