Sunday, April 19, 2015

HOMESTEADING. WHY WE'RE CRAZY ENOUGH TO DO IT.

Its not about why we do it. It's more of a how...

You see we wake up everyday, and no not always at the crack of dawn... These days we sleep in a little later. We did just have our second child after all.... We head outside and get our first deep breath of the that cool crisp morning air, and breathe it all in. By 'all' I mean the essence of manure, the smell of the dew, usually some hint of smoke (if you're from around my parts you'll understand with the constant prescribed burning) and yup more poop; cow manure at the neighbors, rabbit scat, chicken droppings, water fowl goo here and there from ducks and the goose who free range the property, and then you've got the heaps and heaps of horse manure.... 

Any body need any manure for their compost or garden beds??? Come on down!! TAKE IT AWAY... Like yesterday..

Please...?

Okay, ok but really... We have more than enough to go around.. Scooping manure is a constant filler task. What I mean by that is, tasks that are continually ongoing, basically we will be doing these until the end of time. Poop scooping is just one of those tasks on the homestead, if you don't like it or love it, maybe this lifestyle ain't for you! 

Alright, you don't have to LOVE shoveling animal dung, but, you have to understand and respect its necessity to all farm stead animals. 

Our backyard plays a harmony of sounds finches who have once again taken up residence in our aspen just outside the chicken coop, a couple hens obviously laying eggs, and the ducks splashing away in their pool, Lucy goose honks supervisorly. The first task of the day for my farm stud (as I now spend much of the morning tending to our newborn) include: feeding the horses, all 5 of them. Under the shelter of the barn, also resides the two pigs not far from finishing. With the help of barley fodder, they express their gratitude oh so loudly. We provide loose hay for them at all times, they munch, not eating much, using it mostly for bedding. Spencer checks all their water daily. Maintaining proper hydration is mandatory for horses, especially with all the roughage they receive on our non uniform pasture. Even more so for swine, who are very susceptible to heat stroke. 

Our little farm girl has usually arisen by then and seeks something to fill her tummy. Much of the other chores can be completed through the day. With a toddler and new born sometimes the chore timeline changes... Daily. You see, sometimes I'm not perfect.... Hard to believe I know! Sometimes I do my chores a little late and yes sometimes certain tasks take precedence over chores.... Like trying to nurse a sick gosling, and failing.... Or even nursing a newborn!

When I do finally get to the chicken coop I do my I initial egg check, make sure the water is full, and throw some sprouted fodder for all the birds. 

Right outside the chicken coop our rabbits lay peacefully as they wait oh so patiently for fresh picked weeds I snagged for them on the way. Honestly they are the only animals on the homestead who are patient and don't rush me at the sight of food. 

Maybe that's why I love them so much.
Those furry bunnies bring me more joy than I ever thought they would, and they are so simple! 

I free feed them a local organic pellet feed, weeds or cut them some fodder as a special treat! This summer I plan on weaning them off the pellets completely in an effort to pasture or grass feed them. 

The homestud is actually helping me to complete a vision I have to build a rabbit run out of an old flower bed over run by weeds and wild flowers. Hopefully by next week my bunnies will be converted to the colony high life with more to eat than they can keep up with. 

Many of these chores are repeated in the evening; feeding horses and pigs, throwing sprouted fodder for the birds, checking all waters. The rabbits usually only need more pellet feed every 2-3 days, but as they drink a large amount their water can need filling twice daily at times. In my dream works they would have a drop water system... A girl can dream!

And there ya have it! We're now free to garden or whatever else needs attention. Granted there's usually always something needing a fix or a mess to be cleaned. But at the end of the day we're never bored with our crazy life. 

You see, we get to view the fruits of our labor everyday! In the eggs we collect, those trays and trays of veggie starts, potato and onion sprouts making their appearance above soil, the promise of meat soon to be in the freezer... All organic and nonGMO ta boot! We find happiness in becoming producers, not consumers. And that fills us up. 

We only wish to provide a wholesome, healthy, and educational lifestyle for our brooding quiver of kiddos. Life skills like these will only become more valuable to my children's generation as we head into the future of this crazy world. I only wish we'd jumped on the wagon sooner!

Sharpening knives. 
Rabbit stew tonight..

Amen to this life.