Sunday, February 28, 2010

The circle of life....

Whoever says farm life is easy must not have any animals because it really is bitter sweet to have animals you have raised from babies go to the locker. Yes you know when you get them that this is what they are for. You try to not make them into pets, but really its inevitable that you will have some form of attachment to an animal that you feed and water twice a day, watch playing in the pasture and chasing other animals around in fun and talk to daily.

Yes today was the day that our 2 pigs went to market and while I know that its what was meant to be, it was still bitter sweet. I went to do my chores at the end of the day and I was sad to not have them standing there, voicing their opinion that they wanted fed first and just in general making their presence known.

Now I am sure that it was not nearly as bitter sweet for my father after picking them up. They proceeded to tear up the front of his stock trailer to the point that we will now have to replace the wood that sectioned off the tack compartment. They then decided that they were the alpha animals and jumped on his 2 pigs that were also destined for the same fate. So I guess next time I need to teach the pigs how to play nicely with others and how to not destroy the trailer.

I will be happy to see the fresh sausage, bacon, roasts and hams that will soon stock our freezer, but for tonight I am sad to know that my poor little piggies are spending their last night in an unfamiliar pen hungry for their dinner.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The wrong side of the bed

So waking up on the wrong side of the bed does not work so well at this house. You are not allowed to be crabby, need extra time to wake up and get going for the day, let me explain!!

Today I was not in the mood to get out of bed. I wanted to sleep, I wanted rest and most of all I wanted that quiet peaceful place that I can only find when my eyes are closed and I am laying in my bed. Well that wasn't an option so I started my day to kids that were oh so noisy, and playful and full of energy, something I certainly did not have.
From there it was time to go out and milk Bessie. Milking was not real high on my list of things I WANTED to do because, well, I am tired of the cold. Plus she didn't get milked yesterday which means she is always an ubber mess and that is something I was not in the mind to deal with. But out we went!

Once I arrived out there and saw how bad the udder really looked it just reaffirmed that I was not in the mind frame for this, but it had to be done.
After cleaning her up and getting her ready to milk, things went fairly well aside from fighting the milker to do all 4 quarters at once, something that seems to be our biggest fight of all.

After that I walked back into my house and had a better idea of why I woke on the wrong size of the bed.
This is what my living room looked like:
Now they say you can clean your house when the kids are grown and all that jazz, but I have to say its much more peaceful when things are all least picked up. And that was what we did today.

So the next time you think that your house is a mess just come back here and be reminded that, its not really that bad.

The day proceeded pretty well, until the evening that is, when there was an added youngster and 3 of the 4 were in foul moods and having a hard time getting along. But at the end of the day, we all survived and tomorrow will be better!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Who would have thought?

If someone would have told me 14 years ago as I was graduating from high school that some day I would a stay at home mom to 3 kids, living on 4.5 acres and milking a cow I would have laughed at them. I was going to be business woman, with a career and all that good stuff. My kids were going to drink bottles, not be breastfed. I was going to have a big house in the middle of town where all the "fun" stuff was at. Oh how little I knew and how crazy an idea now that I look back on it.

Thinking back I can't think of a time in my life that I have felt so fulfilled by what I get done in a day. Even on days that I say I have gotten nothing done that is so far from the trust. I have changed many diapers, fed the children more times than I can count. I have fed the animals and milked the cow and gathered the eggs. Just those things alone are enough to keep any sane person busy right.

A normal day on the farm is always busy and there is always more that needs to be done. Take today for example, the kids are crabby from not enough sleep and its so terribly cold outside that the last thing I want to do is go outside. But I have nursed the little one 3 times, loaded the dishwashers, taken food scraps to the chickens and checked for any stray eggs to prevent them from freezing. The husband also fed all the animals and made sure that waters were still full. The milking was put off because we didn't seperate the calf off last night and the attempt to milk would have been a wash. Add to the day that the dishwasher is running and lunch is thawing and laundry has been started and its been a pretty productive day so far.

Having a farm that you choose to live off of is not for the faint at heart or for someone that wants the easy way out, but it is something that can fill your heart with joy and that is something to be proud of.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Well here it starts

Since before I had my oldest child it has been more and more important to me to be as green as possible and try to be as self sustained as possible. Now this is not nearly as easy when you live in town or on a rented acreage. But we always did what we could to leave as small of a footprint as possible.

When my oldest was born I knew that I wanted to cloth diaper her and try to feed her as much as I could that was locally grown. Doing my best to give only the best was my main goal. This was fairly easy but not a perfect science as I am sure that you can imagine.
Well 5 years after having her, adding 2 more to the mix and finally be able to buy the home that we see as our forever home, we are working on making our dreams come true.

We have 4.5 acres with wonderful outbuildings, a beautiful house and plenty of area to work on and around. We currently have 24 chickens, 4 beef steers (2 that are a year old and 2 that are still babies) 2 pigs (that go to the locker soon) a wonderful Jersey Milk Cow, and then we have several cats, 3 ducks and 2 dogs just because they are fun.

Miss Bessie, the jersey milk cow, has been by far the largest learning experience and a journey in and of itself. Something is to be said for learning to milk a cow, and not just any milk cow, but a heifer that was also learning at the same time as we are. She is a good cow and we have a relationship that most of the time is pleasant.

So sit back and enjoy as I share with the world, the days on our farm. You will hear about the cow, the chickens, the kids, gardening and just about anything that could possibly go on when you have a small family farm.

I hope you enjoy and will share your experiences with us as well.