Stolen Car & Vigilante Rooster

Stolen car in pond, rooster refuses to apologize…details at 11.  I can see the headline now.  Our farm is in a lovely quiet area in Chatham County.  We don’t get much excitement, usually.  Last November, we noticed our farm mailbox was missing and had been replaced with some serious skid marks toward, but not into, our roadside pond.  We shrugged and replaced the mailbox joking “I hope no one went in!”  Paul filed a report and that was it.  Until last week.DSC_0623
Paul received a call from a sheriff’s deputy that they had a tip about a stolen car – in our DSC_0659pond.  The deputy had already come out unannounced to investigate when we weren’t there.  But Taco was.  The deputy was curiously poking around the house, looking in windows for signs of life when he rounded the corner and found himself toe to toe with our rooster, Taco.  Being a wise country deputy, the officer assessed the situation and high tailed it back to his car – with Taco in hot pursuit.  Good Taco.  I mean, it could have been a robber!  Taco’s a chicken; he doesn’t know law enforcement.  Heck, around the farm, he IS law enforcement.

The deputy called to inform us of the illegal parking job in the pond and relayed his encounter with Mr. Cock- a-doodle-not-on-my-watch.  We apologized profusely.  But the deputy was quite good natured about the whole thing.  (Although I think Taco may now have a file somewhere in Chatham Co.)  The deputy notified us that he was bringing a crew and going fishing.  The emergency response team initially used sonar from a boat to confirm the vehicle’s submerged location.  The neighbors were loving this.

Fast forward to Monday when the weather was warm enough to send divers out to begin recovery.  The amazing teams from NC Highway Patrol and the Chatham County Emergency Response, brought out 2 inflatable boats, 2 divers, a wrecker, and a 4th of July worth of flashing lights to shut down the road.  Hello neighbors.

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It took about 30 minutes for the wrecker to slowly haul the prize from the pond depths.  As the car surfaced, we couldn’t believe our eyes.  We didn’t even know the pond was deep enough to hold a car, let alone swallow it completely.  Despite my high hopes, there was no cartoon moment of the door opening to a wave of fish and pond water spilling out.  But there was good news – the car was empty, meaning unoccupied.  Whew! (The kids were there.)  Apparently the unskilled driver had time to wade or swim to safety.  Spaghetti announced that the car didn’t look totaled.  Really?  There’s no amount of Febreeze getting out 4 months of marinating in pond water.  Yuck.

In the end, they hauled off the vehicle for evidence, we assume.  The officers and emergency personnel were extremely professional and courteous to us and our property DSC_0649(despite the inauspicious welcome).  But they couldn’t discuss much of the investigation details so we really don’t know what happened.  A vocal passerby yelled “Hey, put a barrier in front of that pond!”  Let’s just slow down and obey the big red stop sign across the road.  Because in Chatham County if the sheriff doesn’t catch you, a pond or Taco just might.

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Now in Cary!

IMG_5352We are delighted to announce that Buck Naked Farm is now available in Cary!  Lauralee Gifts is a super cute sort-of-new gift shop near Harris Teeter & Ruckus Pizza on Tryon Rd. (across from Colonial Baptist Church).  Have you been?  Or are you lucky enough to have received one of their sweet gift bags?

The shop is locally owned by Stacy Thompson and chock full of high quality local products & gifts.  This isn’t typical gift shop fare – Stacy has worked hard to collect unique, small batch products including jewelry, handbags, home decor, and now, great honey, jam, & soap!

IMG_5358Lauralee is carrying a selection of our honey, soap, jam, candles,  lip balm, gift bags & apparel.  We have several IMG_5357new products in the pipeline which will make an appearance soon.   You can still contact Jennifer directly (or through the online Square store) to place an order, but we are pleased to offer customers a convenient new way to get Buck Naked products!   It will soon be the season for baby showers, weddings, Easter, & Mom’s Day.  Stop by Lauralee’s to browse for gifts (or yourself) and check out our new display!

 

 

Starving Time

It was a sad week on the farm last week.  We lost 3 hens in as many days.  I haven’t really wanted to write about it, but it is life with everyone’s favorite protein.  A grisly pile of feathers and “leftovers” indicated a hawk attack.  Knowing your predator makes defense more effective.  So how do I know it was a hawk?  Go to the video tape.. Paul caught the offender on game camera video strolling about the coop area browsing the pullet buffet options.  

Is Taco falling down on the job?  One might ask.  Hardly.  He is more protective than ever of his hens.  Therein lies the problem: he doesn’t see the young ones as his to defend.  Despite sharing coop quarters, the y 

  

 oung pullets aren’t mature enough to interest him yet.  Plus, the big hens are constantly chasing off the young ones to assert their own dominance in the flock.  So what to do?

The whole family jumped into the defensive strategizing.  And We are experimenting with a variety of ideas:

  1. camo – we’ve established a low, camouflaged area near the coop to allow protected access in and out of the coop for feeding, egg laying, etc.
  2. Hidy holes – lots of duck-under spaces around the coop for quick cover.  (The boys were in charge of this).
  3. Competition – a decoy owl and scarecrow of sorts to deter aerial threats.  The owl is apparently pretty realistic.   After spying it, Taco barricaded the girls inside the coop until we moved it.  
  4. Younger men – we are debating adding a young cockerel to grow up under Taco’s command to watch the young girls in the meantime.
  5. Cabin fever- some forced coop time has resulted in a small amount of bloodshed but seems to have helped integrate the younger birds, a little bit.  The 2 groups are now spending more time closer together.

And this is our goal.  Because Taco is the best protection a hen could have.  Roosters are feared and revered for their vigilance in guarding their hens.  They are ever alert watching for threats, physically protecting their girls and potentially sacrificing themselves for the flock.  And Taco is a first rate protector (just ask Spaghetti and Sauce about their shins).  If they are going to have any ongoing chance of free range survival, the little girls need Taco.  

We will be anxiously watching to see if our intermediary steps will work for the next 6-8 weeks, until the young ones are grown enough to pique Taco’s interest. Ready to step in with additional measures if the first efforts fail.  Meanwhile we admire and respect the strong hawk population recognizing that this is the starving time for all.  We wish them good hunting, squirrel hunting.

Sweetheart Shortcuts

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Here’s a homemade Valentine’s Day treat that is make-ahead freezable, super cute, & very tasty.  Try Food52’s Linzer Cookies this weekend for Valentine’s Day (and lunch boxes or class parties the following week!).  These adorable window pane cookies feature your favorite raspberry jam for the filling.   (I humbly submit that our Red Raspberry Jam is an excellent contender here.)  I’ve added the Food52 recipe link to our new Recipe & Serving Ideas page.  Here you’ll find shortcuts for big taste using our jams (or any others you like).  Ideas run the gamut from appetizers to drinks & desserts.

One of my favorite shortcuts is dehydrating the Apple Pie Jam to make fruit leather.   (To extend the volume, I sometimes add equal parts applesauce which also reduces sweetness).  I make my fruit leather in a dehydrator, but can easily be done in a low temp oven.  They keep well without the commercial preservatives too (if well hidden from hungry kids).  Our new recipe page is an open forum that we will update over time, please add your favorite uses in the comments section.  Plan now & enjoy your shortcut treats this sweetheart weekend!

Every Girl’s Crazy…

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[Disclaimer: I’m no expert on fashion.  The Jenniform is rigidly denim and cotton t’s.  But my husband is a different, dapper story.  Paul has style.  Cashmere, leather, awesome boots, and an attention to vestment detail I sorely lack.  So any street cred on haberdashery comes from my attachment to him.]

It’s NY Fashion Week, apparently.  Designers trotted out their nouveau duds with things that seem highly impractical to those who chase chickens and play in dirt.  The shaggy mohair sweater looked warm and cozy, although not unlike a Highland cow I saw recently.  Not something I want to wallow in.  But I did come across this collection of classic male must-haves for looking like the ZZ Top sharp dressed man.

What piqued my interest was the collection of grooming essentials coming in at important rank #3 on the list.  (I do question the universality of the ‘understated bracelet’ at #20.  Umm, no.  Let’s call it “19 Things to Own” and move on.)  I’ve noticed in my travels to gift shops, craft shows, and markets a fundamental lack of GOOD guy-care products.  AXE does not count.  We at Buck Naked Farm aim to change that.  And at a far better value than the $20 Jack Black soap – what credibility does this brand have for cleanliness after the same namesake playing a masked monk wrestler and mascara-heavy pirate?

So, in the midst of the chicken cooping, composting, and hive building, we are working on  some great new men’s products.  Right out of the gate are our first 2 newcomers: Fatwood soap and Honey Butter Lotion Bars.  What guy doesn’t smell better when washed in survival-esque fire starter or slathered in rich honey butter?  Okay I won’t go further.  But manliness doesn’t mean funkiness; and floral scents are no longer an excuse to skip the manscaping routine .

Bottom line, guys can look good without smelling girly.  And we’re going to help – naturally (actually all-naturally).  Paul has been promoted to chief sniffer and product tester (the only animal used here).  We’ll be announcing new additions as we he is satisfied with them.  And there is some great new stuff in the pipeline, perfect for any guy, stylish or not.