Saturday, April 22, 2017

Duh!!!!!


I love being outside enjoying the fresh air, puttering around my farm, wondering how I can actually make a living doing this.  I read books, search websites, listen to webinars.  I dream, I plan, I sell eggs which is enough income to feed the critters.  I wonder why my "business" is not successful.  I become horribly jealous of other local farmers who are actually making money from their farms.  Then it hit me yesterday while watching my, oh so fabulous LGD running down my driveway, having an I'm a farming failure pity party, that I am not successful because I'm not treating the farm as a business.  I'm not successful because I'm treating the farm like an expensive hobby.  I'm giving it 10% of my time and effort.  If it were truly my job I would treat at as such, give more energy to writing a business plan, more time to making farm improvements.  Instead, my days are spent doing what I think I should be doing to be a successful stay at home mom.  My farm is my job!  Mucking pens, improving fences, working on my goat breeding program, building pasture, adding more poultry, that should be my focus.  Duh!!!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Ever Evolving


Nature is ever changing, ever evolving, so is life.  My farming views have been changing as well.  Reading books about our food systems, farming, permaculture fill me with excitement.  There is nothing more enjoyable than cuddling a baby goat, burying my face into the fluff of a good LGD and seeing how excited the hens get when there is fresh bedding in their coop.  Heck, I even enjoy mucking pens and carrying hay bales.  

There is a new passion for farming bubbling deep within me.  I've been told my eggs are delicious.  This encouragement gives me drive to improve and increase my flock.  In the past few weeks, I've had families up to the Ranch to learn about the goats and chickens.  There was nothing more amazing than watching the joy on kid's faces as they got to snuggle a baby goat for the first time in a peaceful mountain setting.  All of this fuels the fire within.  I've contemplated giving everything up and becoming "normal" again.  But I can't, the fresh air, cool soil, fluffy critters are in my blood.  I see bountiful veggie gardens, plentiful eggs, and lots of milk. 

Time to get serious about my ranch, do my research, come up with a business plan, and turn my little dream into a money making enterprise.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Little Engine That Couldn't


I think I can't, I think I can't, I think I can't!  I am filled with passions, dreams, desires.  They spin in my head filling my mind with endless possibilities and that's where they stay.  I'm gripped by a fear of failure, that the journey will be too difficult and I am too inadequate.  It's as if my dreams are bigger than my capabilities.  

A heart and a mind change are stirring deep within me.  I don't have to be perfect at everything, learning is one of my favorite parts of life.  This dream does not have to be realized overnight, it will take time and hard work.  Instead of thinking that things need to be done this very now, I need to develop a detailed plan to accomplish things as time, financial resources, and weather permits.  

I walk my land now looking at it through new eyes.  Incredibly positive feedback from friends and farm customers is spurring me on.  If I truly want to realize my crazy farm dream I need to remember the wise words of the Little Engine That Could, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!"

Thursday, February 2, 2017

There is Beauty in Treachery

An icy fog descended on Colorado last night bringing with it freezing drizzle making the morning commute a dance with disaster.  The traffic map on the news is lighting up like a Christmas tree with delays and accidents.  I headed outside to a magical fairy wonderland.  Every blade of grass, pine needle, stick, fence is covered in a delicate glaze of ice. 



Tiny, delicate crystals cover everything.  Fragile, ethereal, exquisitely beautiful creations littering the winter scape.


Despite the cold, I lingered outside soaking in the magic.  The sun has started to peek through the clouds, slowly melting away the magic.






Sunday, January 15, 2017

Winter Doldrums


As I sit here writing this, snowflakes gently fall outside my window, a warm fire is roaring in the fireplace, and the smell of chili simmering on the stove wafts through the house.  Though cold and gray outside the house is warm and cozy.  Winter can easily stretch into May and sometimes June when you live at 8500 feet, my mind is slowly wandering to the warmer days of spring.  I've become somewhat obsessed with permaculture a design process that is based on a whole systems approach to farming and gardening.  Instead of just digging up the earth to add a garden one looks at the patterns in nature and tries to replicate them.  Working with the land not against it to heal and improve it.  

I survey my meager four acres through new eyes.   I examine the areas of water runoff and wonder how to allow the water to slowly seep into the soil to improve the health of the plants and trees.  Walking through the forest I examine the untouched areas to see what plants are growing nearby and in what conditions.  How can I mirror the natural woods around my home to improve the woods within my property boundaries?  

Permaculture teaches me to observe every aspect of nature from the track the sun takes every year to harnessing the rain we get for extended use to what plants will work well together to produce food and shade to using livestock to enhance and support my little ecosystem.  As the sky darkens outside my window and cold sets in, I cuddle up with my collection of books planning and dreaming of warmer days.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Puppy Love


Jojo and Buster are best buddies!  Unfortunately, in this picture, I chopped Buster's head off.  Oops!  I was sitting on the couch this morning reading a book.  Buster came along and sat as close to me as he could without being on top of me.  I think Jojo wanted to get in on the action, she came across the couch and proceeded to sit on Buster's head and get comfy.  Buster wiggled out from under Jojo a bit but let her lay on top of him for a cuddle with me.  That my friends is love!! 

Friday, October 21, 2016

MOLT!!!



My chicken run currently looks like a pillow fight gone horribly wrong.  There are feathers EVERYWHERE!!  You'd think some critter got in there, nope not the case.  The weather is supposed to be getting cooler, the days are getting shorter, and my chickens have decided to get naked.  Molt, it happens every year.  The flock loses their feathers in preparation for the winter ahead.  This yearly phenomenon also leads to some pretty silly looking chickens with feathers missing and scraggly bodies.  The worst part is that egg production drops dramatically!  Hens need protein to lay eggs and grow feathers, unfortunately, they can't do both at the same time.  As the feathers fall the hens start using their extra energy to replace them.  Instead of a dozen plus eggs a day, I'm getting four.  Ugh!!