Monday, July 8, 2013

Faaaaaarm Living...

So I'm tardy again with my weekly farm update.  This is already a really busy time of year for us plus we've expanded some of our activities.  Here's a quick recap of the week:

Saturday was our best ever day at the farmers' market.  Both the number of vendors and the number of visitors have dramatically increased, which is good for everyone.  Slowly but surely we're developing relationships with people who are interested in their health, where their food comes from, what goes into their food, and even how livestock is treated.  It's exciting to see how the word spreads.  Bill even got his photo in the paper.  Also, the market now has new hours (which means we have to get up even earlier on Saturday) and has added a weekday evening for people who can't make it on Saturday but can stop by after work.

We still struggle with problems with our goats.  We lost two young goats - Camille and one of my favorites, Grace.  We typically lose them to intestinal parasites, especially the notorious haemonchus contortus, also known as the barber pole worm.  This problem was caused by indiscriminate worming of goats over the years, even goats that did not have a heavy parasite burden (they all have some parasites), which caused the development of parasites that are resistant to the medications to the point that most are no longer effective.  

I'm working on an exciting project for the farm - we're going to have what is called a "farm stay," which is where individuals and families can come stay on the farm on the weekend.  We have had numerous friends stay in our farm house over the years and they always say how educational and restful it is.  So we're going to open up our farm on the weekends, beginning in September (if all goes according to plan).

Our farm interns will be arriving this coming Sunday and we're looking forward to getting to know them and to sharing our philosophy and way of life with them.  

In November, I will once again take part in a holiday craft bazaar so I've started making more aprons.  Here's a sneak peak of some of the fabrics I've chosen:
We have some sunflowers coming in!  Although Bill has planted some in one of our gardens, a number of them are "volunteers" from seed that has fallen from our bird feeder or that birds have dropped:

Even Sunday was a busy day for us - despite the fact that I slept in a bit.  While Bill tended to the gardens, I spent time making several loaves of bread, croutons from leftover bread, weeded our front flowerbed (this weather was turning it into a lawn, with crabgrass growing everywhere), sewing aprons, cleaning, doing some research on farm stays, and planning the week ahead.

I got some fun news for last week.  I won a book, The Good Life Lab:  Radical Experiments in Hands-On Living, through a giveaway on EcoGrrl's blog.  (I almost missed this one because I had gotten so far behind in my blog reading!)  Aimee, the woman behind the blog is a self-described urban homesteader with a eye towards environmentalism and sustainability.  I suggest you head over to her blog and check it out.  I have to say, reading her blog often makes me envious because she lives in Portland, Oregon, such an amazing progressive place.  I have to remind myself that it's also exciting to be an agent of change in our own region, despite how lonely and frustrating it can sometimes be.

Our busy-ness has kept me from learning about the camera function on my new phone, so I'm using the same old camera as always.  I hope to change this soon.

Have a great week!

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