Pain and Suffering

I need to get plants in the ground, but it keeps raining just enough to keep the soil too saturated. I was able to squeeze out time to plant 96 kale plants, but that’s it. Between rain, my fire department schedule, equipment issues, and the other stuff going on here on the farm, it seems like I am never going to get all the plants in the ground in time for our CSA.

Our friends at My Dad and Me Family Farm hatched a bunch of baby turkey poults, so I bought several to raise for Thanksgiving. This morning, four were dead. I had them in the brooder with our broiler chicks, and even though there are three heat lamps, all the chicks apparently piled up under one lamp, and smothered those four poults. $60 down the drain. 

We bought a straight run flock of Austrolorp chicks last fall. The hens for layers, and the roos for meat. The scheduled processing day is April 6, but these roos are about out of control. They are gang raping (harsh sounding but that’s what it is) our hens and they are looking ragged. One flew in Katie’s face, scratched her cheeks and cut her lip deep enough to require stitches. 

Speaking of rain, our pastures are so saturated that I either need to keep the cows off of it and feed more hay or we run the risk of pugging the ground and damaging future stands of grass, requiring us to feed more hay any way. Hay alone doesn’t make quality milk, so we’re getting a very sad amount right now. 

The rabbit enterprise just isn’t what I hoped it would be. Most folks in the know, have told me that rabbits can be very tough. Then there are some who are making bunnies like mad. All I see happening with ours is money, in the form of organic alfalfa, going into their cute little wriggling mouths.

Both of our vehicles are having mechanical issues and I haven’t found a mechanic willing to barter for food yet.

The barn roof is flapping in the wind.

The best helper we have is a 9 year old boy who works hard but is limited in ability and judgement.

I realize that much of this is self induced, and these are lessons to learn from. Much of this is from trying to do so much in such a short amount of time but, there is a sense of urgency to get the farm paying for itself, all the while adhering to ever more restrictive ethics (switching to organic feed to cut out GMO feed). We didn’t inherit land, and I don’t want to wait until I’m a used up retiree to do what I believe I am called to do. Sometimes, it all piles up and make me just want to throw my hands up and quit. But I’m not.  Well look! TImagehe sun is out, let’s get some work done.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Sandra on April 1, 2013 at 9:06 am

    What’s the saying? “It gets the darkest just before dawn” Just keep plugging away and I think you will be greatly rewarded very soon! We are all praying for you and your family 🙂

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  2. […] the fire station and Katie is managing the farm alone. Escaped pigs, loose rabbits, and attacking roosters have all created havoc for Katie when she was here alone, this time it was the death of a […]

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