Life on a Southern Farm

The Farm Explorers

I love exploring around the farm. FarmMan does too. You just never know what you might find.

Metal detector and shovel

We have found several beautiful Native American arrowheads.

Native American Arrowhead

Here are some of the bottles, buttons, and arrowheads we have found. The bottle on the right is an old Windex bottle. The sprayer still works! At the bottom are a few of the rattlers from the Timber Rattlesnakes we came across when exploring.

Arrowheads, buttons, bottles, and rattlers.

I found this 1904 Indian Head penny near one of the old homestead sites on the farm.

1904 Indian Head Penny

FarmMan found this heart shaped wasp nest near the old pond just in time for a Valentine's Day Gift (to me!) Ahhh..romance!

Heart-shaped wasp nest.

I didn't find this Hoosier Cabinet on the farm but I did find it when taking the trash off to the county dumpsters. I hauled it home in the back of the car and FarmMan "fixed" it up and recycled it.

We use it in the kitchen. Very thrifty.

Can you imagine some one throwing it away?!

Hoosier Cabinet

We still find old cross ties and railroad spikes from the old train track that used to be on the farm. The metal track was taken up in the 1930's.

Cross tie and railroad spike.

We found several old homestead sites on the farm.

Old homestead site.

We found remnants of an old log building and near by was an old farm implement that had been there so long that a tree had grown around it. Some one told us it was a peanut plow or planter.

Log building remains and an old farm implement

We found where the old mill pond had been (this is after FarmMan had put it back).

The mill pond today

And when FarmMan was digging out the old mill pond site we saw:

Bottle in pond excavation.

This bottle:

Bottle from the pond

We found where a water wheel once stood over a hundred years ago.

Where the water wheel was

In the creek we found parts from the old waterwheel.

Where the water wheel was

Old waterwheel parts

FarmMan put the water wheel back too!

New waterwheel.

There were many many days of hard work that went with "putting" things back.

We have enjoyed exploring and finding where people before us walked, worked, lived, and loved this little piece of earth they called home and for now...we feel privileged for our turn to call it home.

Do you enjoy exploring? What have you found?

I hope you will visit us to see more about our farm here: Life on Southern Farm

Thankful for Our Farm Life

A photo of GaFarm Woman PamThis summer has been very long, hot, and humid. At the end of another week of heat advisories for our area, another week of non-stop work, another week of a few set backs, we sometimes wonder why we keep doing what we do here on the farm. I understand that this way of life is not for everyone.(I really understand). It is hard work. It is the life my husband and I choose and at the moment I wouldn't trade it for anything else.

Here are a few of the reasons why:

Have you ever...

Been so thankful for life that you thought you would burst?

Planting in the field

Loved a goat...

Annie the goat

Or two?

Cuddling a goat

Have you ever...

Dried your clothes in fresh air and sunshine?

Clothes drying on the line

Built a boat?

Building a boat

Boat building

Smelled fresh cut hay?

Fresh-cut hay

Skinny dipped in a pond with your husband in the moonlight?

Lake for skinny dipping

Kissed a chicken?

Goat kissing a chicken

Just watched a cow graze?

Cow grazing

Have you ever...

Built a rock bridge from rocks on the farm?

Hand built rock bridge

And a water wheel?

Handmade water wheel

Made a bale of pine straw?

Baling a pine straw

Seen a snake in a tree?

Snake in a tree

Have you ever...

Been a young family and built your own home? together? three times? never worried about a mortgage? never ... ever?

Our family in 1984

New house

Worked the soil, grew, and preserved enough fruits and vegetables for a year?

Vegetables grown

Have you ever... been so thankful for life you thought you would burst?

Flying bird

Oh yes, I remember now!

Just a few reasons why we keep doing it all over and over again.

What are you thankful for this week?

Please visit us at our farm here: Life on a Southern Farm

Rolling with the Seasons on the Farm

Gardens, vegetables growing, and oh so hot!

GaFarm Woman Pam's Garden

"putting up" the vegetables

Putting Up the Bounty

Pizza parties and swimming at the pond

Pizza Party on the Farm

Sunflowers and bumblebees

Sunflowers and Bumblebees

Colorful leaves

Colorful Leaves Over the Farm Pond

Cooler weather...finally

The Old Water Mill

Time for pear sauce and canning pears

Making Some Pear Sauce

Snows down this way are very rare, short lived, exciting and special!

Ya Don't See This Every Day

When I See Snow, I Take Photos

Yet More Snow

Before we know it, Spring is back.

Ahhhh, Spring

Flowers and butterflies

A Beautiful Glimpse

Biddies everywhere

Chicks Galore

Time to plant a new garden

The Time is Upon Us Yet Again, and It's Wonderful

and time to smell the flowers again.

Seize Every Opportunity

Which season do you prefer?

You can read more about about our farm life here>Life on a Southern Farm

Questions and Answers about our HomeMade Walk-In Incubator

A photo of GaFarm Woman PamI wanted to answer some questions about the the incubator here on the farm.

Did you build or buy the incubator?

It is a large walk-in incubator that FarmMan built. You can see more here –> Incubator 

The building was empty and not finished for several years (it still needs painting, always something waiting to be finished around a farm) until last year when FarmMan decided he wanted to start hatching eggs again.

The incubator building

 Years ago he hatched and sold all types of poultry and enjoyed it. He insulated the building


Insulating the incubator building

and built an inside walk in unit to hold the eggs.


The walk-in incubator

How many eggs will the incubator hold?


Eggs in the walk-in incubator

A whole lot! Over a thousand. Thank goodness we haven't set that many ... yet. Both sides of the incubator can hold the tubes of eggs.

How long can you wait to set the eggs?

Hatching eggs should be incubated within 1 week to 10 days after they are laid.

Checking and turning eggs in the incubator

How do you store the eggs?

Until they are incubated, hatching eggs should be stored in cartons or cases. We have these plastic trays that FarmMan bought at a livestock auction years ago.

Storing eggs in plastic racks

Place the eggs large end up at 40 to 70 degrees F (50 to 60 degrees F is best) with a relative humidity of about 75 percent. Which was in my dining room last year. This year we have the eggs in the brooder section since we don't have biddies yet.

How do you set the eggs?

FarmMan made these wire tubes that hold around 12-15 eggs each. He places the eggs with the small end down.


Eggs in wire tubes for incubating

The tubes then sit on the racks in the incubator. To turn the eggs we just carefully flip the tube over to the side.

Turning the eggs in the incubator

How often do you turn the eggs?

We started out turning 3 times a day but found out that 2 turns a day(12 hours apart) will yield just as many baby chicks. What should the humidity level be? Moisture is also very important in hatching. The moisture level in the incubator should be about 50 to 55 percent relative humidity, with an increase to about 65 percent for the last 3 days of incubation. The black pan in the corner holds water. We have another pan of water on the other side also. Each side also has it's own fans, heating elements, and wafer thermostats to get the incubator heated up to the correct temperature.


Fans in the walk-in incubator

What temperature do you keep the eggs at?

Between 99 and 102 degrees F. We try to keep it at 99.5 degrees F. It is very important to keep the eggs at the right temperature we found out. When we first started trying to hatch eggs last year week after week we were disappointed with very few eggs if any hatching. See more here –>Problems. 

We found out our thermometer was not showing the correct temperature. I ordered a new one – A DIAL THERMOMETER/HYGROMETER. The description states that it is the most accurate incubator thermometer available. It is supplied with a wick and may be used as a Hygrometer in circulated air incubators by mounting a water bottle below the tip of the thermometer.  From then on we had pretty good hatches.

What is your percentage rate on hatches?

After we solved the temperature problem the hatches stayed around 85 to 90 percent most weeks. Some weeks better. Some not as good.

Chicks hatching in the brooder

Do you sell the baby chicks?

Chicks in the brooder

Yes. Even though I wanted to keep them all, we take most of them to livestock sales/auctions to sell.

Where do you keep all the baby chicks after they hatch?

The front part of the incubator building is the brooder section. We use heat lamps to keep the biddies warm.


Brooder ready for chicks to hatch

We also have this brooder that we bought at the livestock/animal auction. It is an older model but all the lights still worked.

It is also in the front section of the building.

Brooder for the qail

We use it mostly with the Pharaoh Quails.


Pharaoh Quail chicks


Quails in brooder

What bedding material do you use in the brooder?

We tried wood shavings but found out that the pine straw works better in the brooder. The biddies were always trying to eat the wood shavings.

Chicks in pine straw

I hope I answered most of your questions. If I miss any or if you have more questions feel free to ask. There is work involved with hatching and raising the baby chicks. Plus not a big profit. But there is a lot of satisfaction seeing the end result.

Chicks are cute

You have to admit, they are cute!

Please visit me on my personal blog here –> Life on a Southern Farm

Have a great day.

Farm Photography: A Collage of Our Life on a Rural Georgia Farm Part 2

I wanted to share a few more picture collages of our rural life that we enjoy so much.

One of my favorite things to can in the pressure canner is vegetable soup. I make mine with tomatoes, corn, potatoes, okra, peas, butterbeans, onions, peppers, and a little bit of cabbage.


This is Jack. He is a Mammoth Donkey.

He is a good watch donkey that helps keep coyotes and other wild critters away from the cows and goats. Plus he knows how to ham it up for the camera too!


These are Coturnix/Cortunix (I see the spelling both ways on the internet) or Pharaoh Quail. They are easy to raise. Around 6 weeks of age the female start laying the pretty speckled eggs. We  set and hatch the eggs in the incubator. About 19 days later the baby quails will hatch.


We usually plant Silver Queen corn. It is white sweet corn on a short stalk. This year we tried Silver King which is very similar to Silver Queen but has a bigger ear and a taller stalk. I think I will plant the Silver King again next year. It really produced well this year.

Silver Queen corn is in the pictures.


In September it is time to "put up" the pears. We have 2 Kieffer pear trees and 1 Moonglow pear tree. The Moonglow is a soft pear that is good for eating right off the tree. The pears mature earlier than the Kieffer pears do.

My favorite way to preserve the Kieffer pears is to make pear sauce. You can use it just like apple sauce.

You can see how I make it here –> Chunky Pear Sauce with Orange Peel

I add orange juice and orange peel to mine. The citrus acid helps keep the pears from browning.

I also slice and canned the pears in light syrup water (regular sugar and water).


We (my husband and I) put a new roof on the house a couple of years ago.


The we recycled the old metal roofing and used it on the chicken house we were building. The wood came from trees off the farm. My husband sawed the lumber on the sawmill.


This is BadBoy Rooster. Or was Bad Boy Rooster. He was a Golden Polish Rooster and he loved to chase me around the farm. He also like to attack the other chickens and that was why he was not in the chicken house with them.

FarmMan traded BadBoy Rooster for a very nice wicker rocking chair. It is much nicer to rock than run!


Some of the free sky shows over the farm.


Random barn pictures. The rooster is a Light Brahma chicken.


I found a pattern at a thrift shop for 25 cents last year and put it to good use. I made the grandchildren rabbits for Christmas. I was worried they may not like the rabbits with all the high tech. gadgets out now. But you know what? The rabbits were the kids favorite thing! They still sleep with their rabbits now.


This is just a small part of our life on a rural farm in Georgia. I hope you enjoyed it. You can see more here on my personal blog –> Life on a Southern Farm.

Have a great day!

The Garden Starts with Cleaning out the Barn

This year's garden really started last fall when we cleaned out the barn.

Cleaning out the barn

as the Light Brahma Rooster and Hen watched...

Light Brahma Rooster and Hen

All the compost went on the garden spot. Over the fall and winter seasons we put leaves on top of the compost.

Adding compost

Skip through to June 6th. This is how the garden looks with all that wonderful organic compost as it's only fertilizer.

Garden on June 6, 2010

The Roma green beans are now ready for picking...

Roma green beans on plant

Roma beans snapped

and cooking...

Roma beans cooked

and canning...

Pressure canner

It will be a busy week but I hope to have at least 24 quarts of green beans in jars soon.

Canned green beans

Silver King corn and Clemson Spineless Okra soon to follow. Next will be the Black crowder peas, Brown crowder peas, Speckled butterbeans, and  Fordhook butterbeans.

Silver King Corn, Clemson Spineless Ora, Black and brown crowder peas, Speckled and Fordhook butterbeans

In the raised beds I had spinach, radishes, lettuce, asparagus, onions, and mustard greens. Most of the beds are ready for new plantings.

Raised beds with spinach, radishes, lettuce, asparagus, onions and mustard greens.

The tomatoes are in a cattle panel fence.

Tomatoes inside fence

That is because the guineas do love to taste each tomato when they begin to turn red.

Even though they have a bad habit of sampling tomatoes, the guineas are excellent bug hunters.

They will go down each row checking the plants for insects.

Guineas checking the plants

I suppose I could reward them with a tomato every now and then for their serious bug hunts!

This end I have the potatoes, red onions, collards, radishes, and a couple of yellow squash.

Garden -- potatoes, red onions, collards, radishes and yellow squash

The other end I have a some peaches and cream sweet corn (first year I have tried it) sunflowers, cantaloupe, and watermelon.

Garden -- cream sweet corn, sunflowers, cantaloupe, watermelon

A slide show video of the garden this year from planting until now.

The big chest freezer is now cleaned out and defrosted ready for filling up again like from summers gone by.

Vegetables for the freezer

You can see and read more about our farm here on our personal blog: Life on a Southern Farm

I hope your garden is doing well too!

Have a great gardening season.

My Rural Roots: Where I am From

I am from clothes drying on the line.

Clothes drying on the line

Blue skies,  fresh country air,

Blue skies and fresh country air

Green pastures and sunshine.

Green pastures and sunshine

I am from black and white pictures and television. Transistor radios.

Mamma and Daddy

I am from the deep South, rolling hills, and a half a century ago.

Our home

I am from the thick Pine straw,

Pine straw

Day Lilies, and the red Georgia clay.

Day lilies

I am from cotton fields, Magnolias,

Cotton fields

And Jonquils.


I am from soldiers who fought for all of us.

Soldiers who fought for us all

And from farmers who worked from dawn to dusk.

Daddy and the mule

From Grandmothers who loved us all

Grandma Reeves as a girl

And from older sisters who washed my mouth out with soap.


I am from Shall we Gather at the River?

And How Great Thou Art.


I am from rural Georgia, Virginia, and all over England.

From too few hellos and too many good byes.

I am from grits, corn on the cob and fried apple pies.

Grits, corn on the cob and fried apple pies

I am from the two sisters, the four brothers and the Mother and Father.

Two sisters, four brothers and Mother and Father

I am from all who came before

Those who came before

And after me.


I am from Future Farmers.

Future farmer

This is Where I Am From.


You can read more about about our farm life on our personal blog Life on a Southern Farm.