Saturday, July 19, 2014

It Is Really July?

Yeah, so I have been very bad.  I feel like I havent had time to breath and the blog is the last thing on the chore list.  Today I think it is a good day to do a catch up because Dan is in town getting a tractor tire fixed, it is windy and cold outside, and one of the girls is sick, so I am in the house while she takes a nap.

April-  April came and went.  Nothing major happened other then the snow was still on the ground by the end of the month.  Unusual for us, usual we are melting in April.  Due to the snow it did set back a lot of our plans.  Our garden boxes didnt get put in.  No fencing got done.  No tilling or discing in the fields.  Just nothing really.  I was busy all month, but really cant remember on what.  Oh yes, I was hatching chicks and ducks all month.  I started in March.  You see, a friend of mine put on a poultry show and I helped her.  I did the behind the scenes stuff.  I guess show isnt the correct term either as there was no judging.  It was a sale.  We did well for a first time sale and plan to do it again next year.  I will have to hatch earlier for that though.

May-  So busy!  Finally got the new baby goat the first of this month.  She is growing well and loves attention.  We named her Angel.  The snow melted the first week, then it snowed again and melted the second week and dried up by the third week.  We have family come visit us, but had to plant the fields too.  We got all of the fields planted just in time for the May 31st deadline.  We also started to suspect that Pearl was pregnant due more to her behavior then anything, but she started to look a bit wide.  After all the crap with Cesar over winter, I did not expect any kids this year, so we are watching and waiting to see what happens.  I suspect she will kid in June.

June- Got some discing done in the field we decided to summer follow.  We want to plant alfalfa in it and didnt have time to do a cover crop so we will summer follow it to help with the weeds.  There has been no rain.  We desperately need rain.  None of the crops are growing well.  We finally got the flax seed cleaned from last year.  Something is not right there.  Only got 1100 bushel off 200 acres.  It is considered a big crop failure.  We are now at the last of our savings with no more income coming in.  With the flax failing, it isnt worth the trucking fees to get the flax to the elevator to sell it as it would cost me as just to truck it as I would get from selling it.  It puts us in a really bad bind.  No income coming in, bills stacking up, crops this year not looking good, it just isnt a good year.  Luckily we did a job for someone transporting early this month and can cover the bills off that job for the next two months.  We need to take on more jobs, but when we do, we are not completing our own jobs on the farm.  So it is a double edged sword.  Still no baby goats, but now Snowflake is starting to bag up a tiny bit.  Or is it just fat?

July- Had the chance to get a new goat that is two and in milk.  She has the bloodlines I have wanted, so should work well for what we want.  I picked her up the first part of July.  I have had her now for a week and she is milking 2 liters a day for me.  It is just enough to feed Angel.  Our cow that I was using to feed her dried up and I have been very short on milk for her.  Now she is doing well getting the goat milk and having a good time of it too.  She is bottle fed so I am milking at 8 am and 8 pm every day.  The new goat, Amber, is lonely and not eating as well as I would like.  I tried to put Angel with her, but Angel wants nothing to do with Amber and climbs out of the fence to get back to me.  I cant put Pearl or Snow with Amber cause guess what, no baby's!  They are still pregnant.  Dan watches Pearl's stomach move around from the baby, but still nothing.  They have to be born soon, cause the end of Feb is when I moved Cesar to the greenhouse from the barn.  That only leaves 5 days til their last possible due dates.  Now what?  We wait.  Remember that post?  Impatiently waiting?  Yep, it repeats it's self.  Well, this month we have got a lot accomplished though.  We got most of the goat fencing done.  We have been cleaning out around the barn and milking parlor.  We should have both finished by the end of this month and then I can start to white wash the inside of the barn and get everything resecured.  Then next month maybe we can get the new room built onto the barn.  No extra jobs this month, but I started to sell my chicken feed and that has really helped.  That alone is paying half our bills this month.  So we are ok for this month.  The stress of not having enough money is really starting to affect me, but I try to not let anyone see how much.  I know it affects Dan too, but he tries just like I do.  If we can get two or three more good jobs this year or a decent crop this fall, we will be ok.  I hate having to depend on things like that.  It shouldnt be that way.  We have to finish getting everything set up properly to be able to have things make money!  For some reason this year everything seems to be taking twice as long as it should.  The garden was a bust, had bugs attack it and nothing we tried worked.  It is dead.  I am hoping to save some of the perennial herbs, not so sure I can.  It is one of those years that you just want to scream, cant anything go right?  Every project has been put off or only partially done and some things just shut down.  I had someone tell me once, if you really want to know what faith is, be a farmer.  You have to have faith that everything will go just right for you to have a crop just to be able to live and farm for another year.  God must really be wanting to test my faith this year as everything has failed.  Yet it seems that things are coming along right as they are needed most, so we hope, pray, and have faith that we can keep going.

So, it is mid July and here we stand.  Hunched over and starting to feel defeat, but not allowing that to happen.  We are who we are and we work hard everyday to build the life we so desperately want.  With Dan having quit his job in January it really puts the financial issue of farming into more perspective.  We try to do things locally and sell at the farmers market and do minor jobs for people, but it seems that everyone that wants the work done or buy things are so far away it would cost us more to go there to do it then we would get paid for it.  So it isnt always feasible.  A friend of mine has loaned me one of her sons.  He has been a great help because he wants to learn farming.  Since he has been here he is learning all sides of it.  He has witnessed a birth, a death, and the financial stress of it.  It is enough to put anyone off farming, yet he persists and still wants to learn.  We are teaching him everything he wants to learn and everything we can think of in exchange for his help in completing some of the chores, even if it is daily chores so that we have time for the bigger projects.  It gives me hope that Dan and I are not just building this life for it to be thrown away after our time is over.  That the next generation will want to keep it going.  I can only hope that at least one of our children will follow in our foot steps.  I dont want my children to have a hard life like we are having getting things set up.  I want it to be ready for them to take over and be profitable and a good life.  That is the goal we work so hard for.  Our children.  That is why, even when all seems to be going down and lost, when everything seems to be against us, we can rally and keep going forward and find ways to do what we need to do.  Because we do it for them.