By way of update, the farm continues to amaze, inspire, and exhaust us. This year's plans involved one thing that is really many things: expansion.
For years we have lived here and done our thing, but it was time to add more. Egg orders were beyond what we could fill, and our first experimental year of selling meat hens behind the farm gate had been a success. We loved the fresh garden produce but wanted more that we could put up for the winter.
Last fall we purchased a tiller. I love this thing. We have now cleared out a 50' by 30' garden in a field that had been unused. The tilling was hard work but worth it as we gained a place to grow the 'big' stuff - potatoes, corn, pumpkins, and squash, all of which tended to overrun our smaller box garden. I added beets, parsnip, and turnip to the repertoire, and have been excited to see the rows growing.
This week thirty new laying hens arrive. More birds means the current coop couldn't house both the meat birds and the layers. Last winter I was mulling (as I often do) and hit upon the solution. The old log building will house the hens in the winter and meat birds in the summer. A new mobile coop on the same field as the new garden has become the hens' summer home. I'm not sure they feel as elegant as they should with this.
So the amazing D and I (okay, mostly him) designed and built what's basically an 8'x10' shed on skids. The hens will be pasture raised, contained for their protection in a portable electric fence and moved onto new grass occasionally to help rejuvenate the field. I'm learning about stuff I'd have thought mundane, and last night I was excited to find five different kinds of grass in the field and was considering how to best amend the soil and promote new growth and wondering whether this was a farmer, a hippie, or both talking in my mind.
I'm happy that this place can not only nurture us, but our friends and people we haven't yet met with a peaceful place and wholesome food.
I'm glad I get to share it with the most important people in the world: my family and friends.
I'm thankful for the beauty of creation as I am awed by it and its Creator. I've hummed the old hymn, 'When Morning Gilds the Skies' often as I step out into the dewy grass as the sun comes up.
I'm exhausted, but pleased with how it's going. If you were to look at our calendar, you'd think we're not at all busy. But each day unfolds and presents more things that need doing than can possibly done, so I prioritize what can't wait, what I'm able to do, and what will have to be pushed to tomorrow's list. For example: housework is waaaaay down the list. As anyone who visits my house these days can tell. The demands of outside loom, and dusting just isn't in the cards.
But, it's good. I love this life.