Monday, June 30, 2014

This Week on the Farm: June 27, 2014

We've had quite an emotional week here at Haven Homestead. We celebrated Josh's birthday (31!), slaughtered our favorite hen, dealt with a ram who is becoming increasingly aggressive, and had a series of unfortunate events after moving six baby rabbits to a new pen, including two escapes of babies into the neighbors yard and one eye injury. We've tried to take it all in stride - the difficult parts of farming come right alongside the enjoyable parts. Our animals are a lot of fun, but a lot of work and sometimes a lot of heartache.

We've been spending a lot of family time outdoors these days. It's buggy and hot but we wear long sleeves and pants to fend off the mosquitos and are mostly at peace with all the sweating that happens along the way. Around 7:00 Josh usually goes off to tend the animals and I go off to tend the garden, with Maggie bouncing back and forth between us assisting in sundry tasks (turning the water hose on and off, picking beans, pulling weeds, feeding rabbits) and hunting down insects to study.

Maggie will tell just about anyone that she's a "nature scientist" and she loves our outdoor time when she can explore our tiny piece of land. She's getting into garden work as well, particularly getting excited over our harvests. In the spring we volunteered some with a local food organization and Maggie learned to make kale chips. Ever since, she's been making them almost completely on her own from our garden-fresh kale.

Our sheep have been enjoying the weeding we've done this week in the back garden, which is up against the pasture fence. All kinds of weeds are getting thrown to them and they seem to especially love these huge thick tall ones. Tiberius the ram is especially enthusiastic about weeds, yanking them out of our hands when they are offered.

I love our outdoor cats Harriet and Charlemagne -- they're a lot of fun to have around and not much work. I often glance out one of the kitchen windows to see one staring at me, perched either on the car or on the porch railing. They spend a lot of time sunbathing stretched out on the back porch, but with all that laziness still manage to be hunting machines. Almost every other day we find a vole, or a field mouse, or a baby garter snake, or a lizard, or a bird lying dead in the driveway in front of the car, a disgusting token of feline affection.

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