Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Barn Is Reborn

My husband and I moved to Verde Farm in 2007.
One of the intriguing features of the property was an old barn we eventually restored. We knew with some attention we could shore up its foundation, strengthen its floors, put glass in its windows, and sturdy its walls.
With some work, the barn soon began to shine in the daytime under a fresh coat of paint, and in the nighttime under new barn lights. Its transformation was literally something to see.
But the transformation wasn't complete, we thought, if we couldn't hear our barn. So, it soon became living quarters for a bunch of chickens, donkeys, ducks, guineas, peafowl and cats. And, again, with some work, the barn began to teem with the sounds of life--crowing in the morning and cooing in the twilight.

Our barn also brays, and oddly at feeding time.
One day I was watching a Martha Stewart segment about gardening and I noticed these chickens running around pecking and scratching. How beautiful. She then teased she would be showing her Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys after the break.  "Miniature Mediterranean Donkey, what is that?" I was hooked.  Sure enough, after the commercial, Martha brought three beautiful mini donkeys into her studio. They were adorable!  She shared how easy it is to care for them and how their miniature size means they don't require as much land as a horse. That sounded great. Stewart's donkey segment demonstrated their love for people and how much they enjoy being brushed and petted. What's not to love? It wasn't a hard decision to make. These donkeys are adorable, they don't require a lot of land, they're easy to care for and they love people. We must have one. 

Andy and Otis
I immediately went to work researching and reading everything I could find. Soon, we were ready to make a purchase. I found this great site on the web called "Got Donkeys" breeder list, http://www.gotdonkeys.com/. I contacted Buck and Doe Run Farm in north central WV. They had a little jack for sell. After talking with  Carol Pippin about how much she loved her herd, I purchased the little jack named Otis.  

Little Otis after he was born
In spring of 2008, Otis traveled south from Buck and Doe Run to Verde Farm. My husband and I could hardly wait. The truck pulled in and we knew our little guy was in the back. When they opened the trailer we saw the most adorable, little, dark chocolate creature we had ever seen. That mini donkey melted our heart.  

Otis was an only child for a very short time. As you quickly learn with donkeys, "a lone donkey is a very lonely donkey." We now have five Miniature Mediterranean donkeys and couldn't be happier. How lucky I was to watch Martha Stewart that day. I will always be grateful.

Otis and his best buddy Samuel D. (D. for Donkey)

We are linking with Barn Charm at Bluff Area Daily. Check out all the wonderful barn posts there, you will love it!



 

23 comments:

Teri said...

Amy,
They are toooooo cute! How are they with dogs?
We had a Jack donkey at our other farm but, quickly found him a home with other donkeys. He was not alone ...he was in with our Haflingers horses and he was fine. It was the dogs he kept trying to stomp! I would LOVE more donks ...but I love my dogs and they love to go into the pastures with me. And your barn is just beautiful!
Have a great day.
Teri♥♥♥

Farm Girl said...

I never knew there was a such thing as miniature donkeys. I am now putting them on my wish list along with peacocks. :) They are so sweet and I love the names, Andy and Otis that is so great. When my kids were younger we all listened to Adventures in Odyssey a radio drama, and Otis was Whit, I always loved that. Your barn is great too.
It all looks good. I always look forward to your next installment at Verde Farm.

Mom L said...

Your barn is beautiful, but it must be a happier place with all the animals!

Nancy (donkey-less) in Iowa

Flat Creek Farm said...

Your donkeys are darlings! They truly add so much to the farm. I sat on the ground in the donkey pen the other evening after work. Just rubbing and spoiling my two. I think they would have laid in my lap if they could have ;) Such great therapy for me too... I adore them so much.

Love the barn, and I can imagine all the wonderful sounds! -Tammy

Janet @ My Miniature Donkeys said...

Uh oh, after seeing the photo of baby Otis, I'm going to have to have one too!

your donk friend in Michigan, Janet

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

Hi There, Found your blog on Henhouse Pottery.....one of my favorite blogs. After seeing your mini donkey's I signed up to see more pics of your farm. Good looking crew of animals! I raise Gordon Setters. Hope you'll visit!

Windy Meadows Farm said...

What a great story of reviving an old barn (no small task!), and then filling it with the sounds of the country. Love it!

Coon Hollow Farm said...

Amy, I love your blog too! What a great job! I do have the white pumpkins for sale, I have them in three different sizes, lg, med and sm. Let me know what you would like. I could list them on Etsy but no time. I also have needle felted acorns to go with them...Happy Farming, Dawn from Coon Hollow Farm

Maura @ Kisiwa Creek Photography said...

Hi Amy!
What a wonderful farm you have! Thanks for leaving a message today...I looked at your post today and saw Andy. What a sweetheart. I loved the picture of Otis as a baby...oh how I wish our two had been little when we got them! I'm going to enjoy going through your archives and seeing what else you've written about. I LOVE your barn..you're so fortunate to have had a barn and then restored it. That's what we'd been planning on doing with ours before it burned down about a month ago. Ours didn't have the character that yours does and it wasn't huge but it still would have been fun to have it all fixed up. Oh well we've still go the corn crib to fix up. Have a wonderful Wednesday! Maura :)

Danni said...

Oh....yay for donkeys!
My heart is so full since we've brought donkeys into our life. You will never regret a moment of it! Yours are beautiful!

Jill said...

Love your mini donks! I have one named May and also two mini mules, Otis and Ollie. They are a lot of fun. Your farm is beautiful.

Jan n Jer said...

Those adorable mini donkeys are so lucky to have a nice barn to live in. Nice post.

Rose said...

I would like to have your barn to live in, it looks so nice...

Kim, USA said...

Your barn is so pretty. And how cute the donkey. How they do with the dogs or cats?
Barn Charm

Unknown said...

Aw the animals are charming. I would love to visit your farm!

Sunny said...

Your barn is wonderful and your donkeys are priceless.
I really enjoy reading your blog.
☼ Sunny

Small City Scenes said...

I am so glad you restored that barn--BTW it is beautiful--and then filled it with sound. The Mini donks are presious. MB

Anonymous said...

I have been saying since we moved here that we need goats and mini donkeys and maybe a pig or two. Now you have me convinced that I should start with the donkeys. And maybe a llama or alpaca.
We were given an estimate to fix our barn that was as much as what we paid for the entire farm. So we've decided it is time to start selling the barnwood to pay for repairs to our other vintage building.

So happy to meet you and I'll be back for Farm Friend Friday!

Anonymous said...

The barn is great, it really is, but the minis STEAL THE SHOW!!! OMGosh, they're ADORABLE!!! =) My eyes started tearing up as I read, they're just so darn cuuute... I'm gonna have to talk to my mom about getting some of them for their farm... she has horses, sheep, a dog, cats, & I think those minis would completely COMPLETE the place! Thanks so much for posting this for Barn Charm! =)

EG CameraGirl said...

You are living a dream with a renovated barn, lots of animals and those adorable miniature donkeys.

Sally in WA said...

That is one awesome barn! You've done a great job restoring it. And I love your little donkeys. They are sooo darn cute.

PS - love your blog header, too.

Evelyn S. said...

How wonderful your farm is! And I love how you wanted to 'hear' the barn. Those miniature donkeys are just the cutest.

Elaine said...

I love what you've done with the barn! It's so nice to see one lovingly restored. Your donkeys are just too cute!