Posts Tagged ‘aging’

Last post covered how I am getting older and have decided to make some changes in where this little farm is going.  The process of change started last winter with a complete over haul of the mudroom.   Where there once was a brick hearth and wooden floors there is now laminate flooring.  The cabinetry and dated Z-brick walls were removed.  A  two bowl commercial sink that we got for $20 a few years ago was installed with some free standing stainless shelving.  A set of floor cabinets that my grandfather had made were covered with $15 lawn sale counter top. This was all in preparation of the change.

Two weeks ago, I had two different state inspectors come and do pre-inspections on the areas that we are “growing” into.  The first inspector arrived, walked into the mudroom and declared, “Well, you certainly have hobbled things together in an absolutely perfect way.”  I held in the urge to break out into a happy dance.  The home use kitchen application is filled out and pending a passing water test will be approved.  We then will be able to sell breads and pastries (not that I want to make pastries) jams, jellies and  cajeta.  Second inspector arrived.  The inspector for the creamery and dairy.  The home use kitchen area can double as a creamery. We just have to move the bathroom door, install a door between our actual kitchen and the creamery and hang a hand wash sink.  Do-able.  So happy husband is handy and willing to do these things for his crazy wife.  The dairy is the most labor intensive portion of the changes.  It will require plumbing to the barn for hot and cold water, sewer pipe, double bowl sink and an actual room built.  But once again, it is do-able with some time and quite a bit of money.  In a perfect world I would love to see all of this done by the end of the summer and you know what, I think we can do this.

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So folks it has been a while since my last post. Probably over a year.  A year of questions and maybe some answers as to where this little farm and this aging farmer is going in the future.

This little farm started as a way of life.  The husband and I grew up farming in one way or another.  He worked dairy all of his teen years and a bit more.  My mom and stepdad had a few cows because they were cheap and they could make have me milk every morning before school. I grew up gardening at home and with my grandparents, who I spent every possible weekend I could with.  It was where our food came from.  I believe in farming. I believe in good food.  I believed my children needed to know where food came from.  So we kept farming.  Starting with vegetables, actually no, we started the summer before we married with pigs.  Along with my mom and stepdad we raised two pigs for our soon to be separate households.  Vegetables came the following spring.  For the past 31 years we have farmed, even when Husband and I took a break from each other, I gardened. It is in my blood, my soul.

Then I decided that I wanted goats.  As one with a farmer’s soul I knew that they had to earn their keep if I had them.  I started with an Oberhasli in milk and two Nigerian Dwarf doelings.  I milked Maddie, the Oberhasli, and everyone hated the taste of the milk.  So I made soap and sold that.  People love goat milk soap.  But my family nor I would not drink the milk and you can only make so much soap when you start. So Maddie was sold and I bought  Nubians, the bitchy Miss Olive and her doeling Lilly. I bought a buck, the infamous James with the Giant Peaches and bred the Nigerian does.  Milk was flowing and we loved the milk, (still do) and I made soap and cheese and more cheese and more soap.  More decisions were made. The Nigerians are great little goats.  Emphasis on little, everything about them is little, including teat size and milk production.  So they were sold.  And things have remained pretty much the same.  But the big questions is where does this little farm and I go from here?

I have a day job.  I work in education, an amazing job for farmers. I mean, you get your summers off and that is when the down and dirty farming of gardens, hog and bird raising happens.  But I work in special education. I have chosen to work with the tough students. The ones that break your heart with their emotional and behavioral needs.  The ones that require a body that my almost 50 year old carcass can’t always bend to. I  I feel that I am not fulfilling the daily requirements of my needy job and that kills me.  But my family also needs insurance and over half of my paycheck goes toward that. So I have done the work that pays the insurance for almost 15 years but I want to be a farmer.  A Farmer, with a capital F.

So there are decisions that are being made that will change the face of the farm and myself.  Please stay tuned as I walk you through the process of change.

 

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