Well, when I started this new website I wanted to commit to writing 2 times a week, scheduling posts if I had to. But I find myself feeling very much the way I did when the farm started, wanting to share more and more often! I wake up eager to get outside, see the animals and veg, explore for morels and check in on the babies. So if it's okay by all of you I am going to write more than twice a week and not worry what days it posts. If anyone has an issue with that please write your complaint on formal stationary, walk to the nearest mountain top, and release it into the wind…
I’m kidding. Please don’t litter.
The farm is GOOD! Lots of good news to share! The pigs have their new digs all set up, a new configuration in the barn and expanded outdoor areas. The sheep and goats are being move to new pasture every week and being supplemented with grain and hay. The rabbit’s kits are all doing well and, because they are flemish giants, they are HUGE baby bunnies, healthy and hail. The meat bird chicks that were in the brooder indoors have bulked and fluffed up. They are now happy in the coop with more room and big boy feeders and waterers. The large coop that Shannon, friends, and myself reworked last summer is now designed to manage the several types of chickens and life stages at the same time. There are gates that allow larger birds to jump over and keep the young meat birds protected while they are too small to venture outdoors to free range. By the time they are a month old they will be waddling and pecking about the yard like champs.
Big expansions and work on the kitchen garden! For the past 2 weeks it has been reworked, expanded, hacked at, new soil added, earth turned, new measurements, fence supplies bought in, and all the other ins and outs of basically recreating a large garden space. It sits below the base of the sheep/goat hill where electric fence keeps our veggies safe. Honestly I am more worried about the burrowing groundhog population than I am a sheep learning to climb 4 feet of chicken wire. But besides the regular kitchen garden spoils of tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, peppers, herbs, and potatoes we are adding some new crops like British Mangelwurzels for livestock fodder into fall/winter and a patch solely dedicated to the Three Sisters (corn, squash, and beans). Also, trying our hand at spoon neck gourds for bird houses and drying. The kailyard has all the greens and cold spring crops already growing.
Having a new person here facing their first full-time summer on this farm is invigorating! The amount of work and energy going back into the soil here is heartwarming. For years it wasn't much more than a battle to stay home. A fight to find a way to keep this farm mine as finances and panic swirled. And while things are still a struggle when it comes to earning income from my homestead and skills - I am working for the future instead of catching up for the past.
Things are leveling out, easier, more manageable with two adults and while there is still a million things to do around here stressing us both out - we are in agreement the work is worth it and if we keep at this pace all May and early June summer should become a happy system of weeding/watering/chores that is easy to step away from so we can hike, camp, and visit friends as vaccinations and the world opens up a bit more.
It’s all very encouraging.
Also, Mailed the May mortgage check yesterday! Has me pretty-near broke now, but how about that?! Caught up, preparing for the month ahead of JUNE! Good work, friends, and days on the horizon and saddlebag dreams and mountain views calling my name. Worth every damn penny I scramble to ding into my cup.
My goal is to have the money earned for the June mortgage soon as possible. Start really planning for the animals to earn more of their keep. Hoping the rabbitry is a success for both sales and freezer meat and some freelance luck comes my way. It's my 11th May on this farm. The month I bought it in 2010. I'm still here, the farm is so much better than it ever has been, and I'm so damn lucky to have someone I adore to share it with.
Luceo Non Uro.