Farming: It Takes a Community!

This is a shout out and big THANK YOU to my friends and neighbors who help make things happen around here!

Most of the time, it’s just me doing all of the farm chores.  The kids do help, they have regular chores.  Zach feeds pigs in the evening and Carmin is in charge of the rabbits and chicken wagon.  That leaves me with feeding pigs in the morning, moving pigs (I try to move each group every two weeks!), moving cows, and moving chicken tractors.  But those are just the basic must do each day chores.

There is so much to this farming thing!  There are fences to build, repair, and weed-wack under.  Getting the vet out, taking animals to the vet.  Loading animals for the butcher, and picking up meat.  I could go on…  and on...

I’ll start with Diana, who was here on Saturday instead of doing her own farm work.  We had a sick calf and Diana has some expertise in the field of animal medical care.  She’s generally my first call when I have injured or sick animals.  Diana came right over and taughtme how to tube feed the calf, I couldn’t have done it without Diana!  She farm sits, helps with the kids when I need it, has tons of homeschooling advice (and encouragement).  She’s always there when I need her!

Then there’s Bethany.  She never says no when I ask her for help!  Bethany is busy homeschooling her own four children, so usually she helps out with watching my kids or getting them where they need to be, which seems to happen pretty often.  We also swap plants for the garden, cookbooks, and tools.

Heather is also always there for me.  Heather and I are forever lending each other tools that the other does not own.  We also farm sit for each other and commiserate over foul weather and loose pigs.

Johny, the electrician who re-wired our old house, has become a family friend.  When I call (usually because I’ve broken something) he comes right over to help me out.  Johny has helped to get the tractor un-stuck, put the belt back on the lawn mower (twice), burn piles of logs dug up by pigs, move pigs, Johny never says “no”!  I think the most interesting fix would be a roof repair. Zach, driving the RTV too fast through the yard, hit the roof over the well house (a small short building sheltering the well pump).  He knocked the ENTIRE roof off of the building.  I was, of course, at a total loss as to how to get the roof back on top of the well house before Kevin saw it and lost it with Zach.  Johny had the answer, he picked the roof up with the tractor and with the help of another neighbor was able to set it back where it belonged.

Bill, a fellow farmer, never fails to allow me to borrow his mobile cattle squeeze chute, taught me how to brace my fences, and is forever giving free farming advice.  Bill is a great mentor and a generous friend.

Kristy and Keith, husband and wife team extraordinaire!  Kristy knew I wanted to get my yard fenced in (or fenced out, depends how you look at it).  Too many pigs and cows have been taking advantage of our yard.  Anyhow, they had a friend with a two-man auger (post hole digger).  They managed to borrow it and then came over and dug more than fifty fence post holes for me!    Kevin helped me set them and I’ve got them mostly wired.  But, I couldn’t have done it with out Kristy and Keith!

Last, but never least is Kendy!  Tireless friend and great mentor!  Kendy has a passion for conservation of rare breeds of livestock and encourages me to continue with it myself.  She possesses a wealth of knowledge and has an amazing network of friends and contacts in the world of small farming.  If I need to find something or someone, or learn how to do something, I just reach out to Kendy, if she does not know the answer off the top of her head, she will have it soon, usually in less than 24 hours.

Here’s my loud THANK YOU to all of the aforementioned folks and many more whom I have not mentioned here!  You are all loved and appreciated!  I absolutely could not do this without your support.