Sunday was a busy and fun market day for us here on Fox Trot Farm. We love it when we have customers from other countries, so we were thrilled that our first customer was a Chinese family that drove the whole way from Charlotte to visit us, and the young children sure did enjoy seeing our animals and, especially, petting our bunny rabbits. As a matter of fact, every adult enjoyed petting the bunnies, too, and we know that some folks came out just to see them after shopping in our market. We sold honey and soap and spa cloths and soap savers, cakes and cookies and eggs all afternoon. Our visitors wandered through the flock of chickens to see the lambs and goats, Mr. Peacock, and even the honey bees. We really appreciate all our customers, old and new, and enjoy seeing folks from the community that we haven’t seen for a long time. It’s fun catching up on all their news!
Every morning, either Farmer Bob or I wander outside while the coffee is brewing to let the chickens out of their coops, where they’ve spent the night all locked up and safe from possums and raccoons. This morning was a particularly beautiful early start of the day. Maybe because I worked so hard over the weekend, I particularly appreciated the peace and quiet, and so I grabbed my camera so I could share some pictures with you.
Farmer Bob planted our late garden full of buckwheat and it’s in full bloom now. He did this as a treat for the honey bees….they love buckwheat and make delicious, dark honey from the nectar. We won’t be harvesting this honey; it’s for the bees to stock their pantry for the coming winter. They sure will enjoy the honey they make from our little patch of buckwheat. Farmer Bob is planning to plant strips of buckwheat along the fence rows in the spring, and we certainly will be harvesting buckwheat honey from our bees in the spring!
It’s hard to believe that this dock we built has been around so long that the surface needs to be replaced. We’ve lived here since 1985….that’s a long time! There’s something about old structures in the water that is really quite pretty….the weathered surface and the plants that take root in cracks truly add to the beauty of this old dock.
Do you remember this picture of our Welsh Harlequin ducklings from this spring? Three of them could fit in the little water pan back then!
Well, here they are now, swimming in the pond and loving their life. We keep their feeder full and they also forage in the pond for frogs and minnows and all the yummy treats that ducks like. They don’t fly (can’t) so they stay in the pond and wander out on the bank to eat bugs and grass, but stay close to the water. They talk all day and we love to hear their quacking.
For some reason, our small flock of black Austrolorps likes to come up on the picnic tables in the morning. (There are more on the ground waiting to jump onto the table.) They hang out together and are great foragers and fliers. Once Farmer Bob and I get our bigger hen house built, we’ll clip the wings of our chickens so they won’t fly out of their pasture fences. I don’t mind them visiting us right now, but I’m looking forward to them staying in their own yard. (They’ve dug out all the plants in the pots on the deck!)
Even though I’ve neglected my roses this summer, they are pretty right now. Late summer blooms are always smaller and often spotted from visits from insects. They still smell wonderful. I won’t have a rose that doesn’t have a lovely aroma. To my mind, that’s a big part of what makes a rose beautiful.
The lantana is really pretty right now. See the concrete leaf bird bath on the ground behind the flowers? I made a lot of these several years ago, gave one to my aunt and uncle in Pennsylvania, and now some of my aunt’s friends and my aunt have gotten together this summer to make their own. The birds love having them here and there in the yard and flower gardens, and this summer, during our drought, the honey bees visited them by the hundreds for a drink of water to take back to their hives.
I see that some of our figs are ripening and you can see here that there are a lot more to come. Some folks are already making fig preserves, but ours are ripening later. If I get enough, I’m going to can them whole in light syrup. We love them that way.
Don’t you just love to wander the Old Country Store at Cracker Barrel? Look what I found there! I love everything bee-themed! I’ve got bees on my brain, I think!
Here’s Turk, watching me from his pasture where he’s guarding all the ram lambs. He’s such a happy boy, and a very good livestock guardian dog. I’m sure he wondered what I was doing wandering all over the yard and pond so early in the morning!
If you need honey or eggs, or anything else from the market in between Sundays, just let us know. You can also schedule a tour of the farm for non-market days. We certainly are looking forward to the break in the heat and humidity for our farm tours…everyone will appreciate that change in the weather! You can find us at 5066 Rowell RD, Lancaster, and call or text 803-804-3541 to let us know what you need from the farm.