Monday, April 08, 2013

The Little Satisfactions ...

Chick Brooder #2
I will be the first to admit that it is very easy for me to become the "Danny Downer" of farming. Sometimes it feels like the farm is only overwhelming, only discouraging, and only failing. But, then there are moments ... and these moments probably happen more than I allow myself to see ... moments when I just feel a huge sense of satisfaction from farming. There is just something extremely satisfying about building, raising, growing, harvesting, sharing, and consuming! Yesterday was one of those days that was full of satisfaction.

  • A friend at church had continually been asking to try some Crooked Gap Farm beef jerky and pork. This was the week when I finally remembered to bring it and they were very excited to take it home with them. Satisfying!
  • I needed to load four pigs and a lamb to take to the locker for processing this afternoon, so I hooked up the hog cart (which I recently bought, broke, and fixed) and headed out to sort and load pigs. Things went very smoothly (as they have been with loading recently) and I was done much sooner than I had anticipated. Satisfying!
  • There are another batch of 125 chicks coming this week (and rain is in the forecast as well), so I needed to finish up my second brooder (pictured above). Even though I had a few broken tool issues I was able to accomplish this tiny construction project and with a little more work today I'll be ready for chicks. Satisfying!
  • Speaking of chicks, the first batch that came in a couple of weeks ago are doing great. Growing and staying very snug and healthy in their brooder. They'll be ready for pasture before I know it. Satisfying!
  • Even though the grass hasn't really taken off yet it seems like the animals are just enjoying the spring days that have been popping up more often today. It may seem weird to say this, but as I was doing chores today all the livestock just seemed to be more chipper. Satisfying!
  • As I mentioned I needed to load four pigs and a lamb for processing. I dropped them off at the locker last night and the unload went on without a hitch. Plus, I just love dropping off pigs (and a lamb) that have been raised only on this farm. Satisfying!
  • I love direct marketing the fruits of the farm. To know that customers we know and call friends will be enjoying our pork, lamb, beef, eggs, and chicken ... well that is just awesome. Satisfying!
  • And then as I was making the last pass to collect a few eggs around the shed I peeked into the hut occupied by our latest litter of Hereford pigs. A very cool sight. Satisfying!

What do you find satisfying about your farm (no matter how little or big that farm is)?


Donnie Sara said...

We are just beginning ourselves, and learning more every day. I can definitely relate that tangible accomplishments, even little ones, make it all worth it!

Donnie Sara said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Donna OShaughnessy said...

Every morning my hubbie and I have a "farm meeting" Yes, we even have an agenda. The first item is Yesterdays Accomplishments, where we remind each other what we accomplished the day before. It really helps us stay positive and be appreciative for all we do mange to get done instead of focusing on all there is still left to do.

Vera said...

We are beginners as well, or rather, feel like it even though we are now three years into running a smallholding. It is challenging, exciting, tiring, satisfying, and all at the same time! No wonder we collapse into a heap at the end of the day! But it does feel that we are living our lives rather than coasting along as so many other people do.

Anthony Cipolone said...

Completing a project that has been a long time in the making is the most satisfying feeling ever.

The big 8'x8' cattle panel hoop-house rabbit tractor is done. It took the better part of a month to do, but it's done and full of rabbits, and they're devouring pasture and growing tasty.

The lights are on. It took me the better part of a year in time and troubleshooting, but I finally have electricity running to every single pen and barn and room in the outbuildings. No more flashlights. No more urging chickens off their perches because they decided it was dark enough for "sleepy time" but hadn't eaten anything. No more feeling around a nest box in the dark and really hoping that's some loose feathers and not something small and furry in there ...

I heavily celebrate what may seem like small victories, even if my celebration is just to stand and admire. And just seeing all we've accomplished in just over a year, with so little time and resources, always amazes me!

Ethan Book said...

Rich ... I mistakenly deleted you comment :( But, I agree with you about planting a crop (wheat/hay) and then seeing it grow to harvest. Also ... loved what you said about feeding the hay then in the winter and remembering that hot summers will be coming again!

Rich said...

I am always amazed when I plant a small seed and it turns into a wheat harvest or a yard full of hay.

It's also awful satisfying to cut a field of hay, rake and bale it, and then feed it to the cattle over the winter. And, during a cold, miserable February day when I'm feeding those bales to the cows and get to smell that fresh cut hay smell it always reminds me of those hot summer days that are coming when I can do it all over again.

(No problem accidentally deleting it, sometimes the second draft is a little bit better)

Pastured Providence Farmstead said...

At this point, we are forced to find satisfaction in the promise of things to come, which isn't a bad thing! With our land search starting over after our contract fell through, it feels like we are further away from our goal than when we started... but I know we'll find the perfect place to establish our family and farm. So today, despite uncertainty, fear and the unknown, I join you in your decision to be satisfied wherever you find yourself!

Anonymous said...

I am a city girl with farmer's blood, I canned four bushel of peaches last summer as well as veggies,soups,jams,jellies and pie fillings. I bake fresh bread regularly,and even make soap and laundry soap from scratch.I love washing clothes and hanging them up on the line. I feel satified when my family enjoys my handiwork. My father is baffled by how much I am like my greatgrandmother without having been taught.
My dream is to have a 5-20acre farm starting out with enough to just enough to able to feed my family. I want to get chickens, bees(honey I would sell), and some mini cows. I am a mom of five and currently own a home in Pennsylvania. I am planning to sell my house for a place farther from the city with land to start. My family and I have been helping on a amish farm during the summer. So we could get a feel for it. My husband would keep his day job though atleast until we are self sufficient. I mentioned it to one of my friends and she tried to talk me out of it, saying it's alot of work,it's too hard, but my blood keeps calling for it. What do you think? BTY I enjoyed all of your comments! TX:)

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