Friday, January 2, 2015

Farm Friday

Although we've taken off from deliveries over the last two weeks, we haven't been resting on our laurels.  Bill is a meat eater but he refuses to eat any meat he hasn't raised, fished, or hunted. For red meat, he relies entirely on venison. This past week Bill got two deer - one processed into ground meat, cube steak, and stew meat; the other into summer sausage. With those two deer, combined with fish and chickens (usually roosters), he'll be set for meat for the year.

I've been busy creating outlines and spreadsheets and crunching numbers in anticipation of this weekend. We have an annual meeting where we go over all of our personal and farm records and then, using that data, plan for the coming year. We started this routine a couple of years ago and it has made a huge difference in our lives, both for our personal lives and for the farm.

Today we sold our hay equipment. It seems like the end of an era as *hay day* (or days as it sometimes is) has always been an important day around the farm as it's an all day task with Bill bailing the hay and me driving the truck with a trailer behind while he loads it for storage in our barn. We realized that for the little bit of hay that we need, it's actually better for us to purchase hay from another farm. Not only is it more cost efficient for us, it stops nutrient loss on our fields and actually brings in nutrients. 

It's that time of year when I start growing sprouts and shoots to make salads. We still have some Asian greens that we can eat raw but I like to mix in some sprouts and shoots for variety. I discovered a hummus-based dressing that I'm going to experiment with to add to my arsenal of dressings.

We have a social group that we host on a monthly basis. It's just over a year old and we're still trying to discover what it is exactly. To help steer us in the right direction, this week I designed a survey to go to everyone on the email list. I asked people what they preferred as far as meeting day, time, and place, as well as the format, topic, and what they liked/disliked, plus any comments. The responses are coming in and I'm going to summarize it for our next meeting.

I've also placed some online orders to stock up on food and other household items for (hopefully) the next quarter. Organic, chemical-free, sustainable, and even specialty items are very limited in our area and in the past I would drive 120+ miles round trip to buy some of those items. One day it occurred to me that I was burning a tremendous amount of gas which was bad for the environment and bad for my pocketbook. Since the UPS truck comes through our area on a regular basis, I decided that, even if some of the items were more expensive buying online, it was still a better deal overall. Part of my plan for 2015 is to be more purposeful in shopping for household staples.

We're waiting for goat babies. Several of the girls are huge! Plus, we gave a couple of our goats to our neighbor and she called us yesterday to say one had kidded, so some of our shouldn't be far behind. Now we're just in limbo, hoping our girls choose warm, dry days to have their kids - but they often deliver under the worst circumstances. In the meantime, I've been dreaming of something like this for our farm (sorry about the poor image; I took a photo of a magazine page):

On a personal note, starting last year I decided to choose 2-4 books to read small portions of each morning for inspiration. Since I finished my 2014 books, I've selected my 2015 books:

They seem to be all over the map but here's how they break down: one is intellectual, one is creative, one is spiritual, and one is frivolous, just because I need to be well balanced. I've read The Artist's Way before but it's such a great book and I'm looking forward to new insight.

Have a great week!


David said...

Cherie, plans for the New Year have started in my household as well. Of course they are mostly about gardening and garden structure. I'm still working on the fence to keep the critters out, developing the natural spring into a usable watering source for the garden, finishing up flower beds, and perfecting new planting ideas. Improvements on my seed starting area and mastering winter growing in the basement. I'm hoping for a great year with many successes. My prayer is that you and Bill will have the same.

Have a great New Year planning day.

Aimee said...

Love the greenhouse. I had an idea for a while that I'd build one out of old windows and it just never happened, so I put them up for grabs via our neighborhood's page and they went in a hurry. I have seen greenhouses on the site that can be delivered and are fairly easy to put together...hmm...