In February of 2009, my husband and I bought our first home located on a few acres in Johnson, Vermont. We live here with our dog, Ollie, two cats: Elvis and Atticus, six Nigerian Dwarf goats: May, Chutney, Poppy, Juniper, Willow, and Jokers Wild, and about fifteen laying hens. And to top it all off we welcomed our daughter, Isabel, into the world on January 11th, 2011.

We're slowly updating our 1850's farmhouse while steadily working towards a healthy, meaningful, self-sufficient life together.

This blog details our endeavors along with our successes and failures- all in good fun. Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again soon!


May and I enjoying some sunshine


Dear friends (a letter to my lovely readers),

Lovingly Posted by Melissa Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sorry I've been a little sporatic in my blog posts lately, things have just been super hectic at home the past few weeks and my laptop has officially kicked the bucket.  Kyle and I had to finish up our guest room (YES, it really is finished!!) before my father and step-mom came up for the holiday weekend.  We also had to clean up the house (which ended up taking way more time than I really thought it would) and semi-finish the upstairs bathroom.  On top of all this we, of course, have been working on barn stuff.  Kyle made me a milking stand a week ago which I took out for a test run with Chutney a couple days. 

I was planning on starting the bottle-feeding this past weekend, my hope had been that I'd milk a little bit every day up until then just for us to get the hang of it before we really got serious.  But unfortunately, I haven't been feeling well and trudging out to the barn twice a day to fight with a goat and her teats wasn't high on my priority list.  So I'm hoping to give it another go soon because the kids are getting pretty skittish.

Our pigs are growing fast.  Bricktop is definitely still the biggest out of the four boys but the other three really aren't that far behind.  Kyle and I are pretty sure we'll be able to have them all processed before fall, which would be great.  They haven't eaten any other chickens, as far as I have been able to tell, and I hope that our barracade that we created around the dividing gate will continue to be successful.

Speaking of chickens, our second experience of the Cornish crosses is nearing its end.  Our fifty (or so) meat birds are amazing.  Last year when we raised these birds it was too late to put them outside because the weather had turned too cold.  This year they've had free range of the pasture and all the tall grasses.  We started only feeding them for a short time in the morning, forcing them to forage for the rest of the day.  I am always amazed about how healthy they seem compared to our first batch.  These birds are active.  The most common thing you hear about this kind of bird is that they have heart and leg problems, they really can only walk from the feed dish to the water dish, and the rest of the time they have to sit down because of their massive weight.  We experienced exactly this last year and it caused us to think we'd never raise these birds again.  But what a difference a diet can make.  I'll be posting some pictures when I get a chance.

I really do have a bunch to catch you up on- I really would love to show you some before and afters of our guest room and bathroom.  Oh, and we started our garden a few weeks ago, still have a lot to plant, but we've got a beginning at least.  May is due in a few weeks, she started making her udder a week ago.  So much has been going on I can barely remember it all!  Please bear with me, friends, life has really been getting in the way of my blogging but I hope to make a full comeback soon.

Thanks for stopping by!!


  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. Melissa; Trying to figure exactly when the kits where born. What day on approx time. Trying to post a birth announcement.

    Enjoy your evening,

  3. Anonymous Says:


  5. Melissa Says:
  6. Hi John
    I believe it was three weeks ago on Saturday right around 11:30. Hope that helps. :) Have a lovely weekend!