Tuesday, June 28, 2011

And the farming adventure begins

Remember yesterday when I said we bought something
 that would reshape our summer?
Well.....here it is..................

If you're like me, you're saying, "ummm, what is it?"

I'll show you the other side of it, maybe that will help.....

I can just hear you, you're saying "Oh! That's a...a...  Oh for Pete's sake, what is that thing?"

Ok, ok, I'll tell you. It's a self feeder for hogs. See those metal plates at the bottom? Whenever Mr. or Ms. Piggy gets hungry, he or she can just saunter over to the feeder, lift up the metal plates with their nose, and help themselves to feed. How handy is that?

As you can see, the roof has seen better days, and will be replaced. The rest is in pretty good shape, even though it seems to have been made with whatever scraps some farmer had lying around - which explains it being 3 different colors.

And how is that going to reshape our summer?

Well, see that spot just to the right of the rake?
Against the trees?
 Before the summer is over, we plan to have a 3 sided lean-to in that spot.

Or maybe in the spot closer to the right of this picture.
We're still working out the logistics.

And what will be in the lean-to?
Does the self feeding hog feeder give you a clue?

Yep, a couple pigs will be taking up residence.

The lean-to will actually be divided into 3 sections.

On the left will be a couple pigs.
The middle will be for machinery.
The right will be for a couple steers.

We've thought for years that it would be nice to raise our own pork and beef. Or, at the very least, buy a hog and/or steer at the fair to put in the freezer. For various reasons, we just never did it.

Then Kevin grew up, and so did his desire to farm. Or more accurately, his PASSION to farm. I told him he's one of the lucky ones, most people don't really know what they want to do with their life. He does - he wants to farm. Passionately.

Where did this come from? Not from me. Sure, I'm a country girl, but on the small farm I grew up on, we raised a vegetable garden and Christmas trees. I think our cats and dogs would have been offended if we had called them "livestock".

It had to have come from his dad, who grew up raising sheep, and a steer or two as FFA/4-H projects.

It also came from every one of his grandparents, all of whom had farm backgrounds.

Farming is in his blood. It's who he is.

And, he's lucky to have a farming neighbor who is teaching him the ropes.

He would love to farm full time, and I suspect that someday he probably will. Right now, he's only lacking 2 major things........money and patience.

In the meantime, he has re-awakened our desire to raise our own beef and pork. Knowing what is in our meat is very appealing - as is knowing what isn't in our meat!

Kevin had planned to have hogs and steers this spring, but between the rain, too many projects, full time jobs, and the need to actually sleep once in a while, it just didn't happen. He had pretty much given up on doing it this year, until.......

Funny how life works! George and I and a friend were out "antiquing". We noticed what looked like a yard sale, and decided to stop on our way home if it was still open. Our day of "antiquing" didn't bring as many treasures as they usually do, so we had lots of room still left in the truck. We almost missed the yard sale on the way home, but pulled off just in time.

And there it was. Though I had no idea what it was. But George did, and the wheels started turning.

We paid for it, then the skies opened. We waited out a long rain storm, then the fellow we bought if from helped George load it in the truck. And what had been casual plans became full fledged plans.

It's probably too late this year to get livestock, but we'll go ahead and build. We may run across something, and if not, we'll be ready next spring.

Last summer, Kevin built a chicken coop, with help from his dad and cousin.

The chickens are living large in their cottage! We just need to train them to use a paint brush so they can finish the trim. Or maybe we'll just do that ourselves, if we ever get a dry day or two. That might be easier than teaching a chicken to paint.

They are very content in their surroundings, and we are anxiously awaiting their eggs. They won't start laying until September or so. If you live locally, and want fresh eggs, let me know. I don't think we'll be able to keep up with eating eggs from 39 hens!

Well, actually, there's not quite 39 hens. Seems a couple of them aren't hens. They were all SUPPOSED to be hens. But if you lived closed enough to hear them, you would know that there are a couple (at least) of roosters in the mix. They are getting quite good (and loud) at cock-a-doodle-doing!

Let the farming adventure begin!

1 comment:

Molly said...

(I should specify that I'm jealous about the end product, not the process. I, too, am not a farmer!)
I can't wait to read about this adventure!

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