It's been nearly two years since I moved back home since getting out of the Air Force. In that time, I have been creating my dream. It is a dream that was conceived while I was away. I believe that my being away made this dream possible.
My work began in the spring of 2008. I built a chicken coop and run to house twenty six Rhode Island red pullets (three turned out to be roosters). The garden was already in place but my interest in gardening wasn't that strong at the time.
(Fast forward to the spring of 2009)
I planted five semi-dwarf apple trees in a newly built orchard adjacent to the garden. The fence was pieced together from materials we had laying around the "ranch". I planted a grape vine (can't think of the variety at this time) in the orchard. I then built a three sided shelter and enclosed an area with left over "no climb" fence, creating a pasture for three goats (they would come a bit later). The garden got an overhaul by myself and brothers. We added quite a bit of good topsoil and groomed terraced rows (the garden was annihilated by the chickens over the winter). The garden was planted with all kinds of goodies which will be discussed later. Now it is summer and this place is starting to look like a ranch.
I tried to keep this short so I can really get into the details of what's going on now at the Hopkins Ranch. But alas it is late and I need to get up bright and early at 10 am to start my day at the Hopkins Ranch.