Hello there and welcome back. This blog post is going to be a little longer then normal so please bare with me. I want to take you on the journey of the last year and what our goals are for this up coming year. There is some interesting things going to take place in 2022.
2021 The Good
After moving into the farm in the winter of 2020 we hadn't had a chance to see what exactly was in the garden area, the barn, the shop and all the other out buildings on the farm. As the snow began to melt it started to reveal a good size kitchen garden in the back yard, and the potential to expand the garden so we can grow even more food and also be able to help our community. The barn got a good clean out in preparation for animals. The shop is still a work in progress but we do have walking path from the front to the back and space to park the quad inside. In May we got ducks and we also got 20 lambs. In July our chickens arrived (39 of them) From the 15 ducks we had 6 remain as stock for next year. We processed 11 roosters, and had 2 chickens die on us, so that leaves us with 26 chickens, 1 rooster and 25 hens. So once the good weather starts creeping up again we will be hatching out new babies. In October, the 2 rams we have had a date with the 18 girls. So we should be seeing babies end of February through March.
We also introduced ourselves over on YouTube where we share cooking videos, how to videos, and general around the farm videos. Around Lambing time we will be uploading daily to help document that area of the farms growth. So be sure to head on over to YouTube and subscribe to the channel.
The above pictures: Rotten roosters, these bad boys killed a rooster and a hen, So they went to freezer camp. Digging out the Ducks after our first real snow fall this winter. My babies.... This was just after we got them home, they all fit in one stall in the barn then, not anymore.
2021 Garden highlights
It was a good first year for us. We ended up with lots of raspberries, currants, carrots and potatoes. Didn't do so well with the tomatoes thanks to a mouse issue we had in the greenhouse. We planted 26 plants one day and the next morning they were gone. We have since gotten rodent prevention ( i.e. cats) and they are earning their keep very well. We planted cucumbers for the first time and did manage to get a few off the vine. We learnt a lot this year about what works and what doesn't and what to do for next year and we are looking forward to it. We're starting to work on the garden layout so we'll know what seeds we will need to order. When you live in zone 2-3 the growing window is short. So we are building a greenhouse ( a bigger one) to house the plants that need the extra heat and extra time to grow. This will enable us to start selling produce at the farmer's market during the season.
2021 The Not So Good
Our first experience with mail order ducklings was not a good one. Of the 30 we had ordered we lost 17 within the first 24 hours, they sent replacements but of the 15 they sent 5 were dead on arrival. So we ended up with 23 ducklings and things were going good until we decided we were going to put them out on grass. Our ducklings ended up being reduced to 16 ducklings thanks to hawks attacking them. One of the 16 was really badly hurt and we didn't think she'd make it. But she did and she was doing good until she decided she was going to go for a walk on her own so then we were down to 15. We processed 9 leaving us with 6 to continue to raise ducks for this coming season.
About a month ago now we had Gayle force winds go through our area. We were afraid that the trees surrounding the house would crash into the house. Nope they're still standing... but the 80 foot machine shed that was in the front yard got picked up and thrown down like a deck of cards. So we had to deal with the clean up of that, which required a lot of man hours and hard work to move things by hand.
Moving forward into 2022
What are our plans for 2022? For starters... we are expanding the garden and plan on having a market garden. With the way the supply chain has been disrupted so much we want to be able to help families get the fresh produce they need. This will look like trips to the farmer's market but will also look like a "Farm Box" which each family would buy into for the season; each week they'll get fresh veggies, eggs and other farm goodies. We're super excited to be offering this for 2022 and Lord willing it will be beneficial to everyone. Make sure you are on our email list to find out when we are opening the sign ups for the "Farm Box" there is only 15 spots open for this first year.
Also in 2022, we want to be able to rotationally graze all our animals on pasture. So that means building chicken tractors and shaws for our animals, portable water sleds and shelters for the sheep.
We also want to continue to share our journey with you and walk along side you in your journey. We strongly feel that the Lord has put us in this place where we can show others what we know, learn from others what we don't and share it all along the way. That is why we have "The Loft". For $20 a month you get direct access to us to ask questions and learn from us how to do things different then the main stream. Natural and holistic animal care, natural pasture management, gardening, home management ( budgeting, food planning, day to day tasks), preservation and preparedness, homemaker skills like sewing, quilting, baking, cooking, how to crochet and more. Sign up will be opening soon. So be sure to get on the email list.
So for now we will leave you with this.... where ever you are, what ever you are dealing with or going through we are here for you. This is a natural season of rest given to us by our creator and we are to embrace it and grow in it. Have a wonderful day friends.