2.21.2019

my farm: pets or producers?

I have had quite a few visitors out to the farm lately because of the vintage clothes I am selling. Most are totally intrigued by the farm, many are curious about getting into a little farming themselves. Most cannot believe that I don't ride my horses, and that my goats are seniors... and that I have geriatric chickens that I am just patiently awaiting them to naturally croak so I can have a young new laying flock...
Ya know what? I don't actually have a farm at all - well, not in the sense that most people think of a farm. Was it my intent? YES. Can I cull animals when they are no longer profitable for me to keep? NO. I wanted a farm. I love animals.  I purposely took in neglected dairy goats to be able to have milk and cheese all at my fingertips while giving the goats a respectful life. Same with the chickens. I wanted fresh eggs, while allowing them to free range and live out their lives pecking and living carefree.... not to mention, I LOVE my chickens. They are so sweet and full of personality...



What happened? Well, about a month after Eli & Ellie were at the farm, Ellen was born. She was a total surprise. I did milk Ellie, and I also let Ellen nurse until she was waaaaay too big, and knew I couldn't give away or sell baby goats, unless of course they were going somewhere I highly approved, where they would live more like pets, than producers.... and then a few months later, Eli was fixed. That was 8 years ago.





I do still try really hard to source most of the animal products we use from well intended local farmers when I can. I buy my goat milk locally, as I know I will never be able to produce my own unless I have goats with precocious udder (which has happened several years in the past !!). My farm is more of a sanctuary. My chickens no longer lay, and they are all in the double digits - well, the three I have left anyway... The plan is to keep them happy, let them live out their lives, and when the last one crosses over the rainbow bridge from old age & natural causes, I will start over and get a new flock. So long story short, I have pets....and these pets produce eggs when they are young, and they are delicious!

There really is nothing like going out every evening and collecting eggs, and when you know they are coming from your happy chickens, they taste even better. Last year was the first year we actually ate pretty much daily from things that had been grown in the garden, and I am hoping this year I will have more tales of growing my own veggies....

...and I leave this post with a picture of Eli when he was less than a year old.... He is now 9 and I love this old senior butthead.



2.20.2019

SPRING? Where are ya? Where have I been?

I blog waaaaaaay less when it is nasty out. Truth be told, I don't mind cold weather if it is consistent. Saturday was glorious, sunny, and 70 degrees out and then Sunday it was cold, rainy, and the opposite of glorious. Monday I was miserable again as the high for the day was 39, and by yesterday evening, I was back to being ok with the cold, wet, messy weather. Me and Eddie even bundled up and went on a nice little slow stroll around the entire property as my face turned red from the ice cold raindrops tapping on my cheeks. Then it was off to feed the crew. Lots of hay for everyone to ensure everyone stayed warm through another cold and wet night..... I am hoping that the last load of hay I got will be the last bit for the year.....

The rye is starting to come up in the horse field, and the little teases of bright green are making me excited for spring garden foods.... We already have been enjoying the volunteer winter crop of kale and lettuce that decided to come back all on its own, and this weekend I think I am going to plant more spinach.

The evenings are getting longer, and the mornings start earlier. I get excited about the day ahead, sipping my coffee and awaiting the daylight to slowly spread over the farm... I already missed my opportunity to cut back my blueberry bush I discovered last year, as it has already started to bloom - yikes! That could be great or really bad...

Anyway, I am warming my core with a nice hot hodge podge of leftovers..... tomato soup, brussel sprouts, black beans, and mashed potatoes! yummmm. Then off to bundle up, walk Eddie and feed the crew, and soak. Soaking is my favorite thing to do in winter. And always after everyone is fed.

I have been thinking a lot about this 'farm' and how it isn't actually a farm in the sense that most people think. More on that tomorrow - I have a blogging session planned for early morning while I am charging up before work with my hot cup of joe!

off to do my snow dance in between trudging through mudholes while feeding........

xoxo

-s