Below is the very first story I posted about Beaver Creek Farm back on April 13, 2010. My good friend Chris offered to set up a website and we discussed it for a long time (months in fact) and it wasn’t until Blogger started freezing that I approached Chris about starting the website. I am unable to change the layout on my blogger website, so with Chris’s help we’ve started this site. I hope you’ll enjoy the new stories and some golden oldies. Enjoy the beginning.
How to Start a Hobby Farm: The Beginning
A co-worker said to me the other day, “my wife just doesn’t get why you would have these animals.” She reads my facebook status and doesn’t get the joy, trauma and drama of raising petting farm animals (rather than the eating kind). This is the thought that popped into my head… It’s a warming sight to start each day pausing in my busy schedule to watch a 200 lb pot bellied pig and a little rhode island red chicken enjoy breakfast out of the same dish. The pig occassionally takes an innocent swipe at the little chicken, but she dodges and moves back into place quickly pecking and getting her meal. I’ve tried to feed them separately, but Nugget the chicken returns to dodge and peck with Charlotte the pig.It seems like an odd love affair – a chicken and a pig, but they have overcome the social incorrectness of a cross species relationship. I snuck in this morning and found the chicken nesting on Charlotte’s back in perfect warm harmony. I wish we could all get along like Chickens and Pigs.
I’ve recently acquired a smaller 50 pound mini pot bellied pig named Ginger and I think Nugget is already cheating. I found her sharing her meal with Ginger rather than her pal and companion Charlotte. Farm life is very similar to the lives of teenage girls.
Let me offer a quick introduction to my farm and a brief overview of where they’ve come from in their journey to land themselves down on the farm.
Willow: 3 year old barren goat of unknown breed. Small for her size and unwanted due to her lack of fertility. An ironic and obvious choice for a first wayward barnyard animal. Named after a character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer she’s both a lovely greeter to new arrivals and a dark arts witch.
Copper, Softy & Peter: Three bunnies that came with Willow who were purchased as entertainment for Easter and then discarded. Copper and Softy are the boys and Peter is the girl. This is what happens when young children get the opportunity to name the new arrivals.
Charlotte: Full size pot bellied pig came from a the suburbs of a large city. They thought she was super cute until she topped 100 lbs and didn’t fit through the dog door anymore. Charlotte was “Free to a good home” on kijiji.
Nelly-Kelly: Fainting goat who spent her entire life living with a horse companion in an open field. When her companion died her owner stopped in my driveway after seeing me playing with Willow and asked if I’d like another goat? Well, who wouldn’t want another goat???
Ginger: Mini pot bellied pig who also grew up in a house and at maturity became a touch aggressive with the children and the mother decided Ginger would be better off on a farm. Another “free pig to good home” on kijiji.
Hobby Farming is something that came through the blood. I was nearly 13 when my parents moved to the country and accidentally started their own hobby farm.I watched my mother gather animals like you gather eggs in the morning. She found unwanted farm animals without the internet. There were pigs, goats, chickens and ducks all seeking new homes that wouldn’t use them as a meal. I left the farm at eighteen for education and adventure, but after living a “normally and farm animal free” in suburba for twenty years, that life fell apart and I found myself coming home to the warm comforting arms of the farm slightly broken from divorce and unwillingly childless. Since my mother’s passing many years ago my father had lived a bachelor in the century old farm house ignoring the empty outbuildings and barn. There were no more animals. There was barely the scent of them in the old pig building. The barn had been used as a garage and there were no stalls to house large warm horses.The inside of the house was my mother with country blue geese and ducks bordering the walls. The shag rose carpet in the living room glowed and the old Burgundy couch sagged in the middle where my dad slept most nights. After some discussion and debate I convinced my father that selling me the farm was a good idea. He moved out and I moved in delighted and terrified at what I’d just taken on: A 23 acre farm and century farm home with it’s own list of idiocyncrasies.