Summer is officially coming to a close at The Farmstead. The leaves are already starting to turn, there is a crispness in the air when I go down to milk and, Mom and Pop have headed back to Cincy.
They spent just under 2 months with us and literally became part of our farm. Apart from their help with the daily chores (not to be underestimated, there are a lot!) they also put us so far ahead in terms of our farm's infrastructure.
It's impossible to name everything so here are the highlights:
- We completely fenced our back 11 acres. We still have 5 acres in front that wasn’t fenced but, we’re not quite sure what that land is going to be when it grows up. And besides, 11 acres was a lot! But now we have full-blown perimeter fencing. It is THE BEST feeling.
- We built our Sheep Barn. When the handsome man and I first moved here we closed in a 16’ x 40’ area for our Victory Garden. Unfortunately we very quickly outgrew that. But our posts were really solid! So we closed it in to make a Sheep Barn and my Milk Room. Pop also built us the double sided sheep feeder to keep their hay off the ground. And, he hung a chandelier (left over from our old house) in my Milk Room. The whole place just makes me happy.
- Our chicken runs are now reinforced and covered with chicken wire. We had been using aviary netting and fishing line (which we strung together to make a very complex web of eagle catching glory). But, they weren’t really holding up. So Pop put chicken wire over everything and now we have a safe place to put chickens away if we need to (they free range during the day, but since we are starting to raise more and more babies it’s good to have a safe place before eagle training).
- Pop installed a handrail to our stairs up to the barn loft. Yeah, this was a biggie...it was pretty dangerous.
- Pop built us a picnic table! Yeah!
- Mom kept our vegetables alive! The only reason we even got such an amazing bounty this year was due to the planting my mom did with Mr. Nick when she was visiting earlier this year. And then, thanks to Nick's mom they got watered every day.
- Mom and I built a pretty phenomenal pig chanty out of pallets. We wanted to move them for the Summer but didn't want to spend the time or money on a temporary shelter for them. So, one day we just decided to do it! It's awesome. And by awesome I mean falling apart...so our construction wasn't the best, but who cares! It got us through the Summer and we did it all on our own.
- Overall zhushing...painting, decorating and making crazy ridiculous signs like the one hanging above the sheep feeder (Mom and I used scrap from the Sheep Barn and Pop cut the angles for us). There's some other projects we did too but those are for a different day.
- Probably the coolest, Mom and Pop were here for our very first Farmstead births, two lambs. We also made soap for the first time with Nana's milk!
We often talk about Maintenance Mode here at The Farmstead. That amazing thing that happens once your infrastructure is in place and all you have to do is maintain...and for once, it kind of feels like we're there. Of course there is always more, there's talk of a pond and already an intensive plan in place to improve our pasture. But, none of those things could even be whispered until the big stuff (have I mentioned the fence?) was out of the way.
Having four sets of working hands at The Farmstead was amazing, but, more importantly, having two months of family time was priceless. We will cherish every single moment they spent here and count the days until they come back for their next extended stay! Thank you Mom and Pop! We love you!