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Unexpected Friendship

Friendships take all shapes and sizes. This cross-species friendship entertains me very much.

To the best of our knowledge, Oscar the cat and Crosby the rabbit have both lived on the property for at least 6 months prior to us moving in. We've caught glimpses of them together, and suspected they were pals but not known for sure. We've seen cat carrying cases and an old rabbit hutch. I can only assume they were once pets, but eventually let loose to give living in mother nature a go.

Today I looked out the kitchen window at Oscar, and there was Crosby leaning against him in the middle of the driveway. It was luck that my dogs didn't get in on the action, and that I could find my good camera in time.

At first I shot out the upstairs window to ensure I got at least one good shot. From there, I crept out a side door through the chicken coop area to shoot through a pine tree - at least I thought I was moderately obscured. The two gave me the death stare, but seemed like they didn't care. I got within 10' before they split up and went about their separate routines.

With so much chaos, stress, sickness, greed, frustrations, war and hate in this world - sometimes it is nice to focus in on the small joys of living like two goofy outcast farm pets let loose that became best friends. In the wise words of Jim James (lead singer of My Morning Jacket), "Life is as sweet as you let it be".


Tilling Was Never The Same

Over the past few months, well-intentioned people have given us a lot of, "you shoulds". This is my term for when everyone has a recommendation on something expensive you should "really" obtain. We'd need to win the lottery to be able to fulfill every recommended piece of equipment someone has recently recommended we buy.

Our property is 4 acres. When we bought the land, the majority of the pastures and garden plots were overgrown with prairie grass and 8' tall weeds. We decided to rent brush mowers and a tiller in November to get things more manageable.

With temperatures starting to warm up, with fear we've started to see green grass and weeds peeking out from our fields. We knew the clock was ticking to build a game plan and start working the ground for our flowers, herbs and vegetables.

Stubbornly, we tried first to do everything by hand. I used a hoe to do several rows in our main vegetable garden to get a head start on kale and lettuce. Together, we spent 2.5 hours hoeing a patch roughly 20' x 8' wide in the flower field. With aching backs, calloused hands and general frustration, we decided it was unreasonable to complete the whole field by hand. At least, I was glad we tried to prove to ourselves this was a category of need that truly required the right machinery.

Today we picked up our first mechanized tiller. At under $600 from Rural King, she is a gem! Two hours of work got knocked out in 20 minutes with a reasonable level of physical effort. In fact, I dare say, tilling was fun.

Guys name the cars and boats. Today, I named my first piece of machinery. I call her Judy, after my mom. Both are hard-working and get stuff done! Three cheers to welcoming "Judy", and may her tenure be productive in our first year on the farm.

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Bursting Buds Under the Full Moon

On a night like this, the farm's name made sense.

The moon hovered on the horizon holding a deep golden hue. The contrast was striking against the deep navy sky.

I darted inside to find my good camera with the dogs clamoring on my heels. Not having any formal photography training, trying to get "the shot" is dance with lady luck.

The photo that resulted was one I won't soon forget. A small bud on a low branch of a Buckeye tree silhouetted against the moon. It marks the turn of cold nights into frosty mornings and eventually spring. It is both exhilarating and overwhelming due to everything we need to get done. But for a moment, Moon Grove Farm made sense. And felt right.