Some days I sit back in awe of everything we have been blessed with and am amazed by what our labor has created so far, other days I need to be reminded of all of the wonderful things around me. This morning before work I managed to step in every kind of animal poop that exists on our farm – and of course I wan’t wearing my rubber boots. That all too familiar little slide in your step when your weight bears down on a fresh pile of dung repeated itself about four times from the door of the chicken coop to the door of our car. This morning was a morning that I needed to be reminded.
Here is a brief reminder of some of the amazing things I enjoy on our homestead.
#1 – My Partner
I bet you didn’t know Michael was also a male homesteading model did you? I’m joking, but I am truly blessed to call this handsome, hardworking, goofy man mine. Homesteading is hard and tests your fortitude in the face of unbelievable self-inflicted stress. Through it all, this wonderful bearded, beer-lover has kept me not only sane, but extremely happy with the life we have chosen. Did I mention how cute he was?
On top of working a full time job at New Belgium Brewery, he spends his off days spoiling me and laboring on our farm. I don’t think he has had a true “off day” in months and is still one of the most enthusiastic and loving people you will ever have the privilege of meeting.
#2 The Opportunity to Share
One of my favorite things is being able to share our farm with others! Before doing this, Michael and I had never really even experienced a pig in real life or a goat outside of a petting zoo. Curious about these critters? Drop in any time to meet them, much easier to visit them than raise them!
#3 – Fluffy Butts and Fresh Eggs
With the goats scheduled to kid in January (the coldest part of the year, whose poor planning was that?) and the pigs graduating to the freezer in late February, the chickens have thus far been the only return on all of our hard work. Thanks to these lovely hens, we have not one, but TWO dozen eggs in our fridge! I believe we will have some farm fresh quiche tonight. I’m not sure if their productivity has filtered my sight of them, but they get cuter and cuter with every egg they lay. The cuteness of the original eight may have been all of the influence we needed to go forward with another 36 chicks that are currently brooding in our basement… and the 25 broilers scheduled to come in February. Why not go all out?
#4 – Better Than Netflix Entertainment
There is never a dull moment on the farm. Even after all of the chores end (not because of lack of chores but because of lack of daylight) there is so much movement and noise that I don’t think the phrase “I’m bored” has been uttered since the acquisition of our first hen. Seriously y’all, goats climbing their playground, chickens in dust baths, and pigs running around squealing is way more interactive than Netflix. Which is a good thing since we STILL haven’t set up internet at our house… AT&T came out to set us up and claimed that could provide speeds almost as fast as dial up! We decided to pass.
#5 A Growing Intimacy With My Food
Since starting out on this endeavor, our appreciation of food has completely changed. It changes your perspective when you can literally look outside and see the source of your sustenance. Now, meat does not ever have a chance to “go bad” because it was forgotten in the fridge. As a matter of fact, we eat significantly less meat. Knowing that meat was more than a tray at the grocery gives it a much higher value than it ever had before. When our chickens decide they are going to revolt and hide their eggs from us, forcing us to buy eggs from the store, we buy the $5 eggs that we know come from happy, free range chickens. Seeing the joy that comes from watching our hens scratching around the yard has deepened my conviction against supporting companies that keep their animals in inhumane conditions.
What are the things that you are most grateful for on the homestead?