Friday, July 22, 2011

5 months = many changes

I cannot believe that it has been 5 months since I last posted on this blog. Due to the directional shift that my life has taken lately, I cannot pretend that I'm going to turn over a new leaf and begin posting like a regular blogger going forward. I would sincerely like to, but I must be realistic and I know that I just don't have the time.

That said, I miss the part of my life that this blog was representing. When others ask me when I'm going to update this place, I think not about the camera full of photos that I have not uploaded or the piles of recipes that I've collected to try, or the times I've thought about documenting another aspect of our 'farm life'....I think about how much I miss it.

Before anyone gets all concerned on me, we still have the farm. We still have seven goats (yes, the most recent babies are still with us for the moment!), we are down to only 9 chickens and one rooster, and we are up to now three beehives, one of which my husband captured on our property when a swarm showed up a few weeks ago. We still have a garden, we are now using the new barn and I'm working on the start of an herb garden that has culinary herbs in boxes hanging from our deck railing and medicinal herbs growing in the flower bed in front of our house.

So what has changed? The big whopper is that I have a new job. I am now the College Program Manager for my company and as such, I'm building a college program (we had none!) including an internship program and a solid college recruiting effort. We hire predominantly masters and PhD level graduates, so I will have the opportunity to use my technical background as a way to connect with the hires, with the hiring managers and with the professors at the schools we target. I will be doing a LOT of travel and therein lies the biggest change to our lifestyle. I travel, my husband takes care of the farm and neither of us have time to blog or cook or do half the things we used to do around the place.

We are working on scaling back and considering where our future lies. At this point, we don't see a whole ton of changes in the immediate future as we have no intentions of attempting to sell our place in the current real estate market. We've also got entirely too much that needs doing around the place before we could even list it (like replacing the wood stove and doing some work on the septic system). I think that for now, we are going to just work on scaling back a bit. To that end, we are working on finding a new home for Buddy, Skylark and Polaris (the boy goat baby pictured above). We will keep and eventually breed Penny (the girl goat baby), Daisy and Pepper (again). Dollar will be kept as a companion and because I cannot part with him. He's my 'little guy' who is actually the biggest dwarf goat we own! He's sweet and super easy to manage, so he'll be a good companion goat when we have to separate someone for some reason (like weaning). For the chickens, we are going to rethink how we house them. Each time we build a new coop/run, we learn something new, so eventually we'll get a system going that is virtually 'kink' free. All the remaining girls are still laying, but considering that more than half of them are now three years old, their production has significantly fallen off. This is a good thing for us because the egg load is now manageable.

The fruit harvest is looking good for this year so we've sent out feelers into our local community for anyone wishing to glean our fruit. Basically, we'll harvest what we want for ourselves and then send out a email to a local collection of people who will come and pick the remainder of the fruit for themselves (or for charity). All in all, I think we are making good progress towards getting on top of all we need to do and learning to have fun as well.

Just so no one thinks it's all work and no play at our tiny farm, that's not the case. We have a sea kayaking trip and two hiking trips planned still for this summer and two different people lined up to watch the farm while we are gone. It's all about balance, right? We just have to learn to build up our balance muscles a little.

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