Tuesday, October 6, 2015

making mistakes, making changes

      We are not farmers from a long line of farmers.  Well, actually, that is not true.  My dad grew up on a farm, my grandfather was a farmer, and many of my cousins are farmers.  My husband's father spent several years as a child on his grandfather's farm, and my husband's grandmother and her people were farmers.  But we are removed from it.  We are learning from books, and blogs, and trying to keep things running as best we can.  We make mistakes.  We read.  We make changes as we learn.
   Today we are dealing with a chicken  who is getting picked on so badly she is bloody.  I have painted her wounds with Blue kote - antiseptic that makes her back purple. I am tempted to remove the wounded chicken from the coop, but I have not got a separate place for her that I can keep warm, and from past mistakes we have learned we cannot bring birds home where our dogs will want to "play" with them.  I think we may be over crowded in the coop.
      We need to expand our barn, or build a new one, for the sheep we are going to breed this year will double, treble, or possibly even quadruple the size of our flock.  We have ten sheep - seven of whom are female - and most of whom, we wish to have progeny from, to increase said flock and to sell some of them to others who enjoy their lush, soft fleeces.  Building a barn would be optimal, however, one must have money for that, and as anyone who knows farmers understands, most of us do not have funding for more than feeding our animals.
      After research and reading and classes, I see we need to  plow up several acres of  pasture and replant - our farm has exceptionally poor forage right now. Brassicas are in our future, as are some warm season grasses.
    The first two years have been about getting organized, gaining some livestock, and hiring  contractors to help tame some of the springs on the farm, and learning all we can.  They have also been about exploring our land.  Sitting and watching fireflies, and fireworks, and listening to the coyotes sing, and the sheep chatting in their pens, and the hens gossiping. Next year will be about change - and maybe, if we are lucky,  growth.

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