Part-time farming

We’re coming up on another holiday season, and it just occurred to me that I haven’t written a single post in almost a year.

I can explain.

It can pretty much be summed up with this – pretty terrible weather, combined with full-time off-farm jobs, combined with a commitment to spend less time working and more time with the kids has meant terrible communication on my end.  Thanks for bearing with me.

In spite of a tough farm year, we are okay.  Never have we been more thankful to have off-farm jobs than we have been this year.  If we had been relying solely on farm income … yikes ….

Here are a few of the challenges our farm has faced this year:

January and February brought bitterly cold temperatures – right at the same time our goats started kidding.  That means we spent most of our free time checking goats, breaking water, hauling hay, and warming up baby goats inside.

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I lost count around eight – the number of baby goats who were born during freezing temps that we had to bring inside to try to save.  This one is Belle.  Her story was one of the few successes we had.  You may remember her story from Instagram … after hours of working to revive her, her mama wouldn’t take her back.  However, we successfully paired her with another mama whose baby had died the night before.

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Anyway, kidding season was gut-wrenching.  It was hard work and emotionally exhausting.  We ended up with 26 healthy babies.  About 1/3 less than we should have.

In April we picked ourselves back up, shook off the winter losses, and got to work planting the garden.

In early May, this happened:

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I’m standing in the garden in this picture.  Yes, it’s covered with water.

Then in late May, this happened again ….

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This picture is of our front pasture.  The flood waters have nearly covered it.  During this flood, we evacuated half our goats and all of our hogs.  The garden also got it again.  The flood waters rose even higher the second time.

After the flood waters receded and things dried out a bit, we had to go into the garden and destroy all of the produce the flood waters had touched.  The garden rebounded for a bit, but didn’t come close to producing what it usually does.

This summer, instead of scrambling like crazy to catch back up after the floods, we just …. didn’t.  We went fishing more.  We took a vacation.  We drank a beer or two on the porch.  In short, we took some time to enjoy life.  There was still plenty of produce picking, processing and selling, but this summer, we didn’t let it run our lives.

This fall, we’re spending plenty of time doing what we want to do.

Playing with the puppy …

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Playing in the sand we bought for a patio project (that we haven’t gotten to yet)

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And enjoying the beauty of fall.

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There is lots of work to do around the farm.  But there always is.  For now, we’re happy in the knowledge that the pigs are happy …

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The goats are happy …

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And most importantly, the farm kids are happy.

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