So I have decided to move over to wordpress. A lot of comments have been missing on blogger and I am just not happy about it. It is a big pain in the butt sometimes working with blogger. Oh well. So onto farm life…
You know, sometimes I look back on my week and feel a few things. Most of the time I feel like the week went by too quickly. I hear this all the time, you know the whole saying of as you get older time flies. You blink and all of a sudden your 80 and sitting on your porch drinking sweet tea. Okay I might have added that last bit. Jack and I have been talking about being 80 recently, sitting on the front porch drinking sweet tea. Anyway, I almost always feel like my week flew. I also feel like it was full to the brim of crazy exciting things. Except, it also feels like nothing really happened. I am not going to try and explain that. It just is.
This week has been odd. This is a flurry of activity with moments of absolute nothing. In some ways it feels a lot like hurry up and wait. We have to wait for certain things. It is like walking along and getting your toe stuck on something, you have to keep moving forward though, so part of you keep going, until you get stuck on something else, still parts of you are still moving forward getting stuck little by little. There is forward movement, it just keeps getting slower. And that is what it feels like. Really where we get stuck most often is Jack having to work. It is all good though, without him working we would be even more stuck without having any income.
There was a lot of gardening work done this week. All 1000 sweet potatoes were planted. We lined our road with sunflowers. A lot of the privacy plantings of willows and poplars were planted. These are big things. Things that need to be established. Things we tried to do last year but failed because of the drought. We aren’t having that problem so far this year. Things are starting to bud and live. It is great! A whole bunch of stuff got transplanted out. Something like 50 tomatoes. Don’t quote me on that, it was a lot though. Some kale and broccoli and I am sure I am missing things. Jack also got some 200 bales of straw delivered. Of course it was a rainy cold day…He came in soaking wet after stacking and tarping the bunch. Not all the straw is ours. That is the really nice thing about living in community like we do. We can order an ass whack(Jack term) of things like straw and save some money because we are almost acting like big farmer. We have been putting a lot of that straw to use though. There has been lots of mulching of gardens going on. The potatoes were also mulched. In some ways I am so excited to think about the harvest of yummy food that will come out of our garden this year. In other ways I am terrified because we do not yet have a root cellar. They are expensive and it is going to be interesting trying to work that in. Oh well though, we seem to figure things out and I have faith.
Some more exciting things are medicinals!!! It is that time of year again. The girls went out and harvested a bunch of violets. I tinctured some in brandy and the rest we made pesto with. There is SO MUCH out there right now though. We were at someone’s house and I noticed they had almost literally a ton of violets. It started a violet picking party. I came home with enough to fill a quart jar and a half. Some of it went to tincture also. But I am also going to make violet syrup with the girls. Sounds yummy, right? The girls also went out today and harvested a lot of dandelion tops. We will maybe tincture some, infuse some oil and maybe make a jelly or syrup also. They also brought me cleavers and reported on the state of our wild hops. It is really easy at this time of year to feel rich with things. Right now I feel very rich in milk and eggs and wild herbs. I made over two gallons of chocolate ice cream last week. It felt amazing to have it at our potluck and tell people to eat, eat as much as they wanted! Honestly, I think it is because we have gone without often enough to really appreciate what we have. The miracle of the amazing bounty. Our yarrow is starting to set blooms too. It fills me with such joy. Maybe that just means I am a lazy gardener. I would rather search over our acres looking for herbs and plants and collect them than try to plant a seedling and take care of it. Give me wild plants any day!
On to animals. We have had a really rough time with them lately. I wrote about Melisande’s eyes. Well, they aren’t looking that great. Not great at all. We think that at least one ruptured. I am hopeful that the other eye will make it. She started out having not good days. She would run in circles. I actually gave her some vervain and borrowed some valerian tincture from Joan. We drenched her with them. It did seem to calm her down a lot. So much so in fact that while I was just sitting with her she let me shear half of her. I think we might try dosing with vervain before shearing from now on. So there is still hope, but this is really not a situation that I really wanted to be in.
Dancer also got really bad. We knew she had milk fever. She was being treated with extra calcium and we were taking it easy on her. I had thought she was getting better. All the way until she got really bad. She went down Friday. She wasn’t getting up. We went through everything we could think of. It was also cold that day. I ended up talking Jack into bringing her inside. There was actually a fire going, if that tells you how cold it was. It wasn’t like this is May or anything… Anyway, everything we could think of. And then we just made her as comfortable as we could. There was nothing else. She died in the night. I think we all knew it was going to happen when Jack had to carry her up and into the house. It is heartbreaking. I didn’t want to post about it on facebook. I even told Jack that. He told me to just leave it. But I couldn’t I feel like I have made a commitment to you my readers. I may not give detailed information on being a homestead but if nothing else I am going to be honest about all the crappy things that happen. It is the same as my parenting philosophy. If I make it look all sunshine and rainbows I have failed you. The rewards are great, do not get me wrong, but the lows are awful and heart-wrenching. If you were to read my blog and think that it was all sunshine and rainbows and went about to start your own homestead and found out about all these lows then. Well, I know I would feel I had failed so I imagine you would too. This blog is not just about all the great things that happen. This blog is about life. And life isn’t always great. Sorry if I am the first to tell you this.
So yeah, tell me what you think about the new blog if you feel like it. In some ways I think this is much easier to work with and just to see if that is true I am going to try and add a picture, something I could never do on blogger…
did it work????
Almost forgot one more thing…Mac and Anya have been furiously working on their yurt platform. It is almost done!! The yurt is supposed to ship shortly and they will be moved in. It is all very exciting. There are definite changes happening around here.