More Satisfying Than a Paycheck....But it Doesn't Pay the Bills!
PRODUCTION! After six long months of having fun, the "farm" is finally doing what it is supposed to! PRODUCE! My garden is abysmal, but I knew it would be. The unreasonable volume of rain that plagued us all spring gave me no chance and turning the terracotta-like Ohio ground into something conducive to growing vegetables. Yet somehow, there is a glimmer of hope. The tiny tomato-loving boss had her first tomato out of Uncle-D's garden, I pulled out a whole bowl of peas, and the carrots and onions are doing well. In a prime case of better late than never, it looks like I may get some cucumbers, tiny pumpkins, a pepper or two. Worst of all there may also be some of that god-forsaken devils spawn, Zucchini (thanks Meemaw).
Meanwhile, the chicken coop is a little more roomy for the three remaining avian wunderkinder. Mrs. Darwin is days away from egg laying (I hope), and the other two are gently passing the days in peaceful harmony. Their three other friends, who had gotten too fat and angry to maintain, taught me a very valuable life lesson. Admittedly, it was not easy to turn "my" chickens into chicken. Even fat angry, pains-in-the-ass. When I set out, that was part of the plan, and so early on a Saturday morning, I took that big step into the real farmer's world. I am not yet a real farmer, but that was definitely a step in the right direction. I haven't yet tried the meat (which I expect to be very tough), but I can tell you the stock that I made from parts was pretty friggin' delicious. I will continue to develop this part of the farm activity, and hope that a year from now I am done buying chicken. It may not be cheaper, but there is an sense of pride that I will likely glean from this change in lifestyle. And you know what, its probably just a bit healthier than what comes from the factory.
Finally, the beloved bees. I cannot begin to express how surprised I am by that part of my farm life. As an afterthought, I viewed the bees as a novelty act. They were the bearded ladies of the farm. Turns out, they have been my favorite part. I've been stung twice (by them), but that doesn't stop me. I love to sit there and watch them. And I count the days until inspection time. Looking into their colony is so effing cool. Oh....and about production! I decided to steal a frame's worth of honey. That stuff.....amazing. I am admittedly biased, because its my honey, but that stuff is like flowery heaven. Also, as a byproduct of my thievery, I got my first tiny block of beeswax. I will never make soap, but if it means my house smells like beeswax all the time, I'll gladly stick a string into a mason jar and make a candle or two. No extra smelly stuff....just wax, made by my little Carniolan friends.
I have definitely not been a perfect executor of this land in the last 6 months (see also: Raccoons, beer trailer massacres, and a sorry excuse for a garden), but if I can expect more of this in the future, I am all in on the hard work. Like anything there is a learning curve, and while mine may not look pretty, I'm still on it!
P.S. I'll start taking advance honey orders now!