Thursday, January 27, 2011
Welcome to another day on our small family farm, we are glad you could join us.
Today for us started for early for us and it just seems to drag on so. I got up feed the little ones egg and cheese biscuits with turkey sausage, they eat every bite, then they brushed their teeth and I brushed and braided Elijah’s hair helped them to change clothes and it was time for me to head off to school. I did find the time to see if anything had come up in the garden and saw sweet little Alaskan snow peas poking their little heads up threw a small pile of snow. The Egyptian walking onions are also looking good, ours are from three different strains of the same type, I try to plant these types of plants like this, you really get the very best of the different ones and healthy more resultant plants as well. I noticed our wild garlic making its way up from the ground too. I lost the Brussels spouts and will not plant them in the spot that they are again, nor will I plant cabbage there. Killed both, it is very frustrating to have them die after all that work. I know now they need to be near water, so I will plant them somewhere moist this year. I start the seeds about now, for the cabbage and a few of the other plants including tomatoes. I plan to plant carrots with the tomatoes this year to kind of share space and hopeful end up with stronger tomato plants. Carrots like tomatoes….I do not know why, just know it’s true. I have got my fingers crossed the strawberries will make it and produce this year, they just look awful, but time with tell. We got about ten pounds worth of fruit from a area that was shared by other plants and only 6 foot by 3, so I feel they worked out ok there, but I would like more plants, in a different location. It is sort of like the old saying “never keep all your eggs in one basket”…lol
As I think I mentioned before I order raspberries from a local grower who seems to get the vest of the best. Growing food is what he knows so sending him shopping for these will give me the best plants to start with. I only ordered 6, three red and three golden, but I figure they will spread out and I should have plenty in a short time, maybe less than two years. I am looking forward to replanting my blue berries as well. I am not sure if the 6 grape plants made it yet, it will be a little while before we know. I took advantage of nature on this one, removing old grape wild vines, and replacing with healthy newer /old varieties. It looks like the apple tree lived through the winter so far and the pear tree is budding, that is a great sign. I saw some bamboo from the road in some ones yard on the way home and plan to stop and ask to buy some roots very soon. This is the best time to plant things like this. Any way bamboo is one of the world’s greatest plants, you can eat the young sprouts, the roots (cook as potatoes) and it is a great water purifier and lovely if you have a bit of a boggy area that you want dried up a bit. It can also be used as animal fodder if you had too. One of its greatest attributes is that is supper fat growing and very hard to kill, that said plant with caution if you are not interested in tons of the stuff, because it seems to love our rocky soul.
Back to the work, I went to school and went to Wal-mart, had to pick up food for the grandma kitty, who now only eats food with gravy (shaking my head), just too tired to go to the gym, just wanted to get home to the kids and the baby horse (he is a bit depressed since his mom died, me too). Looked over Elijah’s school work, made sure the other kids did theirs. Got my w2s in the mail today, so I did my taxes. We pay about 15 % of what we make right now, but that will change if I cannot find a paper job off the farm soon. Farms pay about 60% of what they make in taxes, if the owner is not working somewhere else, it is not based on how much you make, just that you do. That is one of the reasons so many small family farms fail. Rising feed costs and factory produced food and non natural food laws are a few of the others.
Ok now to the part of the blog where I answer peoples questions:
Currently we have 6.32 acres of land, but are in a deal to get 220 more.
Daily time a day I spent doing farm business 8 hours, 4 hours of regular school, plus my varied studies. The children each have between an hour and two hours of chores a day. Michael has the bulk of the work right now with about 10 solid hours and laundry duty (by choice on the laundry). Every day on the farm is a little different, in kidding season it is not odd for us to put in 16 to 18 hour days, plus care of any little loves that their moms for what every reason cannot take care off.
We are Jewish, we do not make it a secret, we are not your run of the mill Jews I grant you, but Jewish none the less. We never spell G-d’s full name out, out of respect, it is a long held Jewish practice that Jesus would have also followed.
We take caring for our very serious, they are more than just food, they are family and share holders on this farm, they are in our charge and we care for them and make sure they get the best of everything. Raising an animal in less than love is cruel.
Yes we are happy to help you with any farming questions, if we do not know the answer, we will find out together…
Farming can be a great way of life, to do it one must be goal orientated and self motivated, because the chores are never really done and some thing is always, hungry or dirty and needs fixed right a t that moment. But there are lovely times as well, watching your ducks play in the pond they built, the birth of a baby horse, goat , sheep or hatching egg, renewing life and bringing the joy of babies to love. Picking and canning your own fruit jam and the flavor of fresh that no store bought jams can compare to. Harvesting your own food from the earth, full of water and sunlight and healthy minerals, free of yucky containments and safe for the table. Having that first cup of coffee and watching the sun rise and thinking that at the end of the day, you and your family have made it all happen, just like our grandparents and great grandparents before them.
Now to the hubbies’ part of the blog…
News from The Doghouse and the obnoxious music playing is "Who Let The Dawgs Out?" vs. the more suitable "Veteran of a Thousand Psychic Wars"...
Didn't sleep so well, did the birds chores, got laundry done, really worked hard on the burial detail and finished...tore a blister on my hand that is on top of a callus, oy vey... While waiting for manpower to flip the poor horse in, went into the south 40 times five and a half and gather some firewood and was enjoying the view south southeast, then it occurred to me that somebody might be out there hunting, so I stayed close to home, though found a nice fallen log that I needed a horse to pull, just can't win for losing... So, walked around the property, looking at fallen tree debris to clean up and checked the fences was the main objective, and got some work there to do...
Seen some garlic or chives coming up and swamp cabbage or something, figure it out later, too tired...Rachael, Dah’veed, and I got the horse flipped into the spot, and got her planted...they are burying her. Dah’veed offered to help dig, when he got home from working at the neighbor's farm, but was already done...guess they needed to do the burying part for closure and contribution.
On the brighter side, it was fairly nice outside, was just in the t-shirt mode, though the wind had a bite to it. Yesterday was t-shirt mode as well. With no wind. There was a nice herd of deer down by the water, and they were looking into the "Twilight Zone" as the locals call this particular "hollar"...so some hunting was going on out back there somewhere...
Hope everyone reading this is doing well.
The kids, I and Michael wish you a wonderful night and hope to see you all here again in morrow…
All of us here on Mahanaim Farm