***This post is written by Nolan. He is the youngest in the family at 12, and surprised us this past week when he asked if he could write a post.  Here is his post in his own words:
The Chicken Coop – made in the driveway, but now at home.

I have learned that the farm is a place where work is being done and beauty is being made.  You go over the little hill at the top of the driveway and immediately you can see the beauty.  

Looking at the farm makes me think of all the hard work and reliving moments over the past few years.  It might only be 3 acres, but it feels like that’s all we need.  In the distance you can see the barn, chicken coop, garden and pergola.

Our first project was the chicken coop. At first I was a little embarrassed.  When we first started to build the coop, it was in our driveway in the city.  

Even our high school football coach made a comment on the structure we were building, telling my brother he liked our new ‘dog house’.  The embarrassment came when we told him it was a chicken coop. but now I am getting used to it.

This has been one of our favorite family stories to tell.  Moving that chicken coop out of our driveway and to the farm wasn’t easy.  But with the help of some friends we accomplished it.  I even help get the eggs, and have learned to corral the girls to go back into the coop when it is time.  

Don’t tell anyone, but I even asked to go buy more chicks last week.

This is our garden after we planted it in the spring
This is our garden after we planted it in the spring

Then spring came and it was time to start the garden.  This was one of my favorite projects, surprisingly.  There is a variety of food that we grow, but I like the banana peppers the best.  

That is what we use to make our Hot Pepper Mustard that I love. I do not like to eat a lot of the things we plant, but they are still fun to help plant, and I try more of them each year. We got so many vegetables from the garden this year!

In fact, one day we were picking in the garden, putting all the vegetables in a big wood crate.

I told Jim I would carry the full crate to the car, but when I went to down to pick it up, it was so full and heavy, that I couldn’t.  

Then Jim comes over and he could barely pick it up.  Now Jim is a tall and bulky man, so you can tell how much stuff we had picked that day.  This was probably the best project we did.  The whole family was involved, especially the chickens.  

They helped clear the bugs and weeds out of the garden, and Mom tells me they ‘fertilize’ the garden too.  After all the dirt and sweat that we put into the garden, it was finally finished.

Almost right after that we made our first pergola.  At first I had no idea what a pergola was, but I did learn quick.  I had to, because the next week I started helping making them make one for our farm.

My favorite pergola
The Barn we built from two old barns
The Barn we built from two old barns

One of the my favorite pergolas that we built was one for my friend’s grandparents. After building it,

Mom and Jim were sore and ready to relax. Well that’s what I thought.

After about two months, they started to focus on our farm.  They said it was missing something.  I guess that something was the barn.  I thought they were insane.  I did not think they could do it, but I knew that they were at least going to try.  

They tore down two barns to make this new “recycled” barn.  I thought this barn was going to be just a new barn made with old things.

But I figured out that it was not.  Instead they made an amazing,  old fashioned barn.  After all the hard and painful work, they got it done.

One of my favorite things to do is take pictures around the farm.  In fact, a lot of the pictures they use on the website are mine, which is pretty neat.  Now we look at the farm and take pictures, we realize that this farm is truly paradise.

– Nolan



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