Oh, how I’ve missed you all!
And so here I am again, trying to document and share after being absent from this space for much longer than I’d hoped, planned, or anticipated!
Realizing it is mid-August (how the heck did that happen), we’re way past due for a catch-up and so, instead of baraging you with 15 different posts, I’ll cram a few things in together 😉
Outdoor Play – While we try in general to spend as much time as possible outside, Ember and I have been especially enjoying our Mondays at home alone while Kim goes into to town to work. More time than not is spent exploring, adventuring, going on Bug Hunts (sung in tune with the book Going on a Bear Hunt), panning for gold in the acequia, checking on the poultry, goats, dogs, and cats. and breaking only for more tea and/or snacks. It’s a little slice of Heaven to bolster me up for another week of work spent mostly away from the farm and I feel so lucky to be able to give Ember these experiences at such a young age!
Snake in the Coop! – A few months ago Kim spotted a big ‘ol Bull Snake in the coop, but it disappeared and wasn’t seen again. Shortly thereafter we had a drop in egg production which we attributed it to the snake, but couldn’t prove it. As I began finding small nests of eggs in various places I began thinking the snake had left and maybe that was our egg problem. Then, I figured out that Akuna was getting in the coop again and attributed the lacks of eggs in our basket to the wealth in her belly. So, we began closing doors and windows and blocking off make-shift nests and saw a slight rise in eggs in the nesting boxes before our Red Rangers began laying (YAY!).
Feeling good about it all and quite certain our Bull Snake had slithered off months ago, Kim sent Ember into the coop to collect eggs on her own one day. Luckily, she couldn’t quite get the door opened by herself because when Kim went in to help her, they found that damn five foot long Bull Snake chowing down on one of our beautiful eggs.
Lucky for it, we believe snakes are friends of the farm and so caught and released it down on the field where it’s welcome to eat rodents of all shapes and sizes.
I’m still not certain that a few of our older chickens are laying in hidden spots because our production is still a bit low…but I’m grateful to be getting 8-10 eggs a day again!
Happy Caitlyn – My oldest daughter has come out to visit us on the farm a couple of times this summer and, I have to say, I never see her happier than she is when she is playing with the goats.
Going into her final college semester, she’ll be graduating in December with a double Bachelors in Biology (with a Botany focus) and Anthropology and she wants to be a Farmer. I couldn’t be more proud of her.
I couldn’t be more proud of her.
In our dreams (hers and my own) we’ll all set up on a lovely piece of property and grow wild and beautiful things together. Keep your fingers crossed for us.
Growing Ducklings – I am so happy to report that Moana, our orphan house and office duck, has fallen in with Kitty’s most recent clutch. The four remaining ducklings have adopted Moana as their big sister and they tool around the property together, happily foraging for bugs, taking naps in the shade, and floating down the acequia. My heart swells knowing our orphan has found a family and is thriving!
While the all of Kitty’s spring hatchlings are taken care of (the older four are grown now, two of which have found a new home and two are still tooling around the property), she has decided to set yet another clutch. Yep, she really is nothing if not prolific.
Putting Myself into the Picture – I’ve spent many, many years behind the camera, documenting our journey from there to here and every detail in between and have recently found a bit of sadness in the realization that, while our beautiful story is told through my lens, my perspective, my eyes, I’m more often than not missing from the actual picture. And so I’m trying to get better about that! See, while I don’t need to be in every frame, I’d like to look back on our journey and actually see myself in the day to day of it all as well 🙂 And so I’ve asked Kim and Ember to help me with this and am grateful they’re willing and able.
The photo of me above was taken by Ember in the garden of a few weeks ago after a very silly photo shoot during which she had me jumping up and down and saying “Corn!!!” (instead of “cheese”) while taking about a bazillion pictures. And so, there are remarkably fun memories and photos to be had by intentionally asking to be put in the picture <3
Pure Bounty – While we lost the majority of our fruit to a late May freeze…and our garden was kept very simple this year…and all of our squash were eaten by the ducklings, the bounty of our Farmers’ Market has been such a blessing with all of its cherry and peach and countless bounty this summer! And while we wait for the remaining drying beans and blue corn to mature, there is Echinacea blooming and handfuls of bush beans to keep us happy and feeling quite fulfilled.
And, though not not shown here, grapes will begin being harvested in the next couple of days and, that bounty will be immense!
It’s been a helluva summer full of ideas turned into reality, super long days, and painfully short nights. Work is good though and beginning its slide from summer programming (focused on community outreach and education) to cold-weather programming (focused on farmer needs and professional development).
I am so lucky to be working for and with our local Farmers’ Market and am learning so much every single day. Being a full-time farmer is no joke and the experiences of those I work with tempers my grand dreams with a strong dose of reality on a daily basis.
Dreams and Schemes:
Speaking of dreams…our dreams of our Forever Farm seem to be bubbling to the top of our awareness these days as we’ve had multiple conversations over the past few weeks about a variety of details we’d like to see come to fruition when we find our ideal property and begin building our business plan.
We’re thinking big, like infrastructure and pastures…and small, like fire pits and garden layout.
No, we don’t have dreams of being Market Farmers…our dreams veer off from that branch of farming…and no, none of our dreams are even in writing yet, but they’re beginning to feel more and more real and tangible!
And no, I cannot tell you more than that right now…
You’ll just have to stick around and see 😉
But this is the real beginning of our manifestation process and it is so.very.exciting!
Oh, how I’ve missed writing in this space and sharing our daily and weekly adventures with you! And while I know better than to promise more than I can fulfill, I am so very hopeful that with the cooler temperatures upon us and a bit of breathing space on the horizon, I’ll be able to spend a bit more time in this space with you in the very near future.
In the meantime, I’ll keep micro-blogging here and hoping you all are enjoying every minute you have with your friends, family, dreams, and schemes 🙂
Until next time!