Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Evolution of the Farm-Part 1

Spring has sprung on the farm...
And spring ushers us into a new season...Our winter is done and with
that all the hard labor we have been doing for the past four months
 planting, pruning, changing and upgrading our little farm. 

A home is a living organism, that is continually growing,
changing, adapting and it is no different with a farm.

Things that worked when we were younger no longer works now.
This is how it is with our coop....Our chickens have historical free ranged
our whole half acre back yard.  This is fine when you have a couple chickens
but last year we decided to grow our flock so that we could sell our eggs
and cover the cost of our organic feed. 
It's not a money maker for sure but it is a way to be sustainable.

With more chickens roaming we decided that a barrier needed to be erected
 so the chickens could be contained when we needed them to be. 

Like while we're eating Thanksgiving dinner and a chicken jumps up on the table...
this is nothing strange to our little family but to our extended family
who do not hold the same "urban farming" convictions,
 they are always a little suprised. 

We were eating Thanksgiving dinner outside,
I do not let our chickens inside the house.
Just in case you were wondering.:)
We walled off the whole side yard. 
Keeping it very natural and open but it still defines the space. 
For the gate we used a wooden screen door.  They girls spend the morning in this area,
eating their feed, bugs, scraps and laying their eggs within the enclosure. 
I have found it helpful with the daily Easter egg hunt,
they just don't have as many different spots to lay their eggs anymore. 
Which is an unseen benefit of the enclosure. 
Then in the afternoon, we let them out to range and as the sun goes down
 they put themselves to bed, back in the coop!
 We moved our baby chick house/brooder into the enclosure too.
The girls like to hang out beneath it...who knows why?!
  The view from inside the enclosure. 
 The early evening when the girls are going to roost.
The glow is coming from their coop's vintage crystal chandelier. 
 for all the work these girls do for our family,
I thought the least we can do is give them a little crystal beauty.
Rustic and refined...just like their keeper.
Here is the view from the side next to our guest house.
Can't wait for the grape trellis to leaf out again and
mark the side entrance with an arch of green. 
  The girls fight over their favorite laying box...
they have four but they all like to use the same one. 
All this beautiful spring weather has their egg production going
through the roof!

I am looking forward to the apple tree blooms, the bees buzzing
and all the trees leafing out.  Spring is a wonderful but bittersweet
time in the desert because we know soon enough, it will be 100 degrees.

Between posts you can keep updated on the farm
 Instagram or FB.


  1. Caroline, Love what you have done! Do you have any problem with hawks? We have one that hangs around. We recently built a chicken run around our coop for many of the same reasons but also to try to keep the hawk away but wonder if we need to do some sort of top on the run as well.

    1. Thank you Amy! We do have problems with hawks but it is seasonal. So as soon as the leaves drop the hawks show up and I have to be on my guard with a pocketful of rocks. :) I have not yet lost one to a hawk yet...I think they don't like rocks thrown at them! I have planted some more citrus tree inside the enclosure too so they have places to hide when the hawks show up.

  2. Your enclosure is you think if I look at my husband with a pouty boo boo lip "Plllllease" he will build this for me??? I have to book mark this ASAP!

    1. Ha worked with my husband, I am sure it will work with yours too. ;)

  3. Hi Carolyn.....Have I been missing your posts or did you just start posting again? I had to smile at the chandelier you gave the ladies, how sweet to think of them and you never know they might actually enjoy it. Question: Have you ever tried to figure out WHY the ladies all like the same roosting box? Maybe there's something in it that the others don't have. Lucky you to be getting spring right now were getting a foot of snow on top of Saturdays foot on top of two Saturdays ago three feet...ugh!

    Happy Spring to you!

    1. Hi Debra! You haven't been missing my posts. I have only been posting once a month for the past few months. We have been making all kinds of structural changes to the farm and I've been so busy planting, building, moving that I can hardly keep track of the kids let alone the blog. :) But now that most of it is behind us you'll be hearing from me more!

  4. What a beautiful farm you have. Just fitting for such beautiful gals. xx

  5. Ahhh spring. I'm ready. We had a bit of an ice storm yesterday and are expecting snow today. Looks like you've been hard at work. You did a wonderful job on that new coop. Looks great!

    Cindy Bee

    1. Thank you Cindy Bee! You are right there has been lots of hard work...but now that it is's worth it. But you've been building a house so you understand completely. :)

  6. Wow....just wow! That is the most amazing chicken coupe ever! So jealous!! Those must be very happy chicks.


  7. Love what you've done with the chickens....



  8. Love the fence - and the blossoms are wonderful, another few weeks and we should be warming up here in Texas. -Carole

  9. I love your coop and your yard!! I finally talked my husband into building me one and I love mine also and we do not have a top on the run area. It's always fun to see what everyone else has done. I love your blog. Mine is My Ordinary Country Life....I would love for you to stop by some time...:)

  10. love love love your coop! so fun seeing some spring at your your 'girls' are pretty happy! xoxo, tracie

  11. Such lovely ladies you have! Beautiful!
    I'm VERY interested in buying eggs from you.
    I looked through your sidebar but didn't see any info...or maybe I'm not looking in the right place?
    If you have time, I'd love more information.
    Oh, we live in North Phoenix.

  12. I just love it all. It came out beautifully. We fenced off our girls too but on a much smaller scale. I am hiring someone to do a permanent fence this summer since we know this is how we want it now. Yours is such an inspiration. So glad you are on FB so I can check in regularly. Your yard is what my little yard wants to be when it grows up.

  13. I love what you've done with your urban farm! it is so lovely and quaint.
    I laughed at the chickens jumping on the table at Thanksgiving...they probably wanted to get a better look at that bird! You think they'd learn a lesson from that experience!

    You have a beautiful home and garden. Love the chickens.


  14. I love that you are doing all this in Phoenix. Guess I thought it was just a big urban city. How do you use your preserved lemons? I did that once but didn't know how to use them. I just finished making strawberry lemon marmalade with all the lemons I overwinter in my greenhouse. We have had chickens for about 30 years and if you spend a lot of time with them, they make wonderful pets. They all have different personalities.

  15. Hi Carolyn. I just found your blog through your IG account. I love that you are blooming in Phoenix. If you can achieve all that in a desert climate, you have given me hope her in SoCal. I am your newest follower and I plan on putting my feet up and reading your back posts this afternoon. I see my real life friend Elaine from Sunny Simple Life is also a follower of yours. Have a wonderful weekend. Patty

  16. Carolyn- I just love what you have done. The fence that you built is just perfect! It does it's job but you can still see through it so it doesn't chop up your yard. And the chandelier in the hen house is so you! Just perfect. Your girls are as posh and refined as their keeper! Thanks for the tour.

  17. So glad I got to see it all in person, thanks so much for having us over!!

  18. Carolyn, I love your style in the chicken coop! Wonderful post!

  19. Love the chick Chicken Mansion also has a chandelier! Love your style...beautiful chickens and they look so happy. New follower here.

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