https://youtu.be/BwzHdGP4lgw I'll admit, they're a little spoiled right now. They've gotten used to an every morning breakfast routine this winter and are getting a little demanding. Cappuccino woke me up yesterday at 6 AM demanding breakfast. They LOVE their wheat straw, and come running when they know they are going to get food! Kiwi has the cutest runway strut. Now I'm off to scoop donkey poop and do some mowing. I can't believe I'm excited to mow, it's a sign that we're almost done with mud.
Last May my husband had this great idea, "Let's plant a pumpkin patch!" he said. So, like most of his ideas, I tell him he's crazy and then execute the plan and end up really happy I went along with it. The kids and I spent a few hours spreading out a mountain of dirt and planting seedlings we just grabbed at our local garden center. We planted five seedlings, hoping we'd get enough pumpkins for ourselves and a few friends. The process for growing them was simple. We hooked up soaker hoses to our nearest hose bib and every couple days I'd run the drip in the evening for a couple hours. Some days I'd forget, some days I ran it for more time. I didn't keep track, even though I figured I probably should. It was beginner's luck for sure, they took off! We had been told by everyone in the area that the soil on our property would be amazing to grow in. We also have the benefit of a local beekeepers bees pollinating to their heart's content. We were thrilled when we discovered towards the end of September that we had perfectly sized, beautiful pumpkins ready to harvest! Once again, the kids and I held a work day and with a lot of teamwork, we harvested just over 200 pumpkins! We were in awe! What would we do with all of these pumpkins? I started posting in our local community's Facebook group that we had pumpkins to sell. I posted on my personal Facebook profile and took loads to work to sell; before we knew it we were sold out! We didn't sell them for much, about $2 a pumpkin, but the money was a huge addition to the kids' 4-H fund. The money helped them pay for their registration for 4-H this year and will also help out with animal expenses. May will be here again before we know it! We are planning now for a bigger, more diverse pumpkin patch! Who knows, perhaps someday our open acreage will end up being a pumpkin patch?
I remember the night clearly. Jeremy and I were in yet another serious discussion about whether or not we should really do this. We had made decisions along the way that certainly put us in the directions of moving to the property we now call Smith Farms West, but this was THE decision. We had made an offer on the property, but it was contingent on the sale of our house. After a couple months of waiting for an offer on our city house, we had gotten one. Clicking the box on the electronic form our real estate agent sent us was going to make the rest of the decisions from this point forward for us. So, we stood there late at night in our newly remodeled kitchen and weighed the pros and cons yet again. In recent days we had made lists of the pros and cons, imaginary budgets of how we thought the finances would go after the move, priority lists for the remodel of the new property (if we even got it), etc. But now we were down to just one final choice. As with any major life-changing decision that couples face together, there was a certain amount of questioning involved. Is he saying “yes” because he thinks I want him to? Is she saying “yes” because she thinks that’s what I want, but perhaps I don’t. On and on the questions went. Few people even knew we were going through all of this because we didn’t say much about it, almost sure that it wouldn’t work out. We were sure that at some point along the way the deal would fall part, something would keep this from happening. From the first look at the online real estate post when I called it a shack and thought that would be the end of the discussion, to the first visit that Jeremy had arranged when he contacted the selling agent without me knowing, to the first viewing of the property when I fell in love, and then to the final inspections; somewhere there was bound to be a hiccup. There were hiccups, but not any that stopped the process. Each step we took the doors kept opening, so we kept knocking and walking in faith that this was all meant to be. I’ll admit, I didn’t feel all that in touch with God at that point in my life. Honestly, my time and energy was spent on making myself better physically. It was important and time well spent and I felt great physically, but not spiritually. We had tried out churches, none feeling right and I was in a whirlwind of dealing with life stuff, so I wasn’t spending the time in prayer, scripture or worship that I needed. I was hoping this was all God’s purpose for us, but uncertain. I felt like as long as doors kept opening, we should keep pursuing the move to the country. You know that overplayed song “If it’s Meant to…
If you buy a city girl a farm she’ll want some chickens. The chickens will be cute and produce delicious eggs. Because they’re so low maintenance, she’ll want more animals. And soon she’ll get two lambs who don’t need shearing and keep the weeds down. Then she’ll get a puppy, why not - it won’t be so bad, and he’ll be so much fun! But after some chickens get killed and she hears rumors of coyotes she’ll feel the need for- A donkey! The donkey will help scare away intruders, and also eat more of the grass. Well, now that there’s protection she’ll want another lamb. After all, they’re so easy and cute! Once she hears the donkey braying and sees it’s lonely, she’ll want another donkey. So, she’ll find a friend for her donkey and then maybe the first donkey will hee-haw less. Now that the donkey has a friend it’s time to start looking for a pig, summer fair is soon. And after she gets a pig, she’ll realize more eggs would be nice, so she’ll start looking for another coop! I have always loved the series of books that started with "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" and when I was buying yet another animal for the farm, I realized that I have become the mouse. For now, the animal additions seem neverending. When it all started with the chicks I was overwhelmed with the amount of work involved while they grew in their brooder boxes. But, with each animal addition, I've gradually gotten used the time and effort involved to keep the animals on the farm happy and healthy. These days I make a morning dash out to the animals in the morning to give food, check water and unlock the chickens. I've learned this is best done before changing into work clothes (yep, I've got a day job) so that when the dog jumps on me with muddy paws or the straw sheds all over me I'm not ruined for the day. In the afternoon I do another round of the same but add in donkey poop scooping twice a week and egg gathering. The time I'm able to spend with the animals in the afternoons is all determined by the time my human children need from me. Many days I'm helping with homework, doing laundry, playing baby dolls with my daughter or getting some chores done. You can see why the gym I've set up in the shop hasn't gotten much use! The weekends are my catch-up time to go to the feed store, give extra time and attention to the animals and clean up from all of the dirt tracked in by the dogs all week. It's busy, sometimes expensive, but I wouldn't have it any other way! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.