Archive | October 2016

Farm goings on of Fall

It is frustrating that in the summer I feel like I am so busy I never get to blog.  I guess it is life on the farm and there is always room for improvement.

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Garden:  The garden is still going.  We had our second frost last night.  We covered the beans and the peas, but we left everything else to get frost kissed.  My husband is building some amazing low tunnel covers for the garden out of recycled material.  The hoops are made of PVC that was given to us by a friend that was working on their house.  The plastic is from another friend who had a clean up job and took down an old green house. Finally the base is made out of pallet parts.  I think that it looks great.  Right now the crops are in 30 inch beds with 36 inch isles, to get the wheelbarrow through.  Once the soil gets better, we will make the isles much smaller.  Our thought is that we will make a 36 inch isle, 30 inch row, 12 inch isle, 30 inch row and then finally another 36 inch row.  We have to do a LOT of soil work on this property and I need to be able to get a wheel barrow to each row.  This would still allow me to access the row from one side.

Chickens: We have some new chickens on the farm.  We are experimenting with Icelandic chickens.  These chickens are suppose to be amazing foragers, help control bugs, good mothers, and avoid predators. They only lay medium size eggs and are not good meat birds, but we really need to control the ticks are on the farm.  This is a compromise with my husband who does not want guinea hens. For the most part they have been a pleasure. We had them get out one day, and they do like to roost very high up, but at least they can get out of danger. I have no idea why the picture is sideways!

 

The rest of our laying hens are molting.  There are feathers everywhere, it looks like there was a massacre.  We are going to be thinning out the flock, getting rid of the hens that are not laying, and redoing the inside of the coop in the month of November.  I am really looking forward to a fresh start and a clean coop for the winter.

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Pigs:  The GOS pigs have gone to butcher.  They were not as big as we would have liked, I think that is the difference of over wintered pigs and over summered pigs.  The over winter pigs are much bigger. We have added a resident pig to the farm to help a friend.   His name is Preston Poe and he is a Pot Bellied pig.  He lives in the field with the goats and after an adjustment period he seems to be doing well.

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Rabbits: Our rabbits have miscarried three times in a row, so we are done breeding rabbits at this point.  They are up there in age and I think that it was time.  They are now pet rabbits, they have served us very well and we want them to retire in comfort.  We have outside pens for all the boys and we are working on getting outdoor pens for the girls, now that we know they are not having anymore babies.  We are debating about getting a new breeding trio, but who knows.

Goats:  Life is never boring with goats.  There is many things to talk about, but I think that can be a post all on its own.  For the most part goats are doing well, and I am gaining gray hair by the day!

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Don’t be hard on yourself

I don’t know about you, but I am always so hard on myself.  No matter what I do or how long I work, there is always more to be done.  There are goals I have not met and food I have not preserved and floors I have not cleaned and games I have not played with the kids.  I beat myself up.  I collapse into bed at night and promise myself that tomorrow I am going to work harder and get more done.   Well, this morning I was slapped in the face with a piece of bacon, and it woke me up!

This morning alone, I have chicken stock cooking in the crock pot, from a chicken that we raised, with veggies that we grew. I have cured bacon for dinner and extra for breakfast, I took out ground pork to make sausage tonight, all from our pig raised on our land. I cheated for breakfast and had store bought greek yogurt, but I added home made strawberry sauce.  Made a cup of coffee and added goats milk that I got out of the goat yesterday and pasteurized last night.  Do you know that I had the audacity to be upset with myself because I did not make the yogurt from scratch and I added store bought sugar to my coffee instead of honey raised on the farm.

As homesteaders, we put so many expectations on ourselves.  And I feel like I can say “we” because I have talked to many others that feel the same way.  We feel like we have to do it all.  Bake the bread, raise the animals, grow the veggies, hand make all our clothes and gifts, clean the house, homeschool our kids…. the list goes on and on.  Why do we not take a step back and be proud of what we do and stop criticizing ourselves for what we don’t?

There is just not an easy answer to that question, I believe most people, no matter their profession, are hard on themselves.  Homesteaders especially, it is not like we can call ourselves lazy, we raise most of our own food!  Something inside of us strives to do more and to be better!  What is the answer?

Right now, I am going to take a step back and be proud of what we have been able to do!  I am proud of the fact that we raise almost all of our own meat.  I am proud of the garden and the food that comes out of it.  I am proud of these sore hands and back.  Yes, I want to do more.  But today I am going to be proud of what I have done, and not feel guilty about buying bagels for breakfast tomorrow, instead of making them from scratch. Take time today to be proud of yourself.  You are an amazing person,  no matter what you do, you do not have to always be perfect.  Hold on to your drive and let that motivate you, but don’t put yourself down.  Feeling good in what you have done is not a sign of weakness, but one of strength. Have a great day!