Chicken Shade

We mentioned last week that our chickens have stopped laying. Most of this problem existed because we moved their coop a few weeks ago, to another area of the farm. We also needed to provide them with more shade, the coop wasn’t enough. So a week ago I built a simple A-frame shelter that was light enough it can be moved as needed. This took us less than $100 in materials and approximately 2 hours of labor (a second person does help for a couple of the steps).

Material List:

6 – 2 x 2 x 8′
1 – 2 x 4 x 8′
2 – 2 x 4 x 10′ (treated)
2 – 36″ x 8′ L Pro-Rib Steel Panel
1 – 1″ Wood Grip Galvanized Screw 1lb
1 – 2″ Galvanised wood screws
1 – 8′ Corner Flashing
2 – wheels (optional)
Axel (optional with wheels)

 

Chicken Run

Most summers here at Highland Heights are busy with different building projects, this year not with standing. One of the projects this year was to get the poultry moved out to a larger pasture. Quite frankly, while we loved the chickens near the house it became a constant battle cleaning up their mess, in the barn, on the porch or worse yet our picnic table. We needed to get them relocated.

With any project comes planning, so we spent a few weeks mapping out different possibilities. Adding fencing is always a big consideration, once built it becomes a permanent feature of the farm; not easily moved. We settled on dividing one of our pastures. This meant we could utilize two side of the existing fencing to save on cost. In the future we will be able to divide the remaining area of the pasture to make an area for our future goats and cattle.

With help of a friend and the use of his tractor and post pounder, we were able to put in the fence line in a few hours. We decided to put in standard farm fencing and over lapped it with a 24″ tall poultry wire to keep the chickens and ducks in and other predators out. Over the next few weeks we worked on stretching the wire around the new pasture. Our oldest daughter (4) and I then took a week putting up the poultry wire. We worked our way down the fence line with zip ties to secure it to the previously installed farm fence.

Hard Lessons Learned:

For the last six weeks our 30 chickens and 4 ducks have been enjoying their new digs. What I didn’t take into account for was how hard it is on the poultry to change their environment. Even if it was just a across our property. We quickly began to see a problem develop, our chickens stopped laying eggs. Normally for a short period of time this wouldn’t be a big deal but we have a lot of regular customers who stop by for their eggs, in addition to selling at the farmers market. At first we put it down to stress, but when it continued, we started doing some more reading and believe this is due to two things; first because of the move, we changed their environment causing stress to the birds, second their new pasture did not have enough shade. They had full access to their coop but that wasn’t enough to lounge outside and cool off in a dust bath.

The first problem will fix itself with time (6-8 weeks is not unusual). For the shade we build an a-frame shelter we are able to move around the pasture to give our poultry much needed respite from the hot sun. Watch for another post on how we built that shelter, including a full material list soon for anyone who would like to use it. Less than 2 hours of work and well under $75 in materials, making it cost effective and easy to make.

As we enter into fall I hope to see our egg production start to increase as the bird continue to get settled in. There are always lessons to be learned on the farm. Happy Farming!

Couple’s goal is to create an agri-tourism center

Frankfort Times wrote an article about our farm. First paragraph and link below.

Travel about six miles south of Frankfort in Clinton County, and you’ll find Highland Heights Farm, where Evan and Autumn Overbay are working toward their dream of creating their own self-sustaining homestead as well as an agri-tourism center.

 Link to entire story

Choosing a Farm Wedding

Congratulations! You are engaged and you have decided on a Farm venue for your wedding. Most likely you have seen some amazing pictures on Pinterest of glamorous Barn and Farm weddings and it seems like a Fairy Tale come true for your wedding day! However, the more you investigate, the more it seems like there are too many rules and regulations to make your perfect day happen on a farm. So, why should you still choose a farm wedding at Highland Heights?

At Highland Heights, our goal is to make YOUR dreams come true for your wedding day!

Here is what you need to know about holding your wedding on a farm, but still making it YOUR perfect day!
1. Be Flexible!
This is key to having a farm wedding be successful. At Highland Heights, we know how our farm operates in each season, where the best lighting will be at certain times of the day, and we want to help you make the most of all of these things! So, when you visit, keep an open mind for how the day will run and we will explore your options and suggest what we will think will make your day a success.

 

2. Be Understanding
It may seem like there are a lot of restrictions when it comes to Farm Weddings, and sometimes there are, but these are primarily to keep the farm running smoothly and safely, in order to protect all the livestock and guests. You want your day to go off without a hitch, and so do we! You chose a farm wedding, so enjoy the FARM! There are some unique features like the horses running in the pasture during the ceremony, kids feeding goats during the reception, sunsets over wide open corn fields, rustic barns for stunning pictures, the PROS of a Farm wedding are endless, so just be sure you understand the farms guidelines, and your day will be priceless!

 

3. Be Creative
Figure out the style of wedding you want to have, and then work with Highland Heights to create the exact feel you want! The wonderful part of an outdoor wedding on our farm is that the possibilities are endless. You can go rustic with hay bale seating, wildflower bouquets, and whiskey barrel tables. Or elegant with Chiavari chairs, white linens and full china place settings. There is also anything in between. Rent a dance floor. Serve prime rib on a hay wagon. A Spring or Fall evening with lots of fires in barrels for guests to keep warm. Maybe a summer afternoon with a S’Mores Bar is your preference. Whatever your style, we will help you create the memories you desire.

 

 

Spiced Hot Apple Cider

Spiced Hot Apple Cider
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Spiced Hot Apple Cider
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove peel (orange part only) from orange in strips. Place orange peel in a heavy large pot (reserve orange for another use). Add apple cider, golden brown sugar, lemon juice, cloves, allspice, cardamom pods, and cinnamon sticks to pot. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until cider mixture is reduced to a generous 8 cups, about 40 minutes. Strain cider into a medium pot.
Recipe Notes
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Roasted Chestnuts

Roasted Chestnuts
Print Recipe
"These can be served as a dessert with eggnog or vanilla ice cream or just served salted as a snack."
Servings
6 people
Servings
6 people
Roasted Chestnuts
Print Recipe
"These can be served as a dessert with eggnog or vanilla ice cream or just served salted as a snack."
Servings
6 people
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Cut a 1/2 inch crisscross on the flat side of each nut. Be sure to cut through the shell to prevent the nut from exploding.
  3. Place the nuts in a shallow baking pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool and peel off the shell.
  5. Place nuts in a skillet with butter and saute over high heat until the butter is melted and the chestnuts are well coated. Place skillet in oven and roast until they are golden on top. Sprinkle with salt and cinnamon.
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Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate
Print Recipe
Servings
1 person
Servings
1 person
Hot Chocolate
Print Recipe
Servings
1 person
Servings
1 person
Ingredients
Servings: person
Instructions
  1. Add sugar, cocoa and salt into a large cup.
  2. Heat milk in microwave on high for 1 minute or until hot.
  3. Pour milk into cocoa mixture; stir.
  4. Stir in vanilla
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Cornish Pasties

Cornish Pasties
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2-3 pasties 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
40 minutes 2 hours
Servings Prep Time
2-3 pasties 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
40 minutes 2 hours
Cornish Pasties
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2-3 pasties 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
40 minutes 2 hours
Servings Prep Time
2-3 pasties 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
40 minutes 2 hours
Ingredients
For the pastry
For the filling
Servings: pasties
Instructions
  1. To make the pastry, put the flour into a mixing bowl and grate in the lard. Add the margarine and salt, and rub the fat in until the mix becomes crumb-like. Mix in just enough cold water (probably about 175ml) to bring it together into a dough – a food mixer is useful here, as it will take some time. It's ready when it comes cleanly away from the side of the bowl. Wrap and chill for 2 hours.
  2. Cut the beef and vegetables into evenly sized dice. Mix and season well.
  3. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm thick and cut out circles to your desired size. Divide the filling between the pastry, leaving space around the edge and top each with a dollop of cream or butter. Brush the edge with egg wash, then pinch the edges together to seal. Crimp as desired, and cut a small hole in the top of each.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400F and brush the pasties with egg wash. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown, then turn the heat down to 320F and cook for another 20 minutes.
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