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Jim Hamrick in the Red Bay Farm forestOur small flock of chickensBeard the goat

24-28 Feb 2015: Take a sneak peak at our first newsletter.

23 Feb 2015: Today I planted peas and carrots in my raised bed garden. The nice thing about raised beds is that even though it was very wet, the soil in the beds was workable. It was so nice to be able to plant the first of our 2015 garden. Of course I have all sorts of plants started in my house. You can view the list of plants I'll be growing this year by viewing my planting worksheet.

18-22 Feb 2015: I've been collecting information about various events in Eastern NC. Most of the events are within a few minutes of La Casita. Some are a bit farther...a day trip. But all are worthwhile if you want to take a look at Eastern NC culture. Have fun!

***Upcoming Events (contact me if you want more information):

A Tough Week

Another Chicken Tragedy: Brilliant! Not! I went out a bit late to try to coax my hens into their new coop. I scared them. straight into the woods past the electric fence they went never to be seen again. Only One Eyed Willy survived...my old one eyed rooster (survivor of a bout with a raccoon). I keep him locked up until the chicken house is completed. After chicken house completion I'll put an add on Craigslist looking for hens to accompany him in his new lodgings. I'll be sure to post a picture of his 'good' side when I place the advertisement.

The passing of Cantaloupe: Our precious little dog Cantaloupe succumbed to cancer. She put up the good fight right to the end. Cantaloupe was the best dog I ever had (actually my wife's dog). She was just a little bundle of joy who was a brown and about the size of a...well cantaloupe. Cantaloupe passed away in my wife's arms at the veterinarian's office on Feb 20, 2015. She had waited to see her beau Pepe and his owner, she waited until after my wife's birthday and she died after my wife had decided to put her to sleep but before any drug was administered. She looked at my wife, she made the little grunt she would make when she was happy and she took her last breath. Fin. We are sad. She is buried under the palm tree behind Redbay Cottage.

12-17 Feb 2015 Our guest staying at La Casita love the wood stove. There really isn't anything better than sitting next to a wood stove on a cold winter's day. The heat is so soothing and comfortable. The wood used for fuel was cut about 3 years ago. We use pine kindling and newspaper for a starter.

My favorite firewood is red maple. Red maple is not the densest wood but it is a nice firewood. It's fragrance when burned is pleasant, it burns hot and long enough for eastern North Carolina. Probably the reason I like it most is that Red Maple grows fairly fast and is very common in my forest. Red Maple is a great sustainable firewood. My second favorite firewood is Water Oak...another very common tree at Redbay Farm. However, Water Oak's fragrance is rather acrid and not as pleasant, in my opinion, as Red Maple.

About Redbay Farm

Redbay Farm is a 47 acre suburban tree farm. Our tree farm is named after the Redbay Tree. Like small family owned farms and undeveloped land the Redbay is a threatened species. The tree is being slowly decimated by an imported virus. Read The Unnecessary Extinction of the Redbay, a defining southern tree to learn more. The Redbay tree is an important food tree for bees, deer, and turkey. The wood has been used for cabinetry. The leaves can be used to season seafood or other foods as one would use bay leaf. The leaves and wood have a lovely bay scent. Redbay Farm forms the start of the headwaters for for Hall's Creek and Cartwheel Branch which are tributaries to Queens Creek and the White Oak River.

A couple of years ago we bought the house next door, Redbay Cottage. Now we rent our kids next door vacation house, La Casita. Right out the securely fenced back yard you see the Redbay Farm Forest. For more information visit our La Casita webpage.

The Redbay Farm website provides useful information for anyone interested in being a forest owner, owning/managing a guest house, or becoming a backyard farmer.

Useful Information

To help myself and others I started this web site to capture ideas which I may implement at Redbay Farm and La Casita. Some of the ideas I have collected may be of interest to visitors. Have fun exploring the website pages and the links listed below.

The list above is just a sampling of the information that is available throughout this web site. Visit the table of contents and you will find an index of web pages.

The Local Area - Come to Swansboro, the Friendly City by the Sea

During your visit to the Crystal Coast area of North Carolina please keep in mind that Redbay Farm is one of the many small tracts of forest and farmland still remaining in the area that contribute to the clean water, abundant seafood resources and beauty of Bogue Sound, White Oak river and Queens Creek. Just think about that when you see the beautiful clean water or eat a plate of local seafood. Clean water is a product of well managed streets, yards, forests and farms. When you stay at La Casita ...you will have a better time and be supporting local people and help to preserve the environment.

As you plan your trip check out the links below for information about some low cost destinations in or near "The Friendly City By the Sea." Click the "Let's Go" button after selecting a destination from the drop down list. You just can't miss when you visit Swansboro!

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Redbay Farm by Jim Hamrick is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.redbayfarm.com.
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updated Jan 13, 2015