Chicken Tractor Renovations ~ A Mutiny Ranch Project

One of the first ranch projects we tackled was the building of the Chicken Tractor. As "new" farmers with limited experience, we learned that chickens were probably the easiest livestock to raise and generally required the smallest upfront investment. They're also pretty self-sufficient, compared to things like milk cows, and don't need much space.

Raising chickens can be part of a "closed loop system" where everything works together...the chickens eat the weeds and help control harmful insects (they love grasshoppers and crickets and other things that like to eat your veggie plants), they till the first few inches of the garden soil mixing nitrogen rich poop, compost and plant material into the ground (so you don't have to) without disturbing the precious network of bacteria and mycelium like you would with rototilling, they make kitchen scraps disappear in short order and turn all of this into eggs (and meat, if that's your thing). Once you have …

The Simple Worm Composting Bin Used at Mutiny Ranch

Worms live in my kitchen.

Does that seem strange? Or gross? Are you thinking to yourself that you might not want to be invited for dinner at our house after all?

Well, if it's any consolation, no one who has been in my house even knew I had worms in the kitchen...unless I told them. But, once they knew, they did ask why. Why on earth do I have worms in my kitchen?

Part of our decision to get off the road and buy property in this exact area of Colorado had to do with our desire to grow our own food. By chance, I came across a flyer announcing a 2-day Permaculture Convergence being held at a nearby farm and it was there I learned about vermicompost...also known as worm composting.

I'd always been intrigued by the concept of building soil through composting but I didn't know how it really worked. My last compost pile (a decade ago) was just a mound of kitchen scraps near my suburbia issued wooden fence that I never tended. It ended up sprouting some rogue cantaloup…

From Anchorage, Alaska to Bend, Oregon with a Gimp Foot

When I first started writing about our travels I wanted to keep things chronological, and I wanted to write about every single place we stopped along the way. Even the mundane...although my goal was to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. I think every place has something special to offer and, if there's not, then it's more of a reflection of our own prejudices and expectations than it is a fault of that particular place. But as I get closer to wrapping up the last of our fulltiming RV travels I find myself if typing out these last few posts puts the nail in the coffin of that part of life. As much as I love our new adventure, the farmlette/homesteading one, it's difficult to give up the title of "Fulltime RVer" and "nomad". There's a little Ego tied up in all that.

But, I really, really want to tell you guys about some of the best days of our nomadic days.

These words capture a few moments in time from July 2015-October 2015.…

The Mutiny Ranch Builds a Chicken Hay Fort!

One of the first things we wanted to do after moving to the ranch was get a few chickens because, really, nothing says farm life better than chickens. But with an expanding menagerie comes feed bills and it was (and still is) important to us to be able to live within our current means. In other words, there has to be a benefit to offset the cost of pretty much everything we hope to accomplish and the chickens are no exception. So, in return for food, shelter, water and bedding the chickens provide a few eggs, fertilizer (manure), pest control and weed management...or at least they will as we grow our flock. Pastured eggs in our area run about $5 a dozen and require a drive into town and since we want to follow the permaculture principles synthetic fertilizers and toxic pest control products are not items we wish to use.

But first things first.

We had to build a coop. It gets really cold here and our hens would need refuge from the elements. We also live in a area with predator bird…

What's Going On? A Farm Update.

Well, it's been three months since we moved out of the RV and into our new home on the farm. In case you missed it, we decided to trade the fulltime RV lifestyle for farm life and are making a home in South West Colorado (you can read about our whyhere). And a lot has been going on...

Shortly after signing those closing papers and getting the keys to the modular mansion I (Lynn) attended a nearby permaculture convergence. I had heard the term permaculture before (the ashram where I attended yoga school also offered permaculture courses) but I wasn't quite sure what all it encompassed. The two day event offered 1-2 hour topics ranging from worm composting to grey water harvesting to foraging for edible weeds in your own back yard. I was able to gain a greater understanding of the lifestyle and farming methods as well as meet local people who are already embracing permaculture principles. There will be lots more on that in future posts.

Since our move in date was June 13th and …