It’s my favorite time of year. Leaves are falling, the air is crisp, root vegetables and greens are on the menu. The Harvest is just about over, for those of you who farm/garden, and a much needed break is almost here. But a lot of you will know that winter is not really a rest period for farmers, especially if you have livestock. It is a time to catch up, if you can.
Even though this year has been tumultuous, to say the least, it has also brought great joy, love, and finally hope. Taking a break from farming this first year of our daughter’s life has given us the chance to really be there for her and watch her grow. We are starting to come out of the darkness and financial ruin of losing the farm and begin to plan for our future.
I’m just now comfortable with eating our Mutton from one of our first Rams, Calvin. We were not able to sell much Mutton, not being part of a market this year, and we had reached the best if eaten by date. I braised his leg, Julia Child pot roast style. It was delicious, not gamey or musky, if not hard to eat at first-it being Calvin and all.
Tom has helped me move some of our container gardening inside. He put up a shelf in our Kitchen, in front of one of the sunniest windows in the house. We mostly have some fresh herbs and Aloe. But it’s nice to have a little green. Although many of our container plants outside are still kicking.
While we still have stuff for sale, we’ve been catching up with our Farm Bucks customers. We are hopefully getting close to zeroing out with the folks who bought into farm bucks. It worked out well, for everyone I hope, even with losing the farm. This is a program I definitely want to offer in the future. Far less stressful than a CSA, and without the risk for our customers-which turned out to be prolific.
We do still need to sell some of our farm stuff. We have electric sheep netting, an old freezer, books on farming, Bee Boxes/Hive set up-everything but the bees, Honey extractor, Windows and Doors to make your own cold frame, and probably more than I can remember. Get in touch if you are interested in what we’ve got.
So, sometime in the last two months we lost another chicken to a predator. We now have only five, but still enough eggs for us to eat, as you can see in the above picture. This loss came after a hearty chase with one of our neighbors dogs, in the daytime at least. Although this time I don’t think this chicken was pinched by a dog.
Tom finally got on some medication that is helping with his condition. And he is ready to start planning our future. Still we are not financially able to progress. And something that has become all too familiar is how a family of 3 cannot survive on a full time hourly wage job, even when it pays better than minimum wage. It seems unreasonable in this modern age to have more people than not require financial assistance, multiple jobs, or be buried in debt just to afford shelter, food, and a means to get to work, lets not even get into being able to afford (or eligible for) healthcare.
What’s hard is to be faced with the truth that in the first few years of building up the farm we were worse off financially except for our savings, which were invested into the farm. While one of Tom’s greatest disappointments in losing the farm this year was his thought that this would have been the year we turned a decent profit, I still wonder if it would have been enough to live on. While I am not surprised what happened did, I just wish it could have happened a couple of years ago when Tom and I were in a better place financially and without an infant to care for and support.
We hope to see you more in the future. Whatever it will be. Let’s get ready for 2013.