Ladybug Farm

Ladybug Farm Ladybug Farm is a family run, diversified, biodynamic farm established in 2017. Our aim is to inspire health, empower children, and connect community through agriculture and time in Nature.
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Operating as usual

Be still, my soulLife, Liberty & the Pursuit of HappinessThank you to our founding fathers & nurturing mothers for pavin...
07/04/2021

Be still, my soul

Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness

Thank you to our founding fathers & nurturing mothers for paving the way in the creation of this beautiful country and our ability to create this American dream. 🙏❤️

I’ll be taking a period of rest from farm posts over the next 6 weeks as we focus on summer camps. I’ll still be available via messenger for any gardening or school questions you may have.

Happy 4th of July Y’all!

Canned green beansWe are up to 27 cans of green beans and almost have enough stored for what we will eat this Winter. I’...
07/02/2021

Canned green beans

We are up to 27 cans of green beans and almost have enough stored for what we will eat this Winter.

I’ve never had much luck with (standard bush) green beans in the heat but this year I planted in the evening shade of sunflowers and the beans are coming on abundantly. I even canned our purple streaked pole beans (shown in an earlier post) this week because we don’t have any children this week at the farm happily snacking on them.

Green beans are a low acid food, so they require a pressure canner to safely preserve the harvest in mason jars. The first few times with the pressure canner can be scary, but once you get the swing of it, it becomes a simple, predictable pattern.

Red Bell PeppersOne of those things I have NEVER been patient enough to wait for…. Until now. Our first two red bell pep...
07/01/2021

Red Bell Peppers

One of those things I have NEVER been patient enough to wait for…. Until now. Our first two red bell peppers were cut open and taste tested with our nature school last week. One child ate his whole slice before I even counted “1,2,3” ❤️

Slowly the greenhouse begins to produce more fruit… but we are learning from some mistakes. The greenhouse has been heating up above 100 most days, which stops pollination even in self-pollinating plants such as peppers and tomatoes. However, this weekend Jared hooked up the fans to turn on automatically when the heat gets above 90.

Next year we will plant earlier… but this year the greenhouse was not built yet 😝

🤞🍅🫑

Live, learn & grow!

12 years of marriage and 4 years of "The Dirty Life" at Ladybug Farm.
07/01/2021

12 years of marriage and 4 years of "The Dirty Life" at Ladybug Farm.

12 years of marriage and 4 years of "The Dirty Life" at Ladybug Farm.

Thank you NC State and 4-H! Yesterday we picked up turkey poults and someone is excited to begin the journey again! She ...
06/30/2021

Thank you NC State and 4-H!

Yesterday we picked up turkey poults and someone is excited to begin the journey again!

She is hoping to raise the biggest turkey for state fair in October 🤞 She wants the free T-shirt for being a winner 😝

I’ll link a video below of last year’s journey.

Thank you NC State and 4-H!

Yesterday we picked up turkey poults and someone is excited to begin the journey again!

She is hoping to raise the biggest turkey for state fair in October 🤞 She wants the free T-shirt for being a winner 😝

I’ll link a video below of last year’s journey.

The garden is literally buzzing in the early mornings!The main nectar flow is over for the year here. If the bees do not...
06/28/2021

The garden is literally buzzing in the early mornings!

The main nectar flow is over for the year here. If the bees do not already have enough honey stored for the upcoming year ahead, the likelihood of them starving this winter is higher. What do we do to help the bees?

Buckwheat!

This hot weather cover crop is full of flowers that the bees love and benefit from.

The garden is literally buzzing in the early mornings!

The main nectar flow is over for the year here. If the bees do not already have enough honey stored for the upcoming year ahead, the likelihood of them starving this winter is higher. What do we do to help the bees?

Buckwheat!

This hot weather cover crop is full of flowers that the bees love and benefit from.

We have a week break between Nature Immersion School & summer camps. We rented a ditch witch to help dig the trenches fo...
06/26/2021

We have a week break between Nature Immersion School & summer camps.

We rented a ditch witch to help dig the trenches for irrigation in the greenhouse. 🎉 Thank you to so many for your financial support to continue this project! 🙏

Cattle panels make for quick, easy trellisingOur pole beans are starting to be enjoyed … juicy and crunchy! This is an h...
06/24/2021

Cattle panels make for quick, easy trellising

Our pole beans are starting to be enjoyed … juicy and crunchy! This is an heirloom variety we have been saving for year’s from Baker’s Creek.

Beans are a great plant to begin starting seeds from. At the end of the season, simply let a few pods ripen full and plump, they can even dry in the vine. Make sure they are dried completely and you can save them indoors to plant the following Spring!

Hello Summer Heat! 🎨 Ice paints can be fun for a hot summer day! 🎨Just food coloring, water, popsicle sticks and cups… l...
06/24/2021

Hello Summer Heat!

🎨 Ice paints can be fun for a hot summer day! 🎨

Just food coloring, water, popsicle sticks and cups… let them freeze and melt on your watercolor paper. My only suggestion to the children was to fill the whole page with color so that no white was remaining (my Waldorf teachers used to suggest that.)

🎨 Have fun 🎨

Larvae of the Colorado potato beetleWe almost made it through the whole Irish potato growth and harvest season without t...
06/23/2021

Larvae of the Colorado potato beetle

We almost made it through the whole Irish potato growth and harvest season without this pest 🎉 but just this week the larvae started to appear on potato foliage.

We don’t use any pesticides, not even organic approved pesticides… what to do?

This year…. we pick the larvae off and feed it to the chickens. We harvest some of the affected foliage earlier than planned.

Next year… we work to improve our soil and continue crop rotation. Everything is connected in our biodynamic system we work to build.

Every year is an opportunity to start anew and try again.

Larvae of the Colorado potato beetle

We almost made it through the whole Irish potato growth and harvest season without this pest 🎉 but just this week the larvae started to appear on potato foliage.

We don’t use any pesticides, not even organic approved pesticides… what to do?

This year…. we pick the larvae off and feed it to the chickens. We harvest some of the affected foliage earlier than planned.

Next year… we work to improve our soil and continue crop rotation. Everything is connected in our biodynamic system we work to build.

Every year is an opportunity to start anew and try again.

Remembering to pause, breathe and be thankful for the light! ☀️ Happy Summer Solstice! ☀️Sunshine medallions were hidden...
06/20/2021

Remembering to pause, breathe and be thankful for the light!

☀️ Happy Summer Solstice! ☀️

Sunshine medallions were hidden among the garden, with a secret message to uncover.

Happy Summer Solstice! I had intended to film a garden tour for y’all but life got away with us! The garden has seen a l...
06/19/2021

Happy Summer Solstice!

I had intended to film a garden tour for y’all but life got away with us! The garden has seen a lot of changes these past few weeks, especially since the majority of our garden was planted for Spring harvesting.

The continual rain a few weeks back brought an abundance of ‘weeds’. We are finally getting the weeds thinned out, including weeding all the pathways, and all the animals enjoy wheelbarrows full of greens to munch on.

The peas have died, now drying on the trellis until we harvest the seed for next year’s garden. ‘King Tut’ peas were a HUGE success but ‘Little Marvel’ were a flop.

The potato plants are starting to die back as well and harvesting is slowly beginning depending on early, mid or late season varieties.

The pollinator gardens have been successful additions. Butterflies (not pollinators for the garden but pretty) are seen daily, along with a variety of bees and birds. The buckwheat has also just begun to flower and I am excited to taste the dark honey it will allow the bees to produce. 🤞

Most of the greens have bolted to seed and become inedible. The exception is the Swiss chard which seems to thrive in the heat.

Strawberry plants are perennial but I am pulling several dozen plants out each night, feeding them to the goats, and hoping to plant anew, with crop rotations, this Fall.

Going in the garden this week are pumpkins, sweet potatoes and more flowers.

Thank you summer sunshine!

Happy Summer Solstice!

I had intended to film a garden tour for y’all but life got away with us! The garden has seen a lot of changes these past few weeks, especially since the majority of our garden was planted for Spring harvesting.

The continual rain a few weeks back brought an abundance of ‘weeds’. We are finally getting the weeds thinned out, including weeding all the pathways, and all the animals enjoy wheelbarrows full of greens to munch on.

The peas have died, now drying on the trellis until we harvest the seed for next year’s garden. ‘King Tut’ peas were a HUGE success but ‘Little Marvel’ were a flop.

The potato plants are starting to die back as well and harvesting is slowly beginning depending on early, mid or late season varieties.

The pollinator gardens have been successful additions. Butterflies (not pollinators for the garden but pretty) are seen daily, along with a variety of bees and birds. The buckwheat has also just begun to flower and I am excited to taste the dark honey it will allow the bees to produce. 🤞

Most of the greens have bolted to seed and become inedible. The exception is the Swiss chard which seems to thrive in the heat.

Strawberry plants are perennial but I am pulling several dozen plants out each night, feeding them to the goats, and hoping to plant anew, with crop rotations, this Fall.

Going in the garden this week are pumpkins, sweet potatoes and more flowers.

Thank you summer sunshine!

⚠️ My last chicken post comes with a disclaimer and a warning: ⚠️ Chickens are the gateway livestock!8 years ago Jared c...
06/18/2021

⚠️ My last chicken post comes with a disclaimer and a warning:

⚠️ Chickens are the gateway livestock!

8 years ago Jared convinced me to get 3 backyard chickens. Fast forward to today, he cooked fresh eggs, kale and homemade bread for breakfast. Now I’m in the kitchen making yogurt, cheese and fudge with our goat’s milk. Yep… it can be addicting y’all!

See video below for more explanation of my disclaimer!

⚠️ My last chicken post comes with a disclaimer and a warning:

⚠️ Chickens are the gateway livestock!

8 years ago Jared convinced me to get 3 backyard chickens. Fast forward to today, he cooked fresh eggs, kale and homemade bread for breakfast. Now I’m in the kitchen making yogurt, cheese and fudge with our goat’s milk. Yep… it can be addicting y’all!

See video below for more explanation of my disclaimer!

06/16/2021

When you have an addiction to hatching chicks….
Sooner or later some need to be re-homed!

🐣❤️😝

We are currently at about 75 chickens and we are looking to scale back down to a few dozen. We will be re-homing our laying hens for a $15 re-homing fee per bird. We have a variety of chickens… just watch the video and message us if you would like to begin a backyard flock or add to your existing flock.

We also have a couple young Copper Maran Cockerals for anyone looking for a roo to lead your flock.

Bring it on greenhouse!The good news is that the greenhouse is starting to produce fruit! With all this rain we have had...
06/15/2021

Bring it on greenhouse!

The good news is that the greenhouse is starting to produce fruit! With all this rain we have had, our outdoor/garden tomato plants certainly would have died from blight by now. Inside the greenhouse however, the plants have yet to show disease signs. We also haven’t spotted any tomato hornworms! So far the screens are working to keep those pests out.

The bad news is that the temperature lingers at 100 degrees during the day, even with a shade cloth on and fan going. That means we are seeing blossoms drop and (self) pollination not occurring. We also haven’t installed drip irrigation yet so daily hand watering is becoming difficult amid the abundance of green foliage.

We are taking this as a learning year … always learning!

Next year we hope to have all the beds installed and be able to share more with the community. 🤞❤️🌱🍅

Bring it on greenhouse!

The good news is that the greenhouse is starting to produce fruit! With all this rain we have had, our outdoor/garden tomato plants certainly would have died from blight by now. Inside the greenhouse however, the plants have yet to show disease signs. We also haven’t spotted any tomato hornworms! So far the screens are working to keep those pests out.

The bad news is that the temperature lingers at 100 degrees during the day, even with a shade cloth on and fan going. That means we are seeing blossoms drop and (self) pollination not occurring. We also haven’t installed drip irrigation yet so daily hand watering is becoming difficult amid the abundance of green foliage.

We are taking this as a learning year … always learning!

Next year we hope to have all the beds installed and be able to share more with the community. 🤞❤️🌱🍅

OnionsGetting ready for the summer solstice! 🧅 Last week at nature school we harvested onions we planted last Fall at th...
06/14/2021

Onions

Getting ready for the summer solstice!

🧅 Last week at nature school we harvested onions we planted last Fall at the start of school. We also used old yellow onion peels to dye shirts that will be bright like the sun. ☀️

May you all enjoy this “longest” week of the year.

BeetsMy young child self never dreamed my adult self would say this, but beets and goat cheese are literally one of my f...
06/13/2021

Beets

My young child self never dreamed my adult self would say this, but beets and goat cheese are literally one of my favorite combinations of food.

We had a terrible germination rate this Spring when we sowed seeds, but we got enough for one meal. Yes, even the one on the right is a beet… a golden beet with a sweeter and less earthy taste.

Not to worry about the germination rate! We have a second cHance at beets this year… you can sow beets again from July 15th-August 15th. ❤️🌱🤞

Beets

My young child self never dreamed my adult self would say this, but beets and goat cheese are literally one of my favorite combinations of food.

We had a terrible germination rate this Spring when we sowed seeds, but we got enough for one meal. Yes, even the one on the right is a beet… a golden beet with a sweeter and less earthy taste.

Not to worry about the germination rate! We have a second cHance at beets this year… you can sow beets again from July 15th-August 15th. ❤️🌱🤞

Check out this article in the Mother Earth News magazine ….. How to build a bee vacuum! (April/May 2021)Last week on of ...
06/11/2021

Check out this article in the Mother Earth News magazine ….. How to build a bee vacuum! (April/May 2021)

Last week on of our hives SWARMED. My daughter wanted to prevent a swarm in her hive so that she had a chance at collecting honey this year. However, we missed a swarm cell in an earlier inspection and the bees did something natural that they try to do every Spring… they swarmed!

After many unsuccessful attempts, Calvin from Midnight Bee Supply in Vass came to our rescue. He brought a bee vacuum that he constructed and we were able to suck the bees right into a beehive box and place them back in the apiary. I am amazed and so thankful!!

The whole process from start to finish was an incredible educational opportunity for myself and all the children involved. We took video of the process (including my daughter taking videos 😝) and I strung them together to share with the community at large.

The video will be linked in the comments. Enjoy!!

Check out this article in the Mother Earth News magazine ….. How to build a bee vacuum! (April/May 2021)

Last week on of our hives SWARMED. My daughter wanted to prevent a swarm in her hive so that she had a chance at collecting honey this year. However, we missed a swarm cell in an earlier inspection and the bees did something natural that they try to do every Spring… they swarmed!

After many unsuccessful attempts, Calvin from Midnight Bee Supply in Vass came to our rescue. He brought a bee vacuum that he constructed and we were able to suck the bees right into a beehive box and place them back in the apiary. I am amazed and so thankful!!

The whole process from start to finish was an incredible educational opportunity for myself and all the children involved. We took video of the process (including my daughter taking videos 😝) and I strung them together to share with the community at large.

The video will be linked in the comments. Enjoy!!

Morning tea and homemade bread (goat’s milk in the Spring) has become a part of our daily rhythm to be enjoyed after mor...
06/10/2021

Morning tea and homemade bread (goat’s milk in the Spring) has become a part of our daily rhythm to be enjoyed after morning circle.

Details for next school year were posted this week. I wish I had the capacity to create space for more children, but I am thankful for the few children that I get to see grow each year.

If you are interested in touring our farm and asking your nature school questions, I am hosting small group tours the week of June 28th. Simply send me a message.

Morning tea and homemade bread (goat’s milk in the Spring) has become a part of our daily rhythm to be enjoyed after morning circle.

Details for next school year were posted this week. I wish I had the capacity to create space for more children, but I am thankful for the few children that I get to see grow each year.

If you are interested in touring our farm and asking your nature school questions, I am hosting small group tours the week of June 28th. Simply send me a message.

🦋 The swallowtails have discovered the “host plant” section of our new pollinator garden. 🌸 Certain flowers are importan...
06/09/2021

🦋 The swallowtails have discovered the “host plant” section of our new pollinator garden.

🌸 Certain flowers are important to attract butterflies & provide nectar sources. It’s also helpful to provide “host plants” for the caterpillars to eat. 🌱 We plant fennel, dill and parsley just for the caterpillars.

Just a heads up if you plant these herbs…. Don’t expect to harvest them. 🐛 The caterpillars will gobble them up quickly once established!

Announcing our Nature Immersion Programs for the 2021/2022 school year: Forest Kindergarten & Forest Homeschool Attached...
06/07/2021

Announcing our Nature Immersion Programs for the 2021/2022 school year: Forest Kindergarten & Forest Homeschool

Attached is a photo of our trifold flyer.

I like to say that we enroll families and not just children. Therefore, to begin the enrollment process, we will be offering group tours during the week of June 28th to see if your intentions align with ours. If you are interested, feel free to message us.

Almost all of our current children will be returning to us for another year, some are returning for their 4th year! Currently, we have one spot open for each of our programs.

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Pinebluff, NC
28373

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Comments

We enjoyed visiting for the sandhills farm tour today! I loved the variety of educational areas they have set up and how knowledgeable she was about the tomatoes and the home hatchery program.
We ❤ you all:)
Hi - any interest in doing a seminar at my cafe about growing herbs? Thyme & Place Cafe, So Pi.