Shovelling winter bedding into the wind is hard on the eyes – and the lens.
Can you see all the dust on the camera lens?
My hopes for an early spring are gone. It seems this Northerly pattern is parked and here to stay. So it is cold dusty work.
Though it seems it is only me who cares. The sun comes out a little more every day and we do rise above freezing in the day time and the animals seem happy. It is 19F/-7C as I write this morning.
I have been working on the creep for Poppy’s babies. We are going to have cold piglets so I have redesigned the area. I have two new heating pads coming in for them. The pads are actually hard bright red mats. They are way less of a fire risk than the heat lamps plus the babies can lie right on them and get warm. Straw on top of them is not allowed so there will be an area just for the mat within a little piglet house so the heat is trapped a wee bit. I will set one up today and see how warm it gets in there.
For their first few days they will have an additional heat lamp, and heat mat, in the doorway of the creep where they usually hang out when really little. For the first few days they don’t like to move far from Mum and these are the days when they need the most heat too. Of course Mum prefers to be much cooler which is OK because the barn is not heated.
There will be another corner of the creep that is full of straw so we will see what they prefer.
I hope Poppy holds off until April – when we have at least a chance of some warmer weather. Her body tells me we have at least two weeks to go. Maybe three. Hopefully three.
I hope you have a lovely day.
And thank you for all your loving and lovely messages yesterday. Many of you have been here, in The Lounge, together with me, for years now and we have all been through many cycles of life and death. Your company and support during the highs and lows of farming means a great deal to me. Thank you.
On another subject I am writing the 2018 budget. My farming journey is taking a very big step this year. I think that, if I am careful, and tighten my belt, this year I will bring the farm very close to being self-sufficient; in that it will pay for itself, and sustainable; in that it can sustain itself with very little waste. These two are intermingled. Next, I need to make a profit.
The farm sustaining the farm and feeding itself and it’s pets and people AND funding my family travel, PLUS paying the rents and taxes on the farm-land is my ultimate goal. Visiting my own kids is not a choice – it is essential to the well being of myself and my children. So I include this in my farm budget. And the taxes in this county are very high but must be included too.
It is a good goal though and I have one more season to achieve it then hold to it. Our John retires from his summer job at the end of this coming summer, so all subsidies from his income will be gone, along with his income. I am too young to retire though, so I will take it from there. Big breath.
WEATHER: Cold and sunny.
Wednesday 03/14 0% / 0 in
Mainly sunny. High 46F. Winds WSW at 15 to 25 mph.
Wednesday Night 03/14 10% / 0 in
A clear sky. Low 26F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.
7:06 am 6:58 pm
Waning Crescent, 9% visible 5:44 am 4:15 pm
Go for it, Miss C. If anyone can do it, you can. And you have the whole Farmy behind you, cheering you on. Hugs…
Great goal. You will do it.
I am working on it. It is just hard work and good organisation I think – I hope!
You’ve got this.
I have a good feeling about the pigs and beef in the coming year for you. If restaurants are wanting quality home grown meat – you will be perfectly suited to supply them! Your animals are so well tended. Oh – and the chickens – my mouth waters thinking about how good they must be too.
Look at those spurs on that rooster! I would not want to pick on him! Wish I could pack some of our 60+ degree days and send them north – too many of my friends are having the winter blues.
Yes – I am hoping that in a few weeks the warm will come – 60 sounds just perfect. I seem to be in the right place at the right time at last – this market opening up is a game changer for the farm.
I hadn’t seen yesterday’s post, so I had to scramble to read it. And it was what I suspected. As usual, you have made the right and proper decision. Farming is a hard life, as we’ve all come to understand through you. I’m glad you will see her through to the end. We’ll all be with you in sad spirit. And then, with you, we will face forward.
Yes – facing forward is good advice – after tomorrow though – first we get through tomorrow. c
Let’s hope poppy holds off for three weeks, fingers crossed 🤞 it’s quite mild here at the mo, but apparently we might get snow again this weekend! I’m fed up now. Come on spring! 😀
The east is getting slammed – poor buggers – we need this Nor’East to give up..
Just so you know, and you probably do, a retired husband is a wife’s full time job. 🙂 Best of luck with that. But farmers never retire. That’s a lot of income necessary. I’m glad I don’t have to travel to see my family. Your’s is quite spread out. Winter isn’t quite ready to give up just yet. We are getting a second round too. 72 yesterday 44 today. ;( Nothing like what you get and I’m sorry.
That is a big drop though! 72 – 44. You would never be able to decide what to wear!
Layers! Always layers here. 🙂
I just love Tane. He always seems to be smiling, whatever the weather. I try to remember that… smile anyway – whatever the weather.
Tane really is such a nice wee chappie – even though he struggles to walk he never compains. c
Good afternoon, c. The lighting on those white feathers is stunning. And if I may … my Peder retired from his job 3-years ago, and we’ve had nothing but fun since. We share chores, he cooks, I cook, he does the wash, I do the wash, but mostly we do everything together, and it’s brought us closer than all those years before when he worked (and travelled a lot). Spending our days together has reminded us why we fell for each other 39-years ago. Retirement is just a change of priorities.
That sounds just wonderful Misky! Good for you. It sounds like you two have a lot in common. That is great. c
You very nearly have 12hrs of daylight, hoping the sun comes out soon too. Laura
Yes – our days are getting much longer and now daylight saving!!
It has been warm and sunny here – 13ºC, but there’s snow forecast for the weekend!
I’m sure you can achieve self sufficiency and a profit the way you are going.
Funny how travel for me (and maybe you) is an essential and written into the budget. I did not think about it until after it was in there – many people would put travel under the vacation or extras column. After the travel I hope I do get to a profit column. Also I think that my type of farm is finally coming into the commercial arena. Even three years ago we did not have these kinds of markets. The restaurants wanted guaranteed product all year – now they are so much more enlightened as to what SEASONAL actually means. Now they buy what we have available – this is so much more doable. c
I think it’s the same here. Restaurants are keen to sell meat (and veg) from farms where they know the animals have been well cared for. Customers have a conscience these days.
Squeals – I like pig butts and I cannot lie!! Snorts and rolls with piggy laughter. XOXO – Bacon
Bacon – you are a wonder!! c
Nice sunny day today. Love the photo of Tane, he has a great smile for a pig. It will get warmer and there’s supposed to be a good deal of sunshine so that’ll help. I’m sure you’ll do well this year.
The sunshine does help – and we had heaps of it today!
Gosh, so exciting to hear about moving closer and closer to being self sustainable! I thought we could do it when we began here almost 7 years ago, but are still quite far from that goal. Just got back from a wonderful family reunion, and haven’t been able to check in for awhile. So sorry to hear about Lady Aster. Of course it will be the humane thing to do. Very difficult, but necessary. xo
Interesting you say that because we began eight years ago – or thereabouts I have never been good with numbers. The big thing has been finding a market at the right time. Very lucky and also lots of hard grafting to build a reputation solid enough to attract the buyers. Lots of luck involved.
Over the years following the Farmy blog I have admired the way you have worked your options and way forward to your goals. I feel a vicarious sense of joy and hope that you have attained this point, and the anticipation of ongoing plans.
Little chicken steps and always correcting myself when i veer off course. Though sometimes I am off course for a while before I realise I am barking up the wrong tree.
Well, I guess you could look at John’s retirement in that you won’t have to wait till his day off to help you with a big job during the busy summer and fall months on the farm. I mean..if he wants to eat, right? 🙂 He may just change his mind and go back to his old job when he sees all that needs to be done at home! It ain’t easy, right?
Great photos today…those 3 little pig bottoms are too funny!
he does not work in the winters so at least we have some practice. And I do give him lots to do over the winter – I think he goes back to work for a rest! There is tons to do – we will see how I go without a helper this year.
Good luck to you, the farm I buy meat from is doing wonderfully well, again a matter of excellent product and timing. Having lost my John I am thankful every day that he did a early retirement. Don’t take the extra time you’ll have with your John for granted. We had several years of hanging out and working together day in and day out. I am missing him something fierce.
ps love the pic of the nosy pig peering around the edge of the door
you are an excellent thinker and organizer! I am especially thinking of you today Much love AND hugs from our still snowy mountain home.
I so enjoy reading about your daily life. I’ve shared your blog with a few friends.
I’m sorry your loss. Glad she had you to stand by her.
I know it’s essential to visit your kids. My only son lives in NYC and I travel every 6 months to get a son hug.
Good luck and blessings.
I enjoy plans, budgets and goals…and I love a good spreadsheet!
Amazing girl! You’ll do it … 😀