Having a farm brings a lot to your plate in more ways than one. There are unexpected expenses, unlimited supply of chores and a seemingly endless need for new fences and structures. While it's a daunting task to set up a new farm on any scale, particularly where lawn once prevailed, we're motivated by the love of challenges and the satisfaction that the work brings at the end of the day. We love the tangible aspect of farming, turning around after 2 hours of pounding t-posts to find your fence and pasture secure and ready for animals for instance. Having a farm brings you a few other things as well. It brings you an endless supply of entertainment with the idiosyncrasies of the animals and the opportunity to build mutual bonds with them. Perhaps most importantly, it brings you a space and forum to enjoy time with your friends, neighbors and family. It creates constant discussion around what you're up to, their own questions and philosophies and even a supply of food for them. Having a farm is fantastic.
As you'd expect, we've been busy realizing all of that and more. Over the past couple of weeks we've been making significant enhancements on the farm. We have completed our mobile chicken coop, built a mobile duck coop and set up a few new wooded pastures for the goats, pigs and one odd sheep. Things are progressing surprisingly well (knock on wood) and we're continuing to push forward with our plans.
You may have missed the subtle detail, but if you caught that we mentioned ducks, pigs and goats in the plural, you're right. We have added, since the last update:
- 14 ducks (Buffs, Swedish Blue and one cross of the two)
- 2 more Blue Slate lavender turkey hens
- 5 Duroc/China Spot-crossed pigs
- 2 adorable Alpine-cross dairy goats
The story behind the goats and pigs is a great one that represents what's so great about farmers. Kate and I have done a fair amount of butchering in our lives and over the past year she attended something called GRRLs Meat Camp, a butchery workshop by and for women only. It's a pretty remarkable experience and also a way to forge great relationships with women working in Food and Farming all over the country and world. One of those is Tricia Houston of Napoleon Ridge Farm down in Kentucky. Upon finding out that we got the house of our dreams, she graciously offered us a pig and goat as a housewarming present. We were blown away by the generosity of Tricia and her husband Fran, and were looking forward to them coming up to attend a BBQ we were hosting called BizareBQ (more on that later). Along for the ride with them came two goats and five pigs and, after a 6 hour drive, they were all ready to get out and enjoy some pasture time. The animals are beautiful and we look forward to seeing them grow and provide for us.
So, BizzareBQ, what's it all about? It's in it's 5th year and was created by John Patterson. The idea behind it is simple, "obscure foods", "obscure drinks" and friends. This year we decided to stray away from what folks would expect with us, pork, and went to a whole roasted goat (provided by Tricia and Fran as well). John went with cabeza, which is a smoked and roasted cow head, shredded and used in tacos. Both were fantastic and were appropriate centerpieces for the party. The party went off without a hitch, people loved it and we had a great time sharing the farm with everyone.
In case it wasn't obvious before, as you can see we've been quite busy and loving every second of it. We feel so fortunate to have friends that will drive 6 hours to bring us a housewarming gift of a goat and a pig. Family that show up days before the party to help set up and prepare the house. Most of all, we are happy we have such a great property that others enjoy as much as we do.
Another great couple of weeks!