A Look At Our Farm

cattails on our pond

cattails on our pond

As the wife was grouting the tile in the master bath today I thought I would take time out to walk around the farm just to get out of the house while the weather was still in the 40’s.

Come along and I will show you what I found.

Our apple trees after I trimmed them.

Our apple trees after I trimmed them.

I should say that I wasn’t just taking the day off, I did have some excuse to be out there. I had been neglecting our apples trees and had not done any trimming of them since we planted them in 2011. I also had to cut two of them down that I planted in 2013. I bought those two when they were at a big discount at one of the big box stores. I didn’t know at the time but they were infected with apple scab. They were so heavily infected that they hadn’t grown much in the last 3 years and they were starting to infect the 3 trees I had planted earlier. I will have to treat the 3 remaining trees with a fungicidal spray this coming spring and throughout  the summer.


Beaver den to the left up against the hill and his pantry of sticks on the right.

Remember the beavers I reported last winter we had on our pond.  Well it didn’t end too well for them. They went across the fence to our neighbors and started cutting trees down onto the fence that separates our land. This was allowing the neighbors cows to escape onto our land. It didn’t bother us but the neighbor asked if he could get someone to trap the beaver. With us wanting to be good neighbors we said it was okay even though we felt bad for the beavers and loved to watch them on our pond. Some pictures below of beaver activity.


This was one of the trails the beavers were using to go from our pond to the neighbors.

This was one of the trails the beavers were using to go from our pond to the neighbors.

In this picture you can see some of the beaver damage to our neighbors trees.

In this picture you can see a few of the trees the beaver cut down.

More beaver damage

More beaver damage that my neighbor cleaned up and tried to burn.

The trapper ended up getting seven beavers on our pond. After the last beaver was trapped, it was less than a day before we noticed some river Otters had taken over the beaver dens and were happily eating the fish we stocked this past spring. We were not too happy about these new developments but what are you going to do? They were sure cute and we liked watching them too.

I found a dead Otter along our pond.

I found a dead Otter along our pond.

While walking around I did find a dead otter by our pond. I don’t know how it died but did find it interesting. It was a family of 5 otters that we saw on the farm so hopefully the rest are still there.

While I was down there I spotted some tracks of a big Bob Cat.

Bob Cat track

Bob Cat track

The tracks lead to the remains of a calf.

The tracks lead to the remains of a calf. He had stripped the hide down and all that remained was hide and bones.

The dead calf he was eating on was very small and couldn’t be that old. I don’t know if he had killed the calf or if it died during child birth or what.

The Ice on our pond was just over 3 inches thick and made it easy to walk on.

The Ice on our pond was just over 3 inches thick and made it easy to walk on.

I always love going for walks to view this beautiful land and I always feel so blessed to be the caretaker of it the short time we will be the owners.

I look back at our home and think last year at this time it wasn't there. We have sure come along way.

I look back at our home and think last year at this time it wasn’t there. We have sure come a long way.

our creek

The creek that runs along our north border.

Well I hope you enjoyed walking along with me on our farm. We are still waiting for our counter tops and cook stove to be delivered and will show them once they are installed. We hope everyone enjoyed the Holidays and till next time, goodbye.


About Gordon Milligan

I am a retired conductor for a commuter railroad in Chicago IL, I now live in and have bought a 40 acre farm in South Central Iowa that I have built from the ground up. My wife and I are trying to raise and grow most of my own food using sustainible and organic methods. I have a blog that journals my journey to becoming a farmer.
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12 Responses to A Look At Our Farm

  1. Maxey says:

    Thanks for showing us around Gordon. Happy New Year!!

  2. Your home is beautiful, and so is your farm! What amazing progress! I feel sorry for the beavers, but since I don’t like to fish, I think I’d love to have otters! Have you ever read Saki (H. H. Munro’s) story, “Laura”? You really need to! 😀

    • Gordon Milligan says:

      Thanks Susan, we like to watch the otters too and I guess they clean out the fish pretty fast and than move on. We won’t try and trap them. I haven’t read the Saki story “Laura” but will have to look into it. Thanks for commenting and have a happy New Year and we hope you all get some rain this year.

  3. Allan Brown says:

    Your farm looks great!

  4. Lisa says:

    Sorry to see the beavers go, but how exciting to have otters! Glad you’re enjoying your land! Thanks for the ‘ tour ‘

  5. Thanks Lisa, I appreciate your comment and for stopping by.

  6. steve says:

    That’s a Beautiful place you have there Gordon, wow, what scenery. Super tour around. I look forward to your next post (as always)… Steve

  7. Bill Zerick says:

    I really enjoy your writing and I hope to have a similar journey in subsequent years. I much appreciated your comment of what a blessing it is to care take the land even though it’s a short amount of time. Thanks for writing and keep sharing the photos.

    • Thanks Bill, I appreciate your kind comment, hope you are able to have a similar journey if thats what you hope for, it has been a dream of mine and it has lived up to everything I had hoped for and more. We are just care takers of the land and I hope to leave it better than I found it. Good luck on your own journey.


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