What We Did and Didn’t Accomplish This Summer

24 Aug 2018 Sarah Rodrigues

If you follow any blog, no matter how often they update, you’ll eventually get a “we’re sorry we don’t blog enough” post. Perhaps followed by a list of excuses. Ours has just come earlier than most.

I’m sorry we don’t blog enough. Or, frankly, at all. Aside from farm life being a bit more overwhelming than I initially expected, we had some setbacks that have put a damper on some of our grand plans this year.

First, what we did manage. We made a lovely home for ducks and chickens, and have since added more birds to the flock. We took our first ducks to slaughter, and sold or ate their meat, with mixed emotions. We are eagerly awaiting eggs, once we figure out if our chickens are hens or roosters! We made the barn somewhat livable and brought five goats home, with plans to breed and milk next year. We planted a huge vegetable garden, got a new roof on the house, dug a pond, put in fencing, and cleared tonnes of garbage and ruins off the property. I completed my beekeeping course and am building up my first hive of bees. We definitely made progress. See our YouTube channel for video of our adventures thus far.

Sarah Cuddling Sirius Black

Then, at the height of the good weather, Y had a serious accident. While pulling rotted wood from the upper floor of the barn, he fell through and broke his hip.

Less Than an Hour Before the Accident

We are extremely grateful his injury was not worse, but it did mean an ambulance, major surgery, over a week in the hospital, and eight weeks (so far) of wheelchair and crutches while he learned to walk again. It’s been difficult for me to keep up, and for Y to watch me struggle being largely unable to assist. I sprained my ankle and was on crutches for a few days too, which made things even harder!

Y Enjoying Being Home After His Hospital Stay

He is recovering very well, and is back to helping with the farm chores, riding the tractor around, mowing the lawn. But it did mean most of our large projects were put on hold, and during the eight weeks he’s been off I’ve had to let a few things slide.

Our garden became overrun with weeds, and we never planted the second round of vegetables. We have managed to harvest a lot from it – including more zucchini than we could possibly consume – but still more rotted, never grew, or grew too much (e.g. lettuces that bolted). It’s been a shame, but unfortunately low on the priority list. We are salvaging what we can and learning our lessons for next year about what grows well and what doesn’t in our clay-based soil.

We Managed Some Stellar Vegetables

We were hoping to get the barn more finished and stable, as a good home for the goats this winter. We may still get some done, but are also looking into other options. A lot depends on how nice the weather is this fall, and whether or not we can get a contractor to actually return a call. The goat pens and milking stand will have to wait too.

The duck pond is still just a hole in the ground, which fills with groundwater and rainwater. We wanted to get something filtering, so it wasn’t just a stagnant pool. Oh well. Ducks don’t seem to mind; they can be found in there most of the day.

We wanted more animals, turkeys and geese for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Might still happen, I guess, but we’ll see. We even thought about getting two lambs to live with the goats. Next year, hopefully.

We wanted to build up social media and this site, and start selling things properly. Make a real go at this farm being a second business. I’ve done my best with Instagram and YouTube but couldn’t keep up. Priorities.

I think even if Y hadn’t gotten injured, our plans were overly ambitious, but that’s the kind of people we are! We will do what we can for fall and winter, hibernate a bit, and get back at it in spring. We have many years ahead of us to complete all these plans and more!

So don’t give up on us. We got sidetracked, it’s true, but we’re mostly healthy and recovered, our resolve is not diminished (if anything it’s stronger than ever), and we WILL get this farm going.

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