Yes, yes, I know I keep saying that I’m going to be better about this, and I haven’t been, but I’m trying this blogging thing again anyway.
For those of you who dream of living the pastoral life on a small homestead or family farm, here’s my advice: get a seriously good-paying job, work it for 30 years and save every penny. THEN find a nice young couple who longs to be farmers, buy them a farm and have them do all the work. Because this farming thing is All Work, All the Time. And really, no one ever takes the sage advice of the Ancient Japanese Proverb, “Admire a large garden, plant a small garden.” We ALL have eyes bigger than our stomachs when it comes to dreams vs actual work/money/time involved. But if you’re determined to have a small farm of your own, okay, go for it. It’s a great lesson in patience and the need for long-term thinking and planning.
That said, some of our long-term patient planning is paying off at last. We are picking raspberries in our Future Pick-Your-Own area as fast as we can. Not as fast as the kids can eat them, but we have managed to slip bunches into the freezer, along with frozen cherries from our little dwarf tree that thinks it’s an orchard. Blueberries are ready to go as well and we just have to get over there and pick more every day. Grammy is trying to teach the grandkids to pick their OWN dang berries to eat, but we’ll get there. Raising two future farmhands is tough work, too, y’know.
Frank is haying fields with his new-fangled, custom-rigged contraption that allows him to run two pieces of equipment simultaneously - saving diesel, reducing pollution, less time spent driving in circles on acres of land. If you’re interested in how he did it, he pondered on it for about three years, then built the thing. He ran some tests on the grassy part of our yard, and has it out in the fields right now. He’d probably be more than happy to tell you exactly how he did it. It’s above my pay-grade.
Here’s a couple photos (that link is for Frank’s Instagram, if you want to follow his workday, but I’m adding photos here as well.
Mowing and tedding in one pass. For those city slickers unfamiliar with the term “tedding,” here’s the wiki info.
Raking and baling in one pass. Seriously, this rig is saving HOURS along with Frank’s sanity. Although, he has “read” many many many many books through his audible.com account thanks to farm work….
Maddrey is busy as a working nurse who is also going to school for ANOTHER degree, plus farm work and taking kids to the beach during this gorgeous summer.
As for me, I’m sewing TetherMade baskets, designing more fabric prints for Spoonflower and coffee mugs and pillows at Society6. I’m trying to write and paint and sketch more and building my own website so I can have all my stuff in one place. Keeping this short today, so that maybe I’ll do it again sooner next time.
Always, if you have questions and want more explanation on anything, I’m happy to write about it. Give us a shout. Thanks for reading.
We grow, we feed, we make, we teach…naturally.