Could it be? Is it true? Am I standing on the brink of my fifth year as a farmer? I should be better at this by now!
I start this year like no other–at a new farm. A farm that is really a farm. A farm that was a farm before I got here, and will be a farm when I’m gone. But I’m still building something from scratch–me, as a farmer. What a journey it has been from the slanted little house to here.
Let’s start with a look back at how I did with last year’s farm goals:
1) I wanted more chickens and more ducks.
I’m not sure I can give myself a check here. I did get some more chickens, but I ate them. Does that count??
2) I wanted a second chicken house for chickens not ready to go in and out of the house/yard, and a separate duck house. I wanted a barn! And I wanted to build the duck ‘n’ buck yard.
CHECK on the duck ‘n’ buck yard. No check on the second chicken house and duck house. And, well, what do you know. I DID get a barn!
I love this barn.
3) I wanted to improve the garden and finally get some asparagus and rhubarb growing. Since I moved, naturally that means that finally we DID get some asparagus and rhubarb growing. I guess I can put that back on the list for here…… So…..
CHECK but no check.
4) I wanted more farm babies! Pickle cookies for everyone!
CHECK! There were a lot of farm babies this past year.
5) I wanted to become a better cheesemaker and a better soapmaker.
CHECK! I still have a lot to learn, but I’m getting better at both and I definitely got a lot of experience in the past year.
6) I wanted to work hard and get out of debt. Be frugal. And maybe even write a book.
Well…… I was doing pretty good on the financial end until the major setback of moving interrupted my carefully laid plans. Can’t really give myself a solid check here since my current financial status is BROKE. I did start working on a book!
And now I have a brand new year–to start fresh, to dream again, to believe that all is possible. Thank goodness we have new years every year!
Fifth Year Farm Goals:
1) GET MY COWS PREGNANT! Have mercy!
With all the pasture opportunity I have here, I’m planning to get a few more cows. (Read: FEW.) I’ve been talking to my old neighbor Skip about getting a Black Angus bull and a beef cow from him in the spring. As far as milk cows go, I just need one to milk for my personal use, but I’d like to have beef calves to raise up and sell. And provide my own beef as well.
2) Start at least a small garden here. There’s no vegetable garden here at all right now. I’m not sure what I can do this year, but I want to at least get a garden established. I also want to plant some fruit trees here. There are some fruit trees here already, but not many, and some are in odd places, like these two apple trees far, far away in the upper pasture.
What is THAT about?! Did they plant them for the deer? They’re like 5000 miles away from the house, and I’m only exaggerating slightly.
3) Get back on my feet financially. A big part of that means working harder and working more. I’ve got lots of ideas and irons in the fire for this coming year.
(Repeat photo. Back in the trenches.)
I will be a busy bee!
4) And speaking of bees! I’m sorely tempted to start keeping bees with a top bar hive. With so much else on my plate with a new farm to set up, I’m not sure this is the year for another new project, though, so I’m making this a tentative goal. Can you have a tentative goal? That doesn’t sound very goal-ish. Let’s say I’m going to study on it. Other tentative goals include getting some more geese, some ducks, and some turkeys. I haven’t completely committed yet. So let’s say I’m studying on those possibilities, too. Or that I should be committed.
How am I going to score this one next year with a check or not? I get a check just for thinking about bees, geese, ducks, and turkeys? Well, c’mon, I need an easy one in here, don’t I?
5) Fencing repairs and additions. I need to add electric to the upper pasture for the cows, and I’ve got a couple of connected areas I want to fence off to make more rotational fields for the sheep.
Sheep eat a lot.
6) Learn to use power tools. Yes, that’s right! I need MORE POWER. I need to build things on my own. At least some of the smaller stuff, or I’m going to have to make the superboys move in with me.
They’re cute, but they eat a lot.
I’ve got to learn to do more by myself.
I think that might be enough. Can I have more dangerous things on the schedule in one year? Bulls, bees, and power tools! This is going to be an exciting year!
And I didn’t even mention the lawn mower! I’m currently living in this fantasy where the grass stays the same height around the house all the time. I think that’s because it’s winter, don’t you? It’s going to start growing in the spring, and I’m either going to have to tie the sheep to the porch posts so they can mow it, or I’m going to have to GET A LAWN MOWER. I haven’t mowed since I was 12. Bet you can’t wait for the post where I mow the lawn, can you? I told you things were very exciting here at Sassafras Farm.
Oh, wait. The bulls, bees, and power tools! Yes, things ARE exciting here at Sassafras Farm! It’s gonna be a great year! Or a scary one! Or something.