Friday, May 6, 2011

We’re Growing

Things are moving and shaking here at Mountain Hollow Farm. We just installed a bus parking lot so we are better equipped to handle large groups. It required 108 tons of stone, that's 216,000 pounds!

Two weeks ago I called Goins Hollow Quarry to find out what kind of rock would be best to use for a bus parking lot. I thought we just had to dump a bunch of rock and level it out. Fortunately, the lady on the other end of the phone was a little wiser. She explained that to build a good parking lot, you have to scrape the vegetation away, compact the soil if it is soft, lay the rock, spread the rock, compact the rock, and deal with possible drainage issues. Oh my! I had no idea that there was so much work involved with creating a stone parking lot.

I was in a jam because I had just pulled out the paperwork for a grant that we had qualified for to cover part of the cost of this project, thinking that we had until May 31st to finish it. I was wrong. The deadline was May 1st.

Fortunately the quarry not only sells stone, they also build parking lots. Dan came to our rescue and finished this parking lot with a couple days to spare.

I believe that God was watching out for us. He knew what was going on even before we did and arranged things so that Goins Hollow Quarry would have the time to do a small last minute project.

I know some of you think that sounds crazy. There was a time when I did, too. But now I have comfort in knowing that amidst all our chaos, there is a God who is in control.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Guard Dogs in Training

We just purchased two livestock guardian dogs (LGDs). They are a mix of Great Pyrenees and Anatolian Shepherd. It amazes me that they instinctively know what to do. They are only 8 weeks old but they already show signs of guarding. Especially their food! ;)

We decided to purchase LGDs because we want to run ducks with the goats. Last year we bought 15 ducklings and raised them in a pen near the house until they were big enough to go into the pasture. After we put them in the pasture, half of them escaped underneath the gate and half of them were killed by a predator – one duck each night until they were gone. That is why we bought LGDs.

The puppies are in training in the kidding pen with the new mommas right here beside the house so we can keep a close eye on them, and we have a new batch of 10 ducklings that should be ready to put in the pasture about the same time as the dogs.

The dogs already have experience with chickens so I think they will do alright with the ducks. We’ll introduce them by putting the ducks in a cage right next to the kidding pen. When the ducklings are a little bigger, we’ll put them in the kidding pen. Then we’ll move them all to the pasture.

Are you wondering why we would go through so much trouble and expense just to keep some ducks? Click here to find out.