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


The Deere is gone.

Lovingly Posted by Melissa Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Well folks- our lawn is pretty upset right now.  The grass hasn't been mowed in ages, some of the blades are yellowing...its not a pretty sight.  We had been having trouble with the lawn tractor all summer, it kept breaking belts.  Granted, the sucker wasn't in the best of shape, but when it mowed it MOWED.  The thing that really disappointed us was that the main reason we got a lawn tractor was for the snowblower attachment.  We figured we could save ourselves some cash if we could just clear our driveway ourselves.  Well, it worked, we didn't pay anyone to plow our driveway, but we ended up shoveling it more often than not.

So, after a year long love/hate relationship with our 214 (we bought it used from a fella we spotted on Craigslist) we decided to break up.  Kyle posted it and two days later it was sold- luckily the guy who bought it knows all about the crappy snowblowing and the issues we have with the mower- and he still wanted it.  So now we're mower-less.  Our thought is that maybe, just maybe, we could get away with paying someone to mow our lawn once this month and maybe we can let it go for the rest of the year.  Then, we'll look for an affordable walk-behind snowblower (our driveway is just too big to shovel and seeing as I'll either be massively pregnant or taking care of a newborn this winter, I don't forsee shoveling in my near future).

While we know what we want to do regarding the snow/driveway, we are completely unsure what to do next year for our grass.  We could get away with mowing just the upper lawn if we had enough animals to keep the grass down in the lower section.  And, lets face it, a handful of little goats and a flock of chickens don't really have the capability to knock down almost three acres of grass.  So the question is- do we want to invest in some sheep?  I'd love to get couple sheep so I could make some handspun yarn, but I'm not sure if it makes much sense financially.  Maybe a small horse?  One vote for the horse....one vote for a dirtbike....damn.

So the search is on.  We're seriously considering getting a reel mower so we don't have to worry about the gas and the noise (and lets face it, there are fewer things that can break on a non-motorized mower), but that definitely doesn't solve the whole dilemma.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  Perhaps there are some options we haven't come up with yet?


  1. Donna Mae Says:
  2. well not that this helps, but I did shovel our driveway when you were a baby...thats when Zach would get up from his nap and go eat the cookies on the table that were there cooling...just one bite from all of them....ha!

  3. Melissa Says:
  4. Yeah, but I would have been a few months old by the time you would have had to shovel- I was thinking more like: "jeez, I just got home from the hospital, I don't think I can physically shovel right now."