Welcome Back to the Farm
Farm

Welcome Back to the Farm

Welcome back to the farm.

 

That’s really the easiest way to say it.

 

I’ve taken some serious time off. Time off from writing, time off from the blog, and instead have focused on my day job and the day to day of the farm.

 

During this time there wasn’t a lot of dreaming about the farm. Don’t get me wrong, there was goals, because homegirl is all about goals, but there wasn’t a whole lot of dreaming.

 

Which is what I’m best at.

 

But here we are, after a much needed break.

 

 

Let’s go back….

 

August 8, 2019, I wrote this post. Which basically was about where I was as a blogger and a farmer. There was a massive change that had to happen to the farm. I had lost the visual that I wanted on our farm and I was throwing my entire self into my day job and quite frankly I was a little sad. Not for anything in particular but just because at the time I didn’t want to face the changes I knew I had to make to the farm. I’m not very good with change. I’m a hunker in and hold out type of person, even when the time for change is long overdo.

 

Fast forward to this Spring. A lot happened in between. We finished off our meat chickens in December of 2019. It was a long season and Lord help me if we do another season like that one. Good gracious.

 

In March we had our first calf, followed two weeks later by our second calf. Putting us into the home dairy business (well not business because girl can drink all that cream herself…plus it’s illegal here in Canada. But you know what I mean).

 

 

 

Meat bird season started again in April, with our first round scheduled for butcher the end of June.

 

And here we are!

 

So, allow me to take you on the farm tour. We downsized a lot, and for the first time in a long time, I feel like we are balanced – animal wise and work wise.

 

Welcome back to the farm. 

Currently we have around 100 meat chickens. We have zeroed in on meat birds as being our bread and butter so to speak. They are cost effective, don’t require a whole lot of space, and are seasonal. All things we like.

 

I have no idea how many laying hens we have. Chicken math has gotten away from me. But I believe somewhere around the 40 mark.

 

 

We do still have rabbits, but honestly we gave up on raising meat rabbits. I never ever expected how hard rabbits were to raise. It wasn’t for us. Currently my does live in a colony and they feast on fresh picked clover every morning. Once raised, rabbits are easy to keep. Our issue was getting kits to butcher age without them dying from who knows what. Sometimes they got crushed, or Mama didn’t feed all of them, or they got out of their enclosures and got eaten by predators. It was just too much headache.

 

Our favourite animals on the farm

 

 

I know you’re not supposed to have favourites so don’t judge me.

 

The dairy cows. A jersey cow named Ferguson, who is currently being used as a nurse cow. Our second cow is a holstein, named Massey, who is our family milk cow. Massey abandoned her calf, but thankfully Ferguson was alright with raising two. The only downside is this girl doesn’t get any of that coveted jersey cream, but I do have two fat calves…so there’s that. Both calves were heifers (which means female) and we have named them Annabelle and Casey. (You may notice a tractor theme in our cow’s names. Thats all Dan. I got to name one. I’m sure you can pick that name out no problem, but if you aren’t as obsessed with tractors as Dan is, it’s Annabelle. The only cow with a really feminine name.)

 

And honestly, that’s the farm. That is where we are.

 

No more goats – I could not get over the balling. Oh my word, if you want an animal that is never content get yourself a goat. If you want to be sane, look at cows or even sheep.

 

Our goal currently is raising free ranged chicken, eggs, and grass-fed beef.

 

 

 

Other areas we have downsized would be in the kitchen. I can’t make absolutely everything from scratch, who.has.the.time.for.that?!

 

I know I don’t, and I’m betting you don’t either.

 

For me, I make bread several times per week, as well as butter, and sometimes cheese. That’s about it.

 

Dinners are made up of what is coming out of the garden, what’s stored in the pantry, as well as whatever meat we have (read: chicken. Lots and lots of chicken). Dinner around these parts has to be done in 30 minutes or less. Preferably less. OR they have to require no attention. Just set it and forget it.

 

And in the spirit of honesty…I also have subscribed to a meal kit because I don’t even hardly have time to go grocery shopping anymore (also who else is trying to avoid the grocery store? Not because of the pandemic but because of all the rules and they’re all different depending on the store and quite frankly I am tired of being yelled at. Can I get an amen?)

 

So, going forward be watching for new simple recipes that work with a busy lifestyle. We’re all busy, baby, but we need to eat.

 

And that’s all. Dan and I both feel like the last 5 years have been all about growing and learning. We had a steep learning curve. We are first generation farmers, and we farm so differently from anyone we know. We live in cattle country with families who have farmed for generations. Small sustainable farming is still a taboo topic ’round these parts but we are quite
happy to be doing something different, and focusing our energy on what we know well, what works well for our land, and for products that we enjoy on our table.

 

At the end of the day, this is all about the food.

 

Somethings just don’t change.

 

And amen.

 

 

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