While it seems like everyone around me is thrilled at all the things opening up, their children heading back to school, sports are a go, concerts and professional sport events where 10, 000 of thousands gather..
As summer came into being, the lull came and I enjoyed outside visiting with friends, and one or two very select friends where we did some limited indoor visiting as well. As the summer went by, locally our numbers were so low that it was very much put on the back burner and when friends asked me what I thought, I was like.. enjoy the summer and we will see in the fall..
Fall came early.. and really nothing much is changing for us, hubby was sent home and is working full time from home for the past 18 months and counting with no signs at all that he will be asked to go back to the office this year and maybe not next year and maybe not ever who knows at this point..
We continue to stream line the farm.. I am making the heavy choice to stop producing farm gate lamb, and we are cutting our flock down to personal use only.. keeping back a tiny little flock of 4 to meet our own milk, meat, wool and sheep compost needs.. The rest being sent out to the butcher mid sept..
It will be a very small lambing season for us in 2022 that is for sure.. We have not had only 3 ewes since the first year we moved to the farm.. but it is the right choice.. in a way, “they won” the cost of the feed, the cost of the wormer, Cost of tags, the cost of the hauler, the cost of the butcher, the cost of hay and 3 out of 5 drought years which has truly done a massive number on my pastures that need to all be sectioned off and redone over the next couple years.. Spring seed sowing will just not get the job done..
We have already downsized the small stock, bringing us down to just our turkey, chicken and duck flocks, plus one group of meat birds per year for freezer camp.
The new barn we are getting is perfectly suited to the two horses, plus small number of sheep, where as the small stock will continue to use the croft barn. If need be, I do have room to raise one beef calf, at this time, we have moved over to buying a full beef from down the road.. Its just so nice to do so.. but I am fully prepared to once again move back to raising our own beef calf every two years if we need to do so..
We will continue to buy a weaner piglet and raise our own pork for the freezer, we didn’t this year and the chickens and ducks thank us very much, and really they are rocking it on the clean up, extra milk, just let it clabber and serve, extra produce bits and bobs, chickens, even butcher bits, throw it to the chickens who will take it down to the cleaned up bones.
I have always been able to massively overproduce protein on the farm, eggs, milk, meat and so on.. I am working to find more balance, turns out I need a lot less livestock to just supply ourselves and our 0 mile closed loop.. Its kind of shocking really as I am so used to have so many more heritage breeding programs on the go.
I am moving over from “Animal Heritage” breeding to even more Heritage Plant Breeding and Seed Saving.. Its different but just as important work.. I have always enjoyed my plant breeding and seed saving.. it will be a pleasure to give back to the community in this way, I continue to grow seed for a Heritage seed house that goes to them for resale on their site.. It is exciting to know that what grew on my land one year can be grown in hundreds of garden in the coming year..
We are ordering in locally produced ton of wheat, barley and oats plus our hay and straw and 480 pounds of BOSS sunflower seeds orders are all in place and looking good this year.
That includes all the garden straw, I normally get 3600 pounds for the gardens but I am moving it up to 7200 pounds for 2022 as we are greatly expanding the food forests and somewhat on the gardens..
So we are heading into fall in the best shape possible to enjoy our farm, our horses, hounds, purr-pots, the beloved fish and of course with even more bird feeders and a ever ready Camera .. its a little foggy on how the fall will go.. but I fully expect a winter lockdown.. its coming.. its so coming..