As things begin to fall asleep for the winter here at the farm, autumn seems to always be the time that we can truly spend time thinking about how blessed we are to live on this beautiful little piece of heaven and what a privilege it is to have the responsibility to care for the wonderful creatures that are entrusted in our care. This year, I am particularly grateful for all of the goodness in my life (including my life itself) and much more introspective about the farm and what it provides us.
I think I must be getting back to normal as, I am filled with a million ideas about how we are going to do things differently (hopefully better) next year and constantly bombarding Shaun with project ideas. But, aside from all the new ideas, we are in full-swing planning for what we already know how to do well; Nubian babies and another plentiful milking season. Attis, our beautiful little Nubian buck has ‘fallen in love’ with all of the does, and we have high hopes for some really spectacular doe babies that we can add to our milking herd.
This fall we did something we haven’t done before; fall chicks. After all, fall chicks=spring eggs! The hens have always been an important part of the farm for us. We love the fresh eggs and when we have surplus, we enjoy sharing that beautiful goodness with other folks, so we always try to have enough laying hens to provide a few dozen eggs for the farm store. After a good deal of research, we settled on Novegens, ISA Browns and a token Sapphire Blue Plymouth Rock…her name is Violet and she is stunningly beautiful!
For years we have talked about putting together a chicken tractor for our laying hens to move around the pastures behind our grazing sheep, but I have resisted because, well, I hate to admit this, but the ‘cute factor’ in my world is pretty necessary and frankly, I haven’t seen any chicken tractors that met my level of aesthetic acceptability. So, we did what we do and we built one. I will have to do another entire post on the process so that if you are inspired by our little design, you can build your own. I will admit, we were a little late in the game this fall when we started this project, so the run has yet to be erected and the chicken tractor is currently sitting in our driveway with said chicks most likely until spring. Still have some finishing touches on it to do, but we are looking forward to doing some good multi-species grazing this next year.
We have put the flower garden to rest for the fall, but oh-my-goodness, the flowers were so beautiful this year. I am already planning more flower gardens for next year. The flowers just bring so much beauty to the farm; I can’t resist!
So there you have it, faithful farm readers, a little (albeit pathetic) update on the farm. As we round into the Thanksgiving holiday week, I have to say, this Thanksgiving season hits a special chord with me. 2019 has been a year that has provided me with so many opportunities to grow in grace and humility–I am so grateful for all who have supported, cared, offered help, shared a kind word or card, and most of all prayed for me and my beautiful family this year as we recovered from cancer. I felt all the love and prayers and will never have words to thank you all enough. Just know that this Thanksgiving season, I will think of each of you and the many wonderful kind gestures and offer a special prayer of thanksgiving for you!