2018 Farm Goals

I know we’re past the new year but I don’t start thinking about farm goals until a south wind blows with a hint of spring in the air. Spring is at least a month off but our little warm up has me thinking about this upcoming growing and kidding season.

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We bought this old farm in May of 2012 and have been working to fix it up a bit ever since. Money, unfortunately, does not rain from the sky so it is a slow process. Each year we have a big project and lots of little ones. Over the years our big projects have been: new siding, new roof for the machine shed, new roofs for the garage and lean-to off the barn, a few new windows, and steel for the barn roof.

This year our big goals for the property are:

Remodel the bathroom

Put the new steel on the barn roof

Smaller goals are:

Cut trees out of the orchard, fence, and plant apple trees

Purchase supplies for beekeeping

Fence the creek pasture for the goats

Build a movable coop for ducks (Getting ducks this year)

Repair chicken coop

Mulch vegetable garden, herb garden and flower beds

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When we were discussing our goals for this year Lucian helped and he is very excited about adding ducks to the farm this year. I’ve been told that ducks will eat slugs and caterpillars and I hope they will eliminate the green worms that go after my kale every year. Some of these goals are carry overs of last year but Fiona will not be a tiny infant this summer so they will get done. She will be able to play outside with us while we accomplish these goals and I do look forward to spring!

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When it’s Above Freezing

There are chores you can do when everything is frozen rock hard and certain chores that will have to wait till warmer days.

Barn cleaning is a chore that has to wait until the weather is above freezing for more than one day otherwise you would have to use a pick axe to get the job done. The good thing about it being that cold is the animals stay mostly dry because everything is solid. The bad thing is that if you wait until warm spring days you will be shoveling 2 ft. worth of crap out of one stall.

So what do you do?

Take advantage of itty bitty warm spells. We had three days where it was almost above freezing. It was warm enough that the barn started to smell and the animal pens started to get gooey. We picked the worst one to clean on our day off and hoped the weather held so we could go the other two. It didn’t but at least the piglets have a nice clean run now. The goats and chickens will have to wait until the next warm spell. Hopefully it’s before April.

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Sled Train!

Cleaning the barn in the winter has it’s own challenges. For instance, how to transfer manure from the barn to the compost pile. Today it was by sled!

Even though we were working to clean out the barn we had the kids with us so they could take advantage of the nicer weather. My kids love being outside and I hope that stays with them their entire lives. My goal is to try to teach my children that working on the farm can be fun.

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