Friday, September 10, 2010

Fall is here

Well, it definitely feels like fall around the farm these days. A lot has happened, and I haven't been keeping up with the blogging as well as I should have. My bad.
At first, it was soooo frickin busy on the dogboarding end, that I could barely breathe. Now, it's so slow, I am entering panic stage. I am trying hard NOT to panic, but sometimes it just sneaks up on me.

When I bought this farm, it was because it was my dream to live off the land, sustainably, and grow my own food before I was 40 and I got too old to enjoy it.
Last month, I hit the big 4-0. EEEEKKKK! What a scary thing! I only feel like I'm about 28, so now I tell everyone that 40 is the new 20, and I am still young. Which I feel young, so really I guess that's about all that matters.
The Universe was a big meanie to me on my birthday, however. I was lucky enough to get stung by a wasp the day BEFORE my birthday, then again on the day OF my birthday, then AGAIN ON THE DAY AFTER my birthday. I couldn't believe it! My arm and leg all swole up, and the only reason it didn't get worse was that I was at home when it happened, and was able to get benadryl into me within moments of getting stung. I was not impressed!
Honestly, this farm was the absolute best thing I have ever done. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the life, and how every day is an adventure, and you never know what is going to happen, or what challenges you will face. The finances are still scary at times, but if I think back to 2 years ago when I bought this place then immediately lost my job.... I've come a lonnngggg way. At least I don't cry every night, wondering how I am going to pay my mortgage. I will never starve, as all I need to do is go into my backyard, and pick some veggies. I am learning how to preserve food the traditional way, and I even cook proper meals for myself. Cooking is NOT my thing, so this is actually a big step for me! I am learning all about keeping chickens and turkeys, and researching into having pigs and maybe a milk cow one day.

Ooohhh, I want a milk cow sooo bad! I am on a cowshare, so I get raw milk each week from a lovely little Jersey, and it is so delicious. It is never enough for me, though! I make my own butter and yogurt from it, and will be trying cheese when I have more time on my hands. I keep thinking about getting my own little Jersey, but if I did that, I wouldn't ever be able to go to another dogsport function again. That little cow needs to be milked every day, twice a day. I am considering having my own cowshare, but done a bit different. If I could find 4-7 people who want fresh, whole milk each week, and we all go in on the cow together, then each one of us will milk once or twice a week. I think this is a fantastic idea, because we would all share in the expense of the cow, and I could make sure I got weekends off milking to go have some fun;-) My only major stumbling block to really going forward is that I am afraid I will get someone who doesn't take the milking seriously, and forgets... then the cow really suffers. In the meantime, I will keep planning and collecting names for interested parties.

My well went very, very dry a few weeks ago again. It was dry for over 3 hours. That was by far the longest time it went dry. It was scary. Luckily, it started raining the very next day, and the well is full again. It is astounding to me how much water I use just irrigating the gardens. When it filled up at the beginning of August, I thought I was set for the rest of the summer. I had a week off watering, which was wonderful, then it was hot and dry again, so I had to start up. The well was depleted in a matter of 3 days. It really puts the whole water thing into perspective, and I have to make it my priority to always be conscious of how much I use. Even in the winter when we have 'lots'. I FINALLY got one of my water tanks hooked up to the downspout, so when it rains again in the next day or two, it will fill up. I am going to use that for the livestock on a regular basis. I'm not going to take from the groundwater as much anymore! The best thing I did with the gardens is the hay. It saved me hundreds of gallons of water... and hours of watering. Now, I am just automatically planting everything in a hay or mulch. If I start now, by next spring it will be starting to compost, and should be even more water efficient.

On Sunday, it will be my second anniversary on my little farm. What a landmark! And, to top it off, my Aunt and Uncle are coming to visit. I haven't seen them for 15 or 20 years. They used to have a 20 acre farm in Victoria, of which I spent alot of time on when I was just a wee one. I had such wonderful times and memories of their farm! I'm certain this is why I wanted a farm of my own so bad. And I'm pretty certain I can blame my dog obsession on them, too! They had border collies - they were working dogs, and so amazing and smart. I remember they had puppies one time, and oooh, did I want one of those bigtime! My parents were wise in not letting us have a BC on a city lot - that poor dog would've been bored to death. But, my obsession grew from there, and got me to where I am today. Dog obsessed, and farming! I can't wait to see them and catch up on fun times, and have someone to talk to about my two favourite topics... dogs and farming.

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Flooded Driveway

Flooded Driveway
Too much RAIN!