In my above video I share an update on many of the things that I’ve been up to in my workshop and while building my small farm here in Virginia. In supplement to the video, below are some photos, tidbits, and things that have happened since filming this video…hope you enjoy!
My two oldest boys have been quite the helpers in building furniture. They helped me build a walnut bench for my wife Laura this past winter/spring. The walnut was given to me from a man in his 90’s, who had been carrying it around for much of his life. I love the smell of walnut shavings!
As I mentioned before, I milled up a large stack of quartersawn white oak with my friend Todd (as shown in this video) and am getting ready to start using some of the 1″ thick boards.
The figure is so lovely, that I almost can’t wait to let some of these boards acclimate in my shop before I build with it:
In addition to building furniture and workbenches (for the upcoming Wood and Shop Traditional Woodworking School) I’ve filmed some really exciting DVDs in my new workshop/studio:
Will Myers and I filmed the DVD “Building the Hancock Shaker Candle Stand with Will Myers” which is set to come out next month (add your email to this reminder list).
We also filmed a DVD tentatively titled “Building a Collapsable Trestle Table with Will Myers” (also add your email to this reminder list).
As I mentioned in the video I finally found some guys who were able to move an old oak-framed shed from off my property line (to make room for my paddock fence) and they moved it across my property to use as a chicken coop:
I spent some time replacing much of the lower siding with fresh southern yellow pine siding.
Early this year we got a few bottle-fed Katahdin lambs, for the purpose of raising them to mow my grass for me. Lovely brown “Cocoa” died after a short time, so we were only left with two lambs.
So we got three more Katahdin lambs…
…and the guy talked us into also taking two young African Boer goats for free:
We named them Orville and Wilbur, because I had just finished reading an amazing book called “The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough. These goats were fun for the first couple days, but certainly didn’t live up to their names. They turned out to be very troublesome! We couldn’t keep the goats off our front porch, they ate all the food, and they were very aggressive with the lambs. Fortunately I was able to sell them a couple weeks later for enough profit to make it worth my while.
A random tidbit: I found this incredible “Rosy Maple moth” moth on my workshop’s brick wall:
I built a hog pen, and we bought two baby Yorkshire cross hogs…I teach my kids that hogs are “yucky on the outside but yummy on the inside”!
They are now the right weight, so we’re on a wait list to have them butchered in mid December.
In May we received our baby chicks in the mail. Here are the breeds of hens, if you’re interested:
- Rhode Island Red (3)
- Delaware (2)
- Silver Laced Wyandotte (2)
- Barred Plymouth Rock (1)
- White Plymouth Rock (1)
- Speckled Sussex (2)
- Ameraucana/Easter Egger (2)
- Buff Orpington (1)
Fortunately we’ve only lost one of our Speckled Sussex chicks (to a hawk). Unfortunately our only “rooster” turned out to be a hen, so last month I found two young handsome and friendly roosters. They look mostly the same, but the rooster with darker tail feathers is a mix of Buff Orpington and Cuckoo Maran and the other is a mix of Buff Orpington and Red Sex Link.
It’s amazing how easy it is to find free roosters! These guys do a really great job at watching over the hens, so they’re all now free ranging around our farm.
We also had a very successful season with gardening in our large 40’x60′ garden. It’s been fun seeing which vegetable breeds we do and don’t love. We planted a lot of different varieties of tomatoes, and had a family tasted test. We narrowed our favorites down to two varieties. I think Thomas Jefferson would be proud of us.
Hopefully next year will be a lot more restful after all the things we’ve built and figured out this year…and hopefully I’ll have a lot more time to make videos and articles here!