Friday, September 21, 2007

Very long Post....feelings and FARM UPDATE

Since it’s been nearly a month since the last farm “update” I feel I need to write. But I’m not sure what to say. I’m feeling so disconnected from the world lately. This really isn’t a new feeling. Farming/homeschooling/mothering/housekeeping is hard work! No, I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I have all that I’ve ever wanted. I love it here. I just wish it weren’t so…so, isolating. With our society as it is, it has made this sort of lifestyle very isolating. Very few people have time to commune together in any way, shape or form. It became very apparent to me when my mom left after being here for a whole month, then James was home from Uganda and spent over a week at home, that I don’t LIKE being so isolated. I LOVE communing, sharing, laughing, singing and well, just being with other people. Yes, I’m with “people” all day, four of them in fact….but I must clarify… when I say “other people” I really mean people around about MY age! Adults, those people I do not need to instruct, discipline, care for, read to, clean up after, cook for, etc.

I need to clarify what I mean when I say “this sort of lifestyle”. I do not mean living out in the country on acreage with few neighbors. What I mean is the housewife/mother/teacher/helpmeet lifestyle. You can live in the heart of Seattle and feel the same way. I think I’m just now realizing what it all means and why. I'm realizing it is nearly impossible to NOT FEEL isolated due to the society we live in. EVERYONE is SO busy!!!! Busy with work, with school, with homes. We taught ourselves to be independent and not rely on anyone!!!!! It's a failure, in a sense, to show yourself as NEEDING anyone. We live in our 3000 sq. ft. homes on our 2000 sq. ft lots (or 2.54 acres) and do not know the name of the person we can see through the window cooking dinner. We isolate ourselves. It used to be that the women of the neighborhood would gather for coffee/tea each afternoon before the hubbies arrived home or before the children arrived home. Not anymore. It came with the feminist movement. Strong independent women don't need anyone else! But because of this mentality no one knows how to build a community that needs one another, that helps one another, that works together. I’m not even sure what it would look like if I saw it. All I know is that WE DO NEED IT!!!!

* heart.*

But, if I was a diligent worker, self-disciplined, wise manager of time, in other words COMPLETELY organized, maybe this wouldn’t be an issue. I’d be so busy every second of every day that I wouldn’t have time to think about it. But I’m not those things most of the time. I’m disorganized which is a complete distraction all day long. I become overwhelmed and then paralyzed which leads to perplexed looks and thoughts like “where do I start?” “What do I do now?” “I can’t do it all so why begin.” It’s actually ridiculous! There are awesome books to help those like me. Managers of Their Homes and Mother’s Rule of Life have both been paramount in helping me recognize this tendency in myself. That’s the first step I guess. And slowly, each day, I try to put it into practice. It’s just that when your slothful, undisciplined, and altogether unorganized (for nearly 37 years---am I really almost 37?), it’s hard to change.

I feel the only way to do so is by the grace of God!!!

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9a

Now that I have sufficiently revealed my innermost being to the world, would anyone like to read a FARM UPDATE?

Chickens: We NEED more chickens! Our current flock has started laying fewer and fewer eggs! This week the average has been 11!! It dawned on me early this morning that it is probably LIGHT! We are now down to almost exactly 12 hours of sunlight a day! I’ve read that chickens need a consistent 14 hours of light a day to produce. So I will need to get the lights out again! Hopefully that will increase production. I also desperately want to increase the size of the flock but it is such hard work to make that happen. We need another coop to bring them to. We’ve already decided we can build one for next to nothing using pallets (see here if you wonder what I’m talking about). It’s just finding the time while also schooling, cooking, cleaning, gardening, milking AND finishing up the cabin before the rain hits( the siding needs to be put on ASAP for protection). We are gathering pallets and I know where I want it. Now, time.

Goats: Butter is still suckling her mama!!! Come on now, she is nearly old enough to breed and she still nurses her mama! Gross! But I cannot find it in my heart to separate them ALL DAY. They only have each other and goats are VERY social animals. They both would do nothing but cry all day long! I hope to breed in a month and that should stop it for sure! I’m still not sure how to go about breeding but I know I need to. I’m toying with the idea of mixing them with a Saanan. Saanans are know to be very docile and mellow while Nubians (what they are) are very skittish and noisy (we’ve learned firsthand). I just need to find a saanan buck. We still get about 3-4 # of milk a day. Every once in awhile I have enough to make cheese. One day last week I made mozzarella and then with the whey from the mozzarella I made ricotta cheese. We had lasagna that night! It was delicious and it felt so good to know I made both cheeses that went into it!

Garden: Garden season is almost done. We pick green beans nearly everyday for dinner. I do not however have enough to can/freeze for winter. I’m sad about that. Next year the rows double! We have squash to eat as well and I’m so happy that some of the children love the steamed squash. The tomatoes look good but are slow to ripen!! We get just a few cherry tomatoes a day. The plants, all 8 of them, are covered in GREEN fruit and I’m anxious for them to ripen!!
I hope to fence the garden area soon so that I an let the chickens in there over the winter to eat all the weeds and grass and to fertilize. I will kick them out in February, let it sit a month and then till it ALL up!!! I look forward to that time, it will great expand the garden area to have them it all the grass away.

To Do List:
Side the cabin
Build a new, bigger coop
Breed the goats
Fence the garden
Can tomatoes!

All by November 15th (just picked that date in the middle of fall as a goal!)

Ha ha ha ha ha, right!


Mimi said...

Sounds busy and like you are learning what tweaks to do for next year.

Liz in Seattle said...

And how did you know that Patrick wanted a fully sided cabin, a chicken coop, baby goats, fencing, and canned tomatoes for his birthday? You are so thoughtful to have that all planned out :-)

I've been discovering that it's fairly easy to lay out a basic schedule for oneself. What's hard is learning to grow into it, a little bit every day. Two steps forward, 1.9 steps back...

Michelle Melania said...

Great update! Sorry that you are feeling disconnected right now. I can relate. With two kids under two (one being only 7 weeks old) I can understand what it feels like to lack adult interaction. I would love to have more community. But I have to admit that I don't even know my neighbors' names.