Well ... so much for our pumpkins.
The ducks and chickens have demolished our blueberry bushes, made dirt baths out of our potted sage and thyme, and happily ate their fill of our beans. And now, just to make sure they've got all of the major food groups represented (or at least the ones they like), they've eaten all of the leaves off the fairytale pumpkins.
We've tried everything: fencing, replacing, sitting potted plants up high, putting them in hard to reach places, threatening the ducks with no dinner and a time out. Free-ranging can be a royal pain in the ass.
Now it looks like FF is hard at work to try and get more fencing so that, just maybe we can move the incredible, edible egg layers to another part of the farmette - far away from any growing things that we might actually - you know - want to eat.
About a week and a half ago, I applied for a position in the Texas A&M Agrilife sheep shearing school. Do we have sheep? No. Have we ever owned sheep? None. Have I ever sheared a sheep? Nope. How many animals have I sheared? Nada. Have I even shaved anyone's head? Sort of.
We awoke on Thanksgiving Day morning to something that was definitely not worth celebrating. One of the Aylesbury males was limping around the back, last one in the line of his peers and just trying to keep up. Although we usually spend a good 15 minutes trying to catch a bird, this one was easy as he couldn't shuffle away from us fast enough. A quick look at his left leg and we could see it was swollen and warm to the touch.
Pastured duck and chicken all the way. Hope your holiday weekend was full of whatever makes you happy, full-bellied and fun!
So that title isn't exactly accurate. There will be, in fact, some "try" involved in this year's feast. Just not as much as I have in years past. We had a few late cancelations, so we won't have as many people to cook for, so that cuts back on a lot. But most of the pressure to "do it big" comes from within.
When it comes to farming (or homesteading or large-scale gardening or whatever your chosen designation), seed is king. Starting with the proper seeds and taking care of the proper seeds can mean the difference between a beautifully healthy crop, and a very pissed off, angry shopper in the produce department at Kroger. Believe me, I've been there.
The aftereffect of a full day of processing chickens and ducks.
It's ugly and dirty work, but seeing a deep freezer full of meat for weeks to come is incredibly satisfying.
It's just before dinner on a Tuesday night and the house is calm. FF is watching a cartoon with FF Boy, FF Girl is getting some beauty rest, and I sit here typing a blog entry, reflecting on the day and feeling the whole "farm mom" vibe.
Today's activities included making sourdough biscuits and sausage for breakfast with the help of FF Girl; guiding FF Boy through the quirks of the English language (we're learning to read ee and ea words, such as see and lean); coaxing our Bearded Dragon, Kevin, to eat more than just mealworms; and arguing with FF Girl over whether she should wear denim cowboy boots EVERYWHERE. She won, by the way, as I think she looks pretty cute even if the aforementioned boots are often caked in mud and chicken shit.
I documented my day now that I'm no longer working a 9-5. Granted this was an atypical day, but it was the only day I thought to document. But I see people do this all the time so I thought I'd try my hand at it. Hopefully, I don't bore my reader to tears. (Hi Mom!)
7:30 - Wake up with the kids (late). FF is already up and gone to his office to work. Spend some time snuggling, which is the best thing ever.
I guess now it's official. I am a full-time homesteader. My last day at my 9-5 office job was last Thursday, and I can't say that it has really sunken in yet that I'm not going back. Not that I want to. I met some really great people, and it's nice to have complete conversations with adults. But I'm enjoying my time with the kids, no matter how trying to my patience.
I see my future now as being wrapped up in family life - home, garden, animals, crafts. Not in a perfect Martha Stewart way ... more in a Tasha Tudor, fantastical way, but with a lot more foul language. Hey, I can't change EVERYTHING.
Right now I haven't made any radical decisions, but I'm keeping some options open. My writing, homeschooling and other things will keep me pretty busy. But I'm sure at some point I'll get restless. So I'm planning for a few contract things to swing my way.
Anyway, here's to the future (whatever that may be)! To you stay-at-home moms and dads - how do you keep it together? And is staying at home all you thought it would be?
I'm the wife of a Fledgling Farmer(FF) and mom to Fledgling Farmer Boy(FFB) and Fledgling Farmer Girl(FFG).