Fields of Gold

With summer’s end comes the final hay cutting of the year. And in a year of so much noise and strife, local farmers and landowners throughout the South have been blessed by Mother Nature’s quiet gift of constant rains, which nourished the fields and grew the grass. Hay yields everywhere this year are breaking records. On our own little farm, the yield was 125 square bales and (because we had to get the grass up quickly before more rain came) 60+ giant round bales — for a total equivalent of 1,086 square bales! That’s the biggest haul in 11 years here, and it will feed a lot of cows and horses…and probably a few goats.

There’s something remarkably satisfying about feeding one’s animals with the grasses grown on the lands they stand on. The taste is familiar, their bodies eagerly accept the nutrients and roughage, and barns stand full and ready to feed in the cold months when no fresh grass is available.

We are so thankful for the friends who help us bale our hay. It’s never without challenges, that’s for sure, and we all learn new things each and every year. Without their perseverance and support (+ large equipment!) we’d be left with no choice but to bushhog the fields…then all that beautiful grass would just go to waste. And I don’t think we could sleep at night knowing we gave up the chance to keep more animals healthy, happy and fed.

Winter is coming. And we are ready.ūüĎä

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Puppy Power

Babies bring new life and energy to our lives, and remind us what it’s like to see the world anew again. Out here we have a new addition who’s helping us do just that. We’re ecstatic to introduce you to Tallulah Star! She’s a happy, wonderful mess at this stage and still learning the ropes. But she’s growing into a great family farm dog and we’re all smitten. (Here’s hoping she grows into those big ears soon!)



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From the first summer we moved in,¬†a few¬†old¬†toads have come to hang out each¬†night¬†by (and sometimes in) the pool. Not all have survived us. Dogs got one, cats got another. And someone ran over a big one with the car. But these stoic toads¬†keep coming back¬†every summer¬†— probably to catch bugs under the outside floodlights.¬†Mike even bought them a little house.

Last summer, a¬†young man from our town¬†took this¬†visiting toad experience¬†to a whole new level…creating custom hats for one patient, and obviously fashion-forward, amphibian, in order to help cheer up a child who had lost his pet toad.¬†He only shared the photos just recently, and they¬†spread like wildfire¬†overnight.¬†Since posting,¬†over 1 million curious folks have clicked to see the¬†toad¬†millinery. Read all about the Toad and¬†his Hats on BuzzFeed.

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Scenes in Winter

Tonight as we were feeding the horses, a low fog rolled into the wet pastures just as the sun was setting. It was beautiful.¬†And as I excitedly¬†tried to run¬†back to the barn to grab my phone, I tripped over a fence wire and went Splat! Right into the mud. But never mind¬†that. We still got the pictures.¬†ūüôā

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A Holiday Walk

A sweet end to a busy workday, walking in the woods with our dear friend Megan and the Minis — Charlie Horse and lil’ Humphrey. Oh, and Sammi Lu came along to chaperone the babies.

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