Sunshine Driving

A Burst of Joy!

Last Thursday while driving to an appointment just before noon, I was positively enthralled with the bright winter sunshine and crisp temperatures.  As I drove through the countryside nearing midday, I noticed the angle of the sun gaining ever so slightly higher in the sky.  What a great and positive feeling I experienced as I thought about the coming spring and all the activities that we would be undertaking on our farm.

A Good Start

It has already begun, making spreadsheets for planning the pastured poultry production schedules, building new processing equipment, purchasing supplies.    Building a new brooder, building three new chicken tractors are some of the projects we will complete.

We have burned through two cords of wood and have one remaining.  Hopefully our oil tank has been filled for the last time this year but the propane will require one more visit from our local propane provider.  The sun now streams into the family room at the perfect angle to prevent the room from getting too cold.

The New Greenhouse

Our project this weekend was building our seed starting area in the new greenhouse.  We built a holding type area out of older unused hay bales and filled the interior with fresh horse manure.  We constructed a crude 2” x 4” frame and tacked some furring strips onto it.  This will be the table where the seeds trays and soil blocks will have the warmth to germinate our first seeds this week.  The top is covered with PVC hoops and plastic sheeting to retain heat.  This was a great idea that I saw on a YouTube video of the Muddy Fingers Farm in New York.  It saves money on electricity and reduces our environmental footprint in the process.

Seed starting area built from hay and fresh horse manure in greenhouse.
Seed starting area built from hay and fresh horse manure in greenhouse.



Still More Plans

Another important project that is coming up as soon as the weather breaks, is the completion of the water line from the surface well to a pressure tank in the greenhouse.  We will also need to run supply lines to the two main growing areas.  Time and money is what I always say.  Excitement abounds about the work will be doing.

Check back soon as we post our successes and show you how and where great food comes from.


Go Nautral!

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Great Start for 2016

Here at FiveDollarFarm we are excited about the coming year.  Not even this Nor’easter could get us down.  We are getting ready for a great year with our new greenhouse and all the great food we are going to grow here.  We’ve been perusing the seed catalogs to determine what we will be growing this year.  We will be trying our hand at making soil blocks to cut down on waste.

We are very busy with our core product line this year which is our pastured poultry.  The chicken tractors will be updated with a few new ones to be made.  We currently have one brooder and have plans to add one more and rehabilitate the one we are using now.  Stay tuned for our new and improved order form and additional information about when the  poultry will be available.

Enjoy the pictures.


Wishing well beside the main house at FiveDollarFarm.
Wishing well beside the main house at FiveDollarFarm.
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What we do here

Hobby Farming

This morning I arose early and headed to my outbuilding office to get ‘online’ after deciding to telecommute.  I could not face the drive in today.  It should be in the sixties and is sunny.  Good decision.  What is required to make the trek into the office consumes the better part of two hours of each day.  This is time that is gone forever and I consider it unproductive.

As I decided to make of list of what to accomplish today, I merged workday job responsibility items in with personal items.  This is the blessing of telecommuting.  You can do laundry, kitchen cleanup, maybe some light yard work, etc.  Since we have purchased a farm, I can stretch a few more items onto the task list, like feeding the goats, potting up plants for sale, taking inventory of stock, etc.


Plants ready for sale.
Plants ready for sale.

Walking around the property, I cannot help but wonder of all the potential that exists here for us to make a successful life and business. Last night I noticed the trees as they are beginning to bud and leaf out.  Some of it will have to be removed like the multi-floral rose and the Russian olive.  Also we have abundant Eastern Red Cedars which I would like to cull and replace with mostly oak and maple with some hybrid poplar and nut trees such as pecans thrown in for good measure.  They are all large shade trees.  Only last week did I realize that God has a way of whispering to me in a special way when two different people I had spoken to mentioned Cedar Apple Rust (CAR).  I had ordered about 25 apple trees from a nursery in New York State and was told that they would quickly be infected and the apples would rot due to the Cedar Apple Rust.  After some research, I found this to be only partially true.  I needed to alter my order to a more disease resistant variety of apples like the MacIntosh, Liberty, and Red Delicious.  They are more for personal consumption than sale, so it was not such a problem for me.

Raising Goats


There is so much to do here and I do all these tasks with great enthusiasm.  Tomorrow we are going to Moyers hatchery to pick up two dozen fertile chicken eggs for incubation. (Note: Another telecommuting day.)  The incubator, purchased at Tractor Supply is ready and awaits the eggs.  This is a home school project for the little ones and I hope to make video documentation which can be put online for others to enjoy and hopefully learn from our experience.  I must say that researching chickens has been an experience in itself as the myriad information on the internet often contradicts itself.  My solution is to remember that my grandparents raised chickens for food and eggs and it seemed simple to them.  We have a tendency to complicate our own lives.  Again, God whispers.

Raising Chickens

Incubator ready to use.
Incubator ready to use.

Every day we have here is a blessing.  I am only trying to remember that more and that makes the difference for me.  Each plant we grow and sell will hopefully bring energy and joy to the person who buys it from us.  Our farm is full of life and goodness.  We are thankful for the abundance we have received and the opportunity to share this with our loved ones.

We will have many more exciting projects here that will be documented as time allows.  We hope to provide a learning experience to anyone interested in returning to a simple way of life.  Hope to see you all back here real soon.

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Little Did He Know …

… that when mid-July was in full swing, that he would be exhausted by the experience.  He would have suspected as much, but he did not know it, until now.  While looking around, he reflected that this had all transpired in matter of months.  In December of last year late, they had visited the property for the first time and decided that it was worthy of choices.


Much work would need to be done, for many surprises were found.  Woodsmoke contamination inside the residence. A poorly functioning chimney which caused the prior, substandard electrical, etc.  But the land is what he wanted.  And the land is now his as well as the dysfunctional house.  Much has been spent to remedy the safety issues.  More is needed, but all in due time.  Buddy Ryan moved in and he is happy.

140402_dan_coopAnd now much time has passed and spring is about to do so.  We are planning for our chickens which will arrive as eggs this coming Friday.  They will be incubated, brooded and moved to our large fenced area out back where they will be happy and protected from the birds of prey.  Dan (above) stands on the coop floor as I was building it.  It is now almost complete.


Our potted plants are also awakening on schedule as expected and hope to find new homes in the landscapes of our neighbors. Many types of weigela, red twig dogwood, forsythia, Japanese maples, euonymous, and many others have all over-wintered and are ready.

Grape hardwood cuttings stuck in a special soil mixture with rooting hormone. This picture was taken earlier when snow was still on the ground.
Grape hardwood cuttings stuck in a special soil mixture with rooting hormone. This picture was taken earlier when snow was still on the ground.

Our first winter at FiveDollarFarm was hard. It was the coldest on record for 25 or so years and we found all the problems and drafts in the old house.  We burned many gallons of oil, and burned cords of firewood.  This spring is special to us for what we endured.


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When I Said! When?

Farm Work Break

Besides having perfect grammar in the title of the post, you may also notice from the content, that I am impatient. I spent the week going back and forth with a potential lender for our purchase of Five Dollar Farm. Within one hour, I promptly replied with all the requested documentation as well as my primary acknowledgement that I grant the lender the authorization to pull my credit report. Some might think this is not a big deal, but I assure you, it is. This will be known as a hard inquiry on your credit file and may adversely affect your FICO score. But again, I digress. I will have more on this process at a latter time.

Take a Break

Our small regional lender assured me that all did look well and requested one further document that I found quite easily and submitted. However, this document contained an electronic signature. The gentleman responded that he needed a ‘signed’ copy. Again, to the lawyer’s office requesting a ‘signed’ copy. The paralegal responded with the document was filed electronically and this is the only copy. Back to the lender. I need the signed copy or the underwriter may not fund the loan.
Thinking. I am Thinking. Still Thinking. Does the underwriter not understand how a electronic signature works? Do I want to get a loan from people that do business like this? Should I be so picky in this type of tumultuous financial environment? What to do? What to do?

The man of the day is Jack Harbaugh. He cannot lose and must have a gigantic smile on his face.

Onward! I will merely wait it out as I lead the game 24-19, with the ball on my own 43, first down and four to go, with a minute six left on the clock. Oh! And I have all my timeouts remaining.

Happy SuperBowl Sunday, Folks!

Johnny R

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Five Dollar Farm Update

One Step Closer

On Sunday, we tried to bring the Five Dollar Farm one step closer to reality by requesting pre-approval for a mortgage from a local lending facility.  The past twenty-four hours have been excruciating for me as I have no patience to wait for the lender to return my call with news whether it is good or bad.  What to do.  This may be a lesson in patience that I need.

five dollar farm

Many actions are contingent upon the offer and acceptance of the offer to purchase this property.  We are trying to plan for the spring planting as well as how to move into the place over what period of time.  After last summers move, I have decided to put some overlap into the move so we will not be rushed.  By that I mean we will have both places for about a two month period so we can casually move on weekends and weeknights.  Why rush if you don’t have to?

I hope to have some good new soon and will provide that information here just as soon as we receive it.  Stay tuned.

Johnny R

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