We keep bees, grow garlic, and raise and board donkeys. I am also an author, speaker, consultant and faculty member at NC State University. Here you can read about life on our farm; learn to grow woodland herbs, including ginseng; view cute donkey pictures; order my book and farm products; and contact me about speaking engagements. IF YOU ARE ON A SMART PHONE: CLICK “HOME” TO VIEW OTHER PAGES AND "VIEW WEB VERSION" (BOTTOM OF PAGE) TO ACCESS PAYPAL BUTTONS AND MESSAGING.
I have certainly been lax at keeping up with the blog, but it is not from lack of activity on the farm! First and foremost, I want to dedicate this post to our dear, late Tennessee Walker horse, Little Man. He was a great friend and companion to us and our donkeys. He was an amazing listener. Always calm and very protective of his little donkey friends. But he was very old. We are not sure exactly, but the vet, farrier, and our neighbor who rode him when he was a boy himself, said he had to be 35 years old at least. The summer of 2016 was very, very hot and as the summer progressed, Little Man found it difficult to breathe. We had to soak him down several times a day and keep fans blowing on him. We trimmed his long, curly coat as often as we could, but it was clear to all of us that he was very uncomfortable. We finally made the decision to say goodbye and send him across the rainbow bridge on a beautiful, golden afternoon in late summer. It was a quiet passing and he is buried in his pasture near his little buddies and where we can be near him when we need to be. Love you, Little Man.
A few weeks later we also had to say goodbye to our dear old cat, Maple. That was just too much death and we had two few animal companions around, so we headed out to the local animal shelter and brought home these two adorable kittens. They are not related. They sure are fun!
We are in the midst of doing some pretty major remodeling on our old farmhouse, and in the process of clearing some things out, we came across a box with the first 18 issues of Mother Earth News magazine! I thought that was so cool. We live in the same community where Mother Earth News started and we always thought of our place as a little Mother Earth News type farm.
And then the forest fires came. I don't want anyone to forget how much of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee burned in November 2016. It was terrifying. We were miles from the fires but they still had a big impact on our lives.
But then every now and then, the direction of the wind would change and we would experience the most beautiful, sunny late November afternoons.
The Sustainable Agriculture Conference took place in November in Durham, NC. There I got to spend time at a book signing with my good friend and fellow author, Ira Wallace of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.
A lot went on in our personal lives, too. There was a wedding with the dinner on the farm (I now have a grandson!). The house was full of good smells with all the baking for Thanksgiving and Christmas. And the New Year was rung in with a fun movie and several bottles of champagne.
2017 started out with a beautiful blanket of snow. I took that as a good omen of the year ahead. This year will be one of change on Our Tiny Farm. We don't know what that all means yet, but with the young adult children making their own lives and our desire to try new things, we are spending the winter rethinking what we will do on the farm. We will continue to raise bees and sell honey, and a good crop of garlic and shallots has been planted. But we don't know what livestock we are going to raise and I would love to have a bunch more little donkeys! But, that will all be decided this winter as we sit in front of the woodstove sipping hot chocolate and planning it all out.
In the meantime, we still have honey for sale and it is about time for sales on my book on growing ginseng, goldenseal and other woodland medicinals to pick up. You can order them by clicking on the Add to Cart buttons on the right (if you don't see any buttons, you are probably on a smart phone. Just scroll to the bottom of this page and click on "view web version" and the buttons will magically appear). Full descriptions are on the Farm Products and Book pages (again, if you don't see other pages, just hit "view web version" at the bottom of this page).
We look forward to seeing you all at market and around town this year. Happy New Year from the Davis family at Our Tiny Farm.