Sunday, April 19, 2020

Only Good News!

Monday's Legacy Returns to CAF!!!!

For a change of pace, how about I only share some wonderful news this morning!? The sun is out and the temperature is set to reach 60. After days of gray weather, snow fall, frosty mornings and horrific news about this pandemic every time I turn towards social media - we are all in need of some happy farm updates!

Sheep are back at Cold Antler Farm! A small starter flock is here of three ewes, all beautiful and brawny thick little Dorset Crosses. I found them listed online and the price was too good to be true, $125 for all three! I was there to pick them up the same day after hours of repairing the sheep paddock's fencing on the hill. I am very happy to report that every bit of replaced woven wire, insulator, electric wiring and even the charger was scavenged around the farm. There is something really satisfying when you hit the point in your farming journey that you can build a safe paddock from scratch, knowledge, past mistakes, and local parts! Once that was all sorted I set a fresh bale of good hay, clean flat-back bucket of water against the shed, and set some grain down in a feeder for good measure.

Once the trio of ewe lambs (two white and one black) were set in their shelter I made sure Gibson saw sheep were back on his farm. Oh my goodness how his eyes lit up when he saw woolies back in his domain!

These lambs are what I hope to keep over this summer, flush with good feed into fall, and possibly keep them all as a future breeding flock. I miss lambing. I miss walking up the hill and seeing sheep covered in a wooly jacket of fresh snow. I miss the feeling of carrying hay uphill and making sure they are all safe and prepared for storms. I even miss waking up and walking the fields by lantern light at 3AM in March to search for lambs...

And to make this story end even better, Lee of Moxie Ridge farm (the farmer to whom I sold my breeding flock to a few seasons back when I needed to cut back on the farm for both mental and romantic reasons - hard to spend the night at your girlfriend's place when you need to be up to milk goats at 6AM....).... Well we are still great friends and he is selling me Monday's son Jojo! I get a bit of this farm's greatest ram back here on the hill! Monday, bless him, passed away at Moxie Ridge last fall I was told, but what a great life for a fine sheep. And what is left of him is a tough little Scottish Blackface/Romney boy that will be here to become the father of future flocks!!!

Guys! Sheep are back at the farm! A new line, a fresh start, a new ram from a sheep I adored! And besides the fresh sheep there is other good things to share!

1. Auburn the red-tailed hawk has been released back into the wild! After the best season I've ever had with a falconry bird she is free and back soaring the skies of Washington County!

2. I am seeing someone wonderful, a woman I hope to spend a lot more time with. Quarantining with her is absolutely lovely. When I am with her I feel a stillness in my heart and mind that steals away any fears or worries. We are working on this spring farm together.

3. I may have secured a loan with a good rate and no payments until summer to catch up on the two more mortgage payments I need to make this month. It isn't certain yet, but it looks very possible! This could mean that by May 1 this farm could be in the best financial shape with the mortgage it has been in years.

4. As far as I know I am healthy. My temps go from 97-99 depending on what I ate and what I am doing but nothing besides needing more water and activity and sunlight. Being as careful as a person with extreme anxiety can be.

5. Gardens are planted, at least all the cold weather crops. Seeds are in the ground and the potato patch is next! Inside the farmhouse are tomato seedlings and peppers. I can not wait to start weeding! Which is something gardeners only say when the soil is black and nothing has come up green yet.

6. Horses are coming out of winter shedding and starting to work in the saddle again. Sunlight and horses ate a balm like no other. Hopping up in my kilt on that black pony, even though he is 26 now and gray in the face, he brought me so far.

7. The laying pullets are outside and in the eglu cube learning to be chickens and they are all doing well and I love seeing a buff orpington's golden feathers in the sunlight again. Pure gold.

Okay, so that is all the good news I have for right now. I still didn't get any check from the IRS but it should arrive in the mail with that idiot's stamped name on it anytime in the coming weeks. It'll go right towards the mortgage for April. I may enter May working to earn that month's house payment!!!! So get yourself some art and soaps, meat shares, logos, whatever! IT all helps this place get solvent!

I hope you are safe and sound. I hope you are finding joy in your own farms or dreams of farms. I hope you are staying positive, active, cared for, loved and safe. Keep your chins up and wash your hands and summer will find us. She has to.