It’s a lot of work to start a farm; our days are overflowing and it doesn’t seem like we’ll ever get it all done. The ibuprofen bottle is kept an arm’s reach away and at night we pass the extra pillows between us for our sciatica (I mostly blame this on our quickly fattening pigs). We’ve already gotten way more sun than we should and I’m going to be the only 20-something with wrinkles.
Taj, the farmer we supply eggs to, says he’ll have free time to visit our farm in oh, 6 months. “Same here,” we said.
The animal feed bills are quickly adding up, making us second guess ourselves and our seemingly naive ideals concerning animal husbandry and care of land.
And there is the ever present fear, fueled by our neighbor’s adamant stories of failure, that maybe we won’t be able to grow anything in our new location due to the rodents. (The reason as to why we haven’t announced our 2013 CSA start date.) At night I have nightmares of waking up in the morning to fields that have been flattened by swarms of famished rabbits and squirrels.
In our moments of sheer exhaustion and self doubt we dream about just growing food for ourselves next year and the freedom and simplicity that would bring.
Thankfully in the month of March we had lots of visiors (and also two weeks off of the ER for me) and therefore lots of familial help and encouragement. In moments of tears, my Mom was there. Planting beside me, telling me to keep going, reminding me that this is a learning process and that we are doing a good job- the way only mothers can.
Here are a few things, thanks to the help of family, that we can check off our To Do list. It is weeks like these that we need to recount small victories.
Install automatic misters for greenhouse
Plant kitchen salad/herb garden just out the front door
Move chicks outside
Plant loquat tree and feed fruit trees
Put finishing touches on another top bar bee box
then put out for good measure
Build pig loading chute for transferring out to pasture
Craft two new owl boxes
Hang directly above our field
Till fenced in garden area and plant 200 bare-root strawberries
and paint front trailer door.
Capture swarm (or two!) like this one
Get massive vermicompost bin going
Continue killing rodents with pellet gun
Figure out what to do with this decrepit Langstroth bee box
Finish drip irrigation
Take it one day at a time
and try to enjoy the ride!