chickens, farming, Feed Store, goats, horses, Things I Enjoy

One Thing At A Time

We’re coming up on the two-week mark of running the feed store, and I have to remind myself every day that there is a honeymoon phase to every adventure in life – you know what I’m talking about, right? That time period when everything is bliss, and nothing seems to hard to tackle.

I can’t even fathom a bad day at the feed store. It just doesn’t even seem possible. Every day I wake up, and I’m almost afraid I’m going to realize it was a dream that came while I was asleep…and then I pinch myself and get to enjoy that this is instead, a dream come true.

The ideas I have are endless….I have to keep a notepad near me always. As more ideas come to me, I’m afraid of losing the last one that came to mind. I want to do all the ideas…NOW.

We have our grand opening shindig happening on March 31st from 9am-6pm, and we cannot wait to see every one for that! We are going to have vendors, food, games, and fun. We’ll even be hiding Easter eggs inside and out for the kids to find.

We will have a photographer on scene to capture fabulous photos of your kids! Her name is Paula Lynell and you can find her on Facebook.

I am honored that you continue to shop at the feed store even though it changed hands. I hope to build a relationship with you, to come to know you better with every visit.

I have an event planned for April, and for May, too!

One of my priorities for the feed store is to continue the family friendly legacy, and to drive connection in the community. While I want the feed store to always be a place to get farming and pet staples (like feed and tack) I also want the feed store to be a place of connection between local growers/artisans and the community.

I hope you’ll stop by today and say hi! And I hope you’ll bring the family out on March 31st to celebrate with us.

Until next time…wordswag_1519782540149.png



Feed Store, kids, Things I Enjoy

Corn Dig for the Kids

“Have you ever thought about buying a feed store?”

Not really, until that one day I did, and then I couldn’t get it out of my head. Every where I went, every one I talked to, even when I slept, the ideas, the dreams, the thoughts about the potential were endless.

How could I say anything other than yes to this opportunity? Truth is, I couldn’t.

We’ve been running the feed store for 5 days so far. 5 days that have each been better than I expected (which is saying a lot, because I expected nothing short of awesomeness). 5 days of feeling like I jumped into the deep end without knowing how to swim. 5 days of talking above my pay grade. 5 days of meeting some of the most amazing people, answering some of my favorite questions, and learning new things.

5 days of ideas, inventory, late nights, early mornings, new skills, paperwork, and more. I know 5 days is only just the beginning, but what a precious beginning it has been. It has been the best 5 days, and I can’t wait for 5 more.

Adley on Feed
When you aren’t supposed to be on the feed bags…but mom catches you…

Watching my kids interact with people, carry feed sacks, help pick out seed potatoes, and play peek-a-boo with folks, it all makes my heart swell. We’ve received a warm welcome. I was nervous, I’ll be honest. I was nervous because people don’t always like change, and I wanted them to accept us. I wanted them to still love their familiar feed store, and accept the new faces at the counter.

While we all reminisce about Jack, Staci, Hayden, Jackson, Holly, and Tag, and they are deeply missed, the welcome of our familiar has been nothing short of warm and inviting. We will continue to serve the folks in Eastern Oklahoma County with pride.

Today, we set up a corn dig for the kids. This way they can dig for a prize while you do your shopping. We want your kids to feel welcome in the feed store every time you come to see us.

We are also putting together our Grand Opening Shindig for March 31st. I’m really excited about this event and the vendors that have signed up. I am still taking vendor sign ups and I am lookin

Corn Dig
Let the kids dig for a prize while you shop!

g for places to put flyers. Feel free to shoot me an email at if you want to set up a booth or if you have bulletin board where I can post a flyer.

As I get ready to hit the hay for the night, I can’t help but thank God for bringing us here. He weaves things together in the most beautiful and intricate ways. I am in awe.

I hope we see you tomorrow at Nicoma Park Feed!


farming, Feed Store, Things I Enjoy

Opening Day 2018

Good Evening Folks!

Today was better than I ever expected – and I expected great things to begin with.

First off, I want to say THANK YOU to everyone that came in, that shared our posts on Facebook, and showered us in prayers.

Opening Day
The Walker Crew on Opening Day Mar. 1, 2018

The reality of all we have taken on, and the shoes we have to fill, was evident to us today. Every where I turned today, evidence of the Young Family was present. As a customer myself, I felt an enormous sense of something missing.

I was studying some paper taped to a wall, when underneath, I found these gems.

The Young's marks in the door frame.
While inches can be measured, like the Young’s did here, other growth is harder to measure, but hard to miss.

I felt a tightness in my chest. The memories here are rich and deep and part of the pulse of this feed store.

Inspiration rose in me, and we started our own growth marks, on the opposite side of the door frame.

Marks on the door frame - how did they get this big?
The Walker’s will grow in more than just inches at the feed store.

We will add a line every year as the kids grow. It’s hard to mark lines for how much we will grow over the course of this endeavor. But I’m sure the door frame isn’t tall enough to really mark off the growth that will happen.



We brought our old dog with us. He was a rescue…11 years ago when I brought him home. He’s been on do many adventures with us. My kids are all deeply attached to him. We see his age in the slow way he stands, in the look in his eyes. He isn’t the youngster he was when I brought him home.

The twinge will remain for some time – missing the friendly faces of Jack & Staci & Hayden & Tag. The wealth of knowledge, the friendly service, the authenticity they exhibited.

The feed store isn’t the same as it was yesterday, and that was hard for me to face. But I realized that, while I was to embrace and keep the charm, we will add our own touch moving forward, and that will be good, too.

The Young Family at closing time, Feb 28, 2018

Here is to moving forward, embracing life, not being the same, but also not changing all that is great about the journey we are on.

Here is to answering questions that make me a little nervous, that make me question what I know, that make me dig deeper. Here is to figuring out our systems, our checks, our balances. Here’s to new friends, new faces, new days, new adventures.

There are no words to adequately express my gratitude for the Young Family – for passing the torch, for their legacy, for the strong foundation they’ve passed along. For their kindness, their wisdom, their warmth. I could write 1,000 posts and it would not be enough to express how my cup runneth over and how they have blessed me and my family.

Feed Store, Uncategorized

Growing Dreams


It is Tuesday, and we are two days away from launch.

What are we launching?

I am finally going to spill the beans. I’ve been hinting around at this launch on our FB page for a week now.

My dear husband and I are taking over a local feed store starting March 1st. If you are familiar with Young Family Feed, then you know right where we will be. Jack and Staci have decided to that it is time to turn the page, and as such, offered us an unbeatable opportunity.

I’ll be honest, after we closed the towing business, I felt a little bit lost. I knew we would go back to regular work and just continue on, but we are entrepreneurs naturally. We enjoy being in business for ourselves, and we are passionate about our ideas. We put our whole selves in to our towing business. It was a brutal day, and following weeks, when we had to say it was time to close.

When the opportunity to buy the feed store came up, we were nervous. Heck, we still are. We just closed a business, and neither one of us wanted to experience that heartbreak again. It was a painful loss. So we kicked the idea around and one moment an idea would snowball with another, until we were wading through an avalanche of possibilities. The next conversation would be darker, harder to have, and full of fear.

We decided to punch fear in the face and take the leap. Jack and Staci are incredibly fair and the terms they presented are more than agreeable. Really, they’ve been an enormous blessing to our family.

To think, we met them because a dear friend mentioned the dollar bin at the feed store, and I just had to see what it was about. Then, Jack helped me pick feed for my farm animals. Then he kept barley in stock so I could grow fodder. Standing at the counter visiting with Staci every time I came in became something I looked forward to.

They even special ordered things for my goats.

The store is closed 2 days a week, and I usually forgot on Saturday to run to town. So I’d look real close at what feed we had left, and if no one would miss a meal from me waiting until Tuesday, I vowed to always wait until Tuesday. Supporting local is important to me, and Young Family Feed became part of my goal to do just that.

Now, Young Family Feed will continue operating, with some new faces, and a new name, but Jack and Staci have forever left their mark on our community, on this store, and in our lives.

Thank you, Young Family, for passing the baton and giving us the opportunity to continue the story of this small town feed store. We are honored and humbled.

chickens, farming, goats, horses

The Daily Grind

When I launched this blog and site, I had such high hopes of writing every day to tell the story of our farm. This was my space to explore all the rattling in my head, all of the learning, all of the lessons, and jot it down, and make sense of it, and share it with any one that was interested in the journey of our little farm.

Then life happened, and sometimes in the daily grind, I don’t find myself with time to come write it all out. This is a sad fact for me, one that causes me a bit of frustration. See, I’m a writer by nature, and writing out all of the things that float through my head really helps me sort things out and solidify ideas.

Our farm is in a holding pattern, things are just business as usual at the moment. The chicks haven’t started laying eggs yet, but we’ve wrangled our other two hens and a rooster, and they are all cooping together quite well. We are getting a few eggs from the two hens each week. The ducks are not happy about the cold days, especially when a layer of ice takes over the pond. They come running for dinner, but they still aren’t the friendly pets my kids wish they were.

Risky is lame more than she is not – in fact, at this point, only the kids ride her. I don’t expect her to tote me around with her foot aching. So the boys catch her and use the round pen to climb up on her, and they wander around on her a few times a week. I love that they get to do that now. I long to ride, in fact, my heart aches for a time when I get to climb aboard a horse once more, and ride my afternoon away. I’ve been praying for a solution, but it’s not in the books to go buy another horse right now.

My goats are doing well. When Shimmy dried off, I went through a phase where I was very frustrated with myself for spending what could have been sound horse money on goats. But I had to accept that everything in life has an opportunity cost – taking one opportunity always means saying no to a different one. Once we are in the spring season, with cute baby goats, and milk again, I think it will be easier to remember why I picked goats. The fact that they all come running for scritches whenever I set foot outside is a big help in reminding me that my life just wouldn’t be the same without them.

We did decide that 9 goats was a few goats too many, so we thinned out. Our buckling found a home with girls he wasn’t related to, and three of our does found homes, all with kids to play with like they are used to. One family needed a doe for milk for a kiddo that is lactose intolerant, and the other two does went to a Grandpa because his grandkids were begging him for goats.

That leaves us with 5 goats to enjoy each and every day – 5 is a much more manageable number, and while it was a tough decision, I know we made the right one.

Our livestock guardian dogs do an incredible job fending off predators all night long. We haven’t lost any of our critters to the lurkers. Ana, our female LGD, did get torn up pretty bad just before Thanksgiving – bad enough that she spend several days and nights in the house, locked away in my bedroom/bathroom to recuperate. If you’ve ever met my LGD’s, you know the house isn’t where they want to be. Poor girl, every time she heard her partner Anakin alerting outside, she was restless.

Thanks to a dear friend and her advice and salve, and my precious momma’s extra hands and know how, we were able to get Ana on the road to recovery and today she is as good as new. She is running and playing and making my heart happy with her antics. I was quite worried about my sweet Ana dog.

I’ll be back, hopefully with some measure of consistency, as we continue to learn and grow and love this little country life of ours.

farming, goats, horses

Fodder Feeding


I started with these plastic totes for $0.97 each. I grabbed the lids, too, just in case they came in handy later. I got this drill/screwdriver for $14.97. I drilled holes that were too small in the beginning, so I had to go back and re-drill my holes. I’ve found the 1/8″ in holes are the right 20170926_082742size for these tubs, my fodder growth, and the drainage I want. I tried two small sizes before landing on 1/8″ in holes. I also recommend drilling from the inside of the tubs to the outside – often the drilling leaves behind a ridge or tall spot, and by drilling out, that spot doesn’t impede drainage.

I drill 4 holes across, and 6 holes down for a total of 24 drainage holes in the bottom of each tub.

20170926_082807While I was at the store, I got paint sticks to be able to stack my tubs on top of each other. I expected to be able to stack all 6 or 7 days of growing trays on top of each other. In reality, I only felt comfortable stacking 3 trays on top of a drain tray (so 4, total).

I grow my fodder for 6 days before feeding it.

I was sprouting 4 cups of barley per tray, but decided that was too thick, and realized I was overfeeding, so I’ve backed that off to 2.5 cup of barley per tray. I dilute 2 TB of bleach in a water bottle and after washing the trays, I spray them with my bleach


solution. I don’t rinse the bleach out. I do the same with my mason soak jars, and I put

the new seeds to soak in the jar while it’s still

damp with the bleach solution, then I add warm water until the seeds are covered. I rinse them after 12 hours of soaking, then fill the jar with warm water again, and let them soak for an additional 12 hours. (When something happens and the seeds only soak for 12 hours, I feel like they don’t grow out as well.)


I stack my trays and water from top down, every day. Then, after 6 days of growing, I feed them. I’m on a system now, so even if the growth isn’t ideal, I still feed that day’s fodder. Sprouted grains, and fodder with less growth is still much more nutritious for my herd than processed feeds or a missed meal.

This fodder system reduced my feed bill from $1000/month down to $300/month. Fodder was a learn and do it now, or sell animals thing for me. I’m thankful it started up and started growing without too much of a hitch. If you have any questions, comment below!





farming, humor

Goats are Great

Get goats, I thought. It will be great, I thought! So got goats, I did. It was great, I thought.

In fact, when people posted free goats, I thought, with horror, how can you give away a great goat? I contemplated bringing them all home, but Pa W is a wise man and tells me no when he should.

So, this morning, I’m reveling in all my goatie greatness, getting ready to milk my doe, and carrying a bit of grain to the milk stand for her, when out of no where, all of the other goats swarm me. A bit of grain sounds mighty nice to them on this brisk morning.

I push one aside, then another. Then, the next thing I know, there are goat feet on my arm and shoulder, and I turn, to push away the nosy goat, and I get goat-punched-in-the-face.

I’m stunned.

I stand for a moment, with a goat still clobbering me, small scoop of feed held high in the air, out of goat reach. And I push again, shoving myself through the gate into the milking pen.

And then, my blood begins to boil, as I spit grit out of my mouth and blood trickles out of my nose. How dare that goat! How dare she punch me in the face! I’m giving the goat away! Free goat! Free goat! Free goat! I scream inside my head while standing at the milk stand. I’m trying to catch my breath, I’m trying to get the sand out of my teeth, I’m trying to brush the dirt off of my face.

Jazz – The Offending Goat

Free goat! Free goat! Free goat!

Over again in my head I chant. The enjoyment of the brisk morning far gone.

Somehow, though, milking my good little Shimmy girl was redeeming. I never made it to the free goat posting. In fact, after the first two pulls of fresh milk, I forgot that I wanted to give one of the girls away.

I’ve learned my lesson about milking time. I will put everyone up in the round pen before I take feed to the milking pen, and save myself the future embarrassment of being goat punched in the face.



If you’re going to be doing any shopping today, check out the items below. I earn a small commission if you make a purchase by following these links. This money goes directly to keeping our farm’s blog alive, so from the bottom of my heart… Thank you.

The Backyard Homestead

Goat Coffee Mug

farming, horses, Things I Enjoy


One of the early things having Risky in our lives reminded me (and came up again today, in the dreary, drippy weather) is how much I learned from having horses. We hadn’t had her home for too many days, when we found ourselves taking care of her in yucky weather.

I grew up with a younger sister, and a variety of pets. Always having someone to look out for and take care of taught me a lot. (And I also look back and shake my head at the times I didn’t take care of things the right way, especially with my sister.)

One lesson that sticks with me, whether I have pets or not, before I became a mother, and since I’ve started the journey of motherhood, before I had stepsons, and even now with two stepsons that I adore, is determination. See, it takes a special something, deep inside someone, to get through the grimy days, the rainy days, the messy days. As I trudged through the mud, and the rain drenched me from the top of my head down, and drops ran off the end of my nose, I found some small joy in it. I thanked God for carrying me through the times I can’t walk, and for being there for the times I can – whether or not I see or notice, or want Him there.

And I’m thankful that I learned, from a young age, to do what it takes to get the job done. It may not be easy, and it may not always be fun, but it is worth it.

I am learning to be more determined and focused on taking care of our home – not just letting the messes pile up from day-to-day, but actually taking care of things as they come up. It’s not always easy, especially with 3 toddlers underfoot, but we are getting it done. One day at time.

Being so aware of how much my responsibilities shaped me as a young girl has made me push my kids harder and focus on handing over responsibilities that they are big enough for. I don’t want them to miss out on the lessons that have proven to be incredibly valuable to me in my adult life. They all learn so much from helping, having a job to do, and accomplishing something. And hopefully, these rainy feeding days will teach them to trudge through the mud, to do what needs to be done, so that when the sun is shining, we can play!


(Risky, all wet, and a view of the big mess she used to make with her hay.)


Learning As We Go

If you know me, you know that I am kind of all or nothing. Kind of obsessed, or I disregard almost entirely. If something is important to me, it’s more than 100%. If something is outside of my notice/attention/focus, then it is completely outside – less than 0%. Or at least, that’s how I feel about me. I don’t feel like there are many areas that I accept partial effort from myself. (Occasionally I over commit myself and the result is less than 100% effort to things accidentally. That’s another post for another time.)

Farming has been no different. We’ve been here for a month. In the month leading up to moving here, I arranged to purchase a pig. I told myself that I would wait a month for any other animals, and that I would add them 1 at a time, or maybe in pairs, with the exception of chicks.

I told myself I would space out my purchases. I would buy critters in time with having the freedom in our budget to build appropriate critter shelters.

I would go slow. It takes time to build a farm. It’s a thing for turtles, not hares.

Slow. Steady. Consistent. One thing at a time.

And then I bought 9 goats in 1 week, 7 of them came with 2 dogs. I got a border collie the week before them. This past week we bought 12 chicks (who are happily chirping in their brooder in my kitchen.)

Slow. Steady. Not this Ma.

I want my farm to be up and going all the way, so I have a pig, 9 goats, 16 chickens, 1 horse, 5 dogs, and 8 ducks. And now I’m trying to build shelters for all of them. And I am spending countless hours reading about all of them.

You know, until this week, I thought I really knew quite a lot about farming. My rapidly growing farm is humbling me – I don’t know all of the things I thought I knew. I only know some of the things and I have lots of learning to do.

I’ll be honest, guilt is a plague I am familiar with – and the things I don’t know were causing me to allow guilt to prod at me. I was upset that I didn’t know everything, that I wasn’t an expert before I started bringing my farm animals home.

Then a friend said it’s best to learn as you go. And her words were a salve to the sore that come from the prodding. I allowed the words to soak in and I realized, experts don’t become experts only by reading the books. Experts become experts by practice – and even knowing all of the things doesn’t put a drop in the bucket compared with doing some of the things. So I am doing and reading and learning, and my bucket is overflowing.

You know, it’s a lot like parenting, really. I didn’t know everything when my first born made me a mom. (Now, I thought otherwise, at the time, but the years have taught me the truth.) I could have never known everything before having kids. In fact, 7 kids, 11 years later, I don’t even know close to everything. In fact, I hardly know a thing. I’m a student of parenting – always learning, every day.

Remember to learn as you go – it’s not necessary to know it all. It’s an elusive thought, thinking you can know everything about a field. It’s like waiting for everything to be perfect before doing something, that something is just never going to happen. It’s just better to jump in with both feet and get started.

Happy Trails!
Ma W.