Lucky B Acres Ranch, Paulden AZ

Lucky B Acres PicklesGrandma Moses, the renowned American Folk Artist, once said “If I hadn’t started painting, I would have raised chickens.”  Have you fantasized about giving up your day job for the simple pleasures of country life and a dozen or so Rhode Island Reds? Diane Schimke-Barnes raises all kinds of animals on the Lucky B Acres Ranch in Paulden, Arizona but her life is anything but laid back! Here’s the schedule: up at 4:30 A.M., feed the horses, goats, quail, geese, ducks, all 700 chickens; and then there’s Sonny & Cher, Roy & Dale, Fred & Ginger, Lucy & Desi, not children, but members of a herd of 23 emus. Time for a cup of coffee? Maybe, but then it’s on to cleaning and filling water buckets, raking manure, working the compost pile, doing a few repairs on farm equipment or fences not to mention the worms raised for soil improvement —then repeat it all again, 7 days a week.

Lucky B AcresIn her spare time Diane, with the help of husband Russ, is in the kitchen pickling her popular specialty of quail eggs! Diane’s parting words: “Gotta do the chores!” Diane grew up on a farm family in Minnesota and North Dakota and says you must have a “love of labor”  to be a successful farmer. She’s been bringing her eggs to Farmers Markets for the past ten years.  We’re very excited she’s joined us this summer at Tlaquepaque.  Her animals are fed organic feed.

Story by Laura Cox