Our own farm accomplishments have not changed our lifestyle as quite as dramatically as Poet's have hers, but it is our tradition to look back on New Years Day and be pleasantly surprised at all we accomplished in the previous 12 months. So, a few highlights, in no particular order...
new roofs for the house and garage. We hired professionals to tackle this job. It is such a comforting feeling to have a sound roof over your head.
CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program and supplied half-bushel boxes of fresh garden veggies to six families every week, May through October. I was worried about growing enough for the members' boxes in addition to chores, milking the cow, my part-time work, my art, and running the farm store, but I am proud to say it was a success! Cadence wants to take over this enterprise and expand the CSA in 2013.
3-day workshop at Growing Power in Milwaukee last spring and learn about vermicomposting and aquaponics firsthand and hands-on from Will Allen and his staff.
our planned aquaponics system, where we will grow fish and plants symbiotically for food.
farm-themed works for an art exhibition with a dear artist friend, Vera Wong, at Crossings in Zumbrota last spring - and nearly all of the paintings were sold! One of my resolutions is to find time and focus to paint, paint paint this year.
The Nodding Wild Onions (pictured here at our farm), the Volunteer Tomatoes, Blue Monk and solo. We greatly appreciate that all of his bands played at the farm on various Sunday afternoons all summer!
smokehouse from the old burner that was on the property, using oven shelves that Cadence and I got at a restaurant auction a few years ago-- we knew they would come in handy for something someday! We have also made some delectable turkey in this smoker.
turkeys, we raised 10 handsome turkeys for Thanksgiving dinners. They were very sweet characters, but I managed to deliver them to the processor this year without sobbing uncontrollably - I am becoming a more professional farmer.
misadventures with a raccoon. A lowlight of the year was losing several clutches of chicks and four hens to him and having to finally dispatch the raccoon. More hardened farming.
Poblano. Disappointingly, our milk cow LaFonda turned out to not be pregnant, so did not have a calf this year, but we figured that out when we weaned her year-old calf, Lindy, and were able to resume milking her for the summer. The very saddest event of the year for me was reducing our herd--we harvested our steer Lindy (I cried for two weeks) and sold Lariat and Poblano to a great family in Michigan. We are down to two bovines, Lafonda and our Dexter heifer Jitterbug. A two-cow herd has been a blessing in this winter of expensive, scarce hay and our small pastures will be much healthier with fewer beasts.
Second Annual Cow Puja, a blessing of the cows. The event grew this year, with a dozen artists selling their wares, three great bands, delicious food, painted cows, and cow blessings performed by both the Sisters of St. Francis and members of the Hindu temple. The weather cooperated, my parents and many wonderful friends and neighbors helped us out for the day, and about 400 people attended!
Day of the Dead feast. Preparing for this event, Cadence cleaned out the south wing for the barn and transformed it into it a convincing rustic Mexican restaurant, with colored lights, banners, shrines, and colorful papier mache masks and skulls. She prepared an authentic Mexican feast for thirty friends who generously made donations to her cause.
Zinnie (Zinnie). She is smart, good-natured and adorable - and Nutmeg and Cocoa are training her in to be a great farm dog.
Rog and I are so blessed and grateful to be living this adventure on a beautiful little farm, learning something new every day, surrounded by generous, caring friends and neighbors, talented musicians and artists, enthusiastic customers and CSA members, delightful farm critters and beloved family.
We eagerly anticipate the adventures of 2013 and wish you all a joyous year!