Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Life on the Farm, and Hope

Winter is streaky this year, freezing, thawing, freezing, snowing on TOP of the sheets of ice. I'm trying not to be completely offended by the entire season, but frankly it isn't going well.

The ice has caused the gate to the goats to get stuck and break, so now I have to suck in my ever-expanding belly along with my marshmallow puffy coat in order to squeeze in to feed those menaces. Additionally, they are BORED and also offended by the weather, and escape at every given opportunity. Since they free range in the warm weather, the fact that they are loose would be less of an issue except that the lack of forage when they escape has led them to chewing on my house. This is unacceptable.

But, the bright side is, regardless of the bitter cold, freezing cold snowy days, our little chicken ladies keep on laying. I'm very grateful. We've seen a bit of a drop, somedays only getting one or two eggs, but many days we get four or five. With five chickens I'd call that success. Getting them in the house before they freeze is a challenge though.

So, our little farm life isn't without it's worries or fears. I worry every night when I see how low the temp will drop, even bringing all the birds in one night when the temps were way below zero. The goats were fine, a nice thick layer of bedding and another, along with their spongy, wooly winter coats kept them comfortable. But, I stress and worry. We have had a bout of some sort of respiratory virus with both the girls, but they got over it fine, and are not worse for the wear.

It's a funny life we're choosing here. I think about undoing it all the time. Maybe I don't REALLY want to do this. Maybe the stress and worry is too much. Maybe my heart just can't take it.

I come in from chasing a wily, house-chewing goat back in her pen AGAIN and declare to Derek that THIS TIME I mean it, sell the damn goats on Craigslist!

But I don't mean it.

 I have a tendency to pull away from strong emotions, to distance myself from things that hurt or might hurt (I'm human) and I know that our little farm is a breeding ground for heartbreak, just like it is for good things.

But then I find myself at the farm store, reaching for books like these, bringing them home, and dreaming of spring when I can plant, then summer when I can chase goats from my strawberries, and hope for the future, for the new life that is promised.

So, life on this micro-farm is changing, growing, expanding. We'll plant and toil and chase and hope.

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