This week was a busy one indeed. Not only did we get the new cow Penny, we have been getting a new milk routine established. Milk cows are pretty easy to work into a routine because they love routine. They love schedules. Penny has adjusted to family farm life well and we are slowly getting some weight on her skinny body.
Devin has decided to put permanent fencing up where we have had temporary fencing the last two years. It will be easier to keep the sheep contained and the area is nice and large. I can still sub-divide the area with electric cord to keep the cows in one area of the paddock. Needless to say, Devin has been a work horse driving fence posts. We have no equipment or tractor, so hard manual labor is how we get things done here.
I have found myself over flowing with raw milk now that we have two cows to milk. This made me decide it was a good time to start getting pigs. We will run them in the forest for a majority of the time, but for now the little ones are getting milk. We picked up two piglets last night and they are getting settled. I tried many times to get a short video of the piglets off my phone, but it has not been accomplished as of yet. My computer is not playing nicely with my phone. I am not computer whiz at all either. HERE is a link to see the little boogers from my FB page.
One thing I have learned is that the best thought out plans are usually thrown a curve ball at some point. My meat bird chicks were supposed to ship out the end of March. I had feed orders and customer orders all based on that ship date. Then the curve ball came and the chicks showed up at my post office on Friday, 5 weeks early. It was a mistake made on the hatchery end, but we frantically got brood boxes ready and now they are all here cheeping away. The weather is not quite warm enough to keep the brood boxes in the garage as I planned, so we have them in the basement. It is not ideal, but often times such is the case. Less than ideal doesn't equate with terrible. It simply means one must be flexible. I suppose I have gotten really good at being flexible over the last several years. Having a large family does that to a person.
I have met many people the last year who want to farm in some capacity, folks who want to opt out of the commercial food system and develop a relationship with their food. My advice is to always jump right in. Sometimes you start with a few hens in the back yard, sometimes you raise a few chickens for meat. You might even decide to buy a beef cow for your land. Whatever the goal, you must start somewhere. You have to stop waiting for the *perfect* time because that time may never come. There are always curveballs to throw off the best and most well thought out plans.
The time to jump right in is now. You might need to start small, but by all means start, and be flexible when the ball curves and ruins your plans. Farming and agriculture are not exact and precise sciences but rather art forms often times.
The last week here has been full of hustle and bustle. The animal chores have doubled and we are finding ourselves exhausted by dinner time. It is a good kind of exhausted though. It's the kind that lets you know without a doubt that your day was filled with work and all the many blessings that go along with that work.
I can't imagine my life if I had never the inclination to just jump right in. How about you?