Reading and researching new methods for improving the farm are always on our minds, but the business of spring, summer and fall don't allow much time for any extras. Our nose is to the grindstone as we go through our days. Cattle and chickens are moved to greener pasture, fences needing repair and maintanence and general animal husbandry requires alot of labour. Cam enjoys quiet early mornings to himself and frequently watches videos on similar farms as ours. It is his time to educate himself and perhaps find some methods that would work for us to improve the life of the animals we are responsible for. Don't get me wrong, Cam has a headful of wisdom that comes from spending your whole life with animals and the land they live on, but he never stops trying to learn. This time of year is a good time to take stock of how the last year went, what worked, and the changes that need to be made(also catch up on episodes of Mrs. Brown's Boys).
It is important to go into the new working year with a clear head and rested body. Our health is as important as the aniamls we take care of. Burnout on a farm is a realism. The amount of work can be overwhelming and can put one into a slump with a workload that never ends. It is important to us to be able to continue to enjoy the life we lead and get a small touch of the romanticism that people imagine when they pass by farms on a country drive. We never seem get all our goals accomplished in a year but it makes us happy if we can get one or two items scratched off the list.
We spend some time prioritizing what will be accomplished. While we would love to spruce up our barns, outbuildings and fences, the animals come first. The health of the herd of cattle and pigs, flocks of chickens is most important.. At first glance our barn is not the perfect scene that you may see on a package of butter or bacon. It is a working farm that is constantly evvolving. Repairing is a consistancy that will probably never go away for this small farmerbut we have learned to become very creative "To Get The Job Done" by creating some interesting partnerships. Our home and farm is open to host young people from across the world who are interested in learning a non commercial way of producing food. They offer their help and in return we teach and offer good food and our way of life, which by the way is a win win situation. We have come to know many wonderful people who would be welcome to return. Our community is a strong source of help from electricians, resturants, carpenters and local vet. We have developed a relationship whereby we help one another when needed. To us these liasons are a sign of a strong community. January is a time for us to share a non rushed conversation, a bite of food and perhaps a laugh with those we have worked with.
Cam and I would like to thank those of you who take the time to read our stories and would love to hear what you think of them. Suggestions are welcome!