They say that Life is what happens to us while making other plans. When you live out in the country, open to the elements and nature, its very true, no matter how much weather watching you do. November was not the way I thought it would be. Neither was Thanksgiving. But I had more to give thanks for this year than ever before and fewer people around my dinner table to share a meal with since our daughter decided to stay in Las Vegas to go to college. Our Halloween out in the country was uneventful, not even a jack o lantern, which really bugs me because Halloween is my #1 favorite holiday. Oh well, plan for next year, haha. My raised beds were empty and the pullets (young hens) are out there gleaning what is left on the dried-out vines. Gleaning is what is done to fields when the main crop is harvested. The poor people of the village in some places could go in after the crop had been brought in to glean what was left behind before it was plowed over or burned to amend the soil. My young ladies are just learning to explore and eat outside of the brooder having survived the last massacre back in October when our LGD’s (Livestock Guardian Dogs) had found a way to dig out from their enclosure and play a little too rough with the pullets that had also escaped from the chicken run. Remember my previous blog post about problems stemming from not having secure fencing? Yeah, that’s a never-ending chore. Of the 22 pullets that I had ordered in August, I have 9 left. That is still plenty to get eggs from next March, but my husband sometimes gets chicken fever too and wants to add more. I think we need to wait until next year to add to our flock.
In the second week of November, on a rainy Wednesday afternoon, my son and I were in an accident on the way home from picking him up at school. It had been raining all day, another weather detail that we had prepared for, expected, experienced before but never anticipated it changing our lives the way it did. The truck I was driving hydroplaned on the wet road and I veered into the side of the road in a shallow but narrow ditch, where it seemed the wet grass and ground made the speed of the vehicle even faster. We drove through a wrought iron fence and flipped the truck on its side. I was ok, but my teenage son was partially thrown from the back of the vehicle. We were so lucky that the highway is travelled by many because we were in a quiet part of town during slow traffic time. The quick assistance of travelers on the road helped set the truck right to save my son’s life. I will never forget the look of fear on his face as the truck door rested on the side of his head. We are grateful and blessed for a positive outcome from something that could have ended so bad. I have spent the rest of the month of November concentrating on helping my son heal rather than working on this page. The guilt I feel is still significant, even though I know this website will still be here, it could almost have been that my son would not have been. Through aches and pains and the shock of a wrecked vehicle that only has 7 payments left on it, we are healing and moving forward as a grateful family. Our Thanksgiving was delayed, but still much to be thankful for.
You don’t realize how much you need a truck with a bed in it until you no longer have one at your disposal. Getting feed for the animals being the #1 need that I have, along with getting laundry done while my machines in the laundry room wait to be serviced. It’s hard to accomplish that in a small Ford, but I’m grateful that we have a car for me to drive. It is possible to have feed delivered from your local feed store, but the price did not fit into our budget. I would have to wait for a weekend when my husband was home to use the work truck to get our large bags of goat feed, dog food and alfalfa bales.
In the meantime, I decided that I would use one of the raised beds to do some winter planting. I was curious to try planting some garlic and onions because from what I had seen, it seemed so easy to do. In a nutshell, plant it and forget it until next year. HAHA, not really, but pretty darn close! I selected the varieties from my favorite feed store, red and yellow onions, white garlic and shallots. We use a lot of garlic in our cooking and love the taste of shallots so I feel really lucky to have found them. Im hoping when we harvest in early June that we have a large amount to take us through the year. That would be pretty neat. I then planted them, watered them and that’s about it. It can be done as late as Thanksgiving in most zones and they stay mostly dormant in the winter and reemerge in the late spring/early summer to harvest. All I had to do after watering twice a week, was to mulch the area I had planted, which I did yesterday because we are expecting our first freeze in two days. I already have sprouts throughout the raised bed and I am thrilled to look forward to the longest planting season of a much-desired crop. It’s like a delayed Christmas present for me!
This was the longest summer and warmest fall I can remember. It was only until yesterday that the temperatures made it down into the forties and I know that later this winter I will wonder what in the world I was complaining about. But my reason for concern is a valid but also unproven reason. Last year I had two does, two female goats. And I remember in December of last year when they went into heat. They were noisy and playful with each other as there were no bucks around. This year, I am prepared with a young buck and a doe, but my doe from last year that I know had been in heat before, really isn’t interested in this buck. Where does the weather come into play in all this? For some goat breeds they mate when the temperature goes down and the days become shorter. That is to say the biological urge kicks into gear when these meteorological situations occur. Unfortunately, it was 84 degrees two days ago, and only yesterday and today has the sky become cloudy and the winds a little chillier. We did have a cold snap the week of Thanksgiving, and that turkey day I spotted our new doe getting frisky with the buck. I now must wait 21 days to see if the breeding took and kidding will commence 150 days from Thanksgiving. If not, she will go back into heat on December 14. With Sugar, my doe from last year, I’ve been checking her under the hood every day, no signs of breeding and just from observing her interaction with Jon Snow, my new purebred Nubian buck, she really could not care one whit about him. I think she may be playing hard to get. Weather is not a proven reason for breeding to happen or not happen, I just know that my new doe, Belle, was not playful until there was a cold snap in the air. I will keep this blog updated now that I strive to make my posting a little bit more consistent.
The one-year anniversary for So Farmish came and went this last November 27 without so much as a big to do or mention. I do feel bad about it, but I want to come out stronger and my family’s health does come first. I have big plans for So Farmish this month of December. Instead of starting my 12 days of Christmas on December first, I will start on December 12, with 12 Days of Drinks, soft and otherwise, haha. More pictures are coming, more reporting on how my animals are growing as well as more recipes and hopefully, some interviews with people that are living out their dreams in the country too.
Thank you for hanging in there for me. I appreciate the people that visit So Farmish and would love to hear from you!
See you soon!