September isn’t usually a month in which we welcome babies to our little farm. As a matter of fact, we are usually winding down our commitments this time of year. 2017 is proving to be a bit different in this regard.
A few weeks ago, Farmer Dave and I went to meet Rue, a young heifer who needed a new home. Since Sir Loin was making his transition from our pasture to our freezer, Red Rose needed a new companion. One early Saturday morning, I poured my coffee in a travel mug, joined Dave in the old truck and went to look at one of our options.
We kind of went out on a limb with a local farmer (whom we had not previously known) and told him that we are relatively ignorant on what makes a good calf…and would trust him to be honest with us. (Yeah, I know.) He kind of looked at us for a moment and then proceeded to recommended a young heifer from his herd. This man’s teenage son was listening to the entire exchange, and we took comfort in that the cow looked very healthy AND the son was in on the discussion. Surely the man was modeling integrity to this boy and not teaching him to be a con artist, right? So far, so good on Miss Rue. She has a sweet disposition, and she and Rose are already sharing food and swatting at one another’s flies.
Last weekend, Dave and I planned a little getaway for the two of us that involved a few opportunities to hear Joel Salatin, from Polyface Farms, speak in the Indianapolis area. I have appreciated much of Salatin’s platform for some time, and I was eager to get Dave’s take on his perspective. Plus, we had been graciously included in an invitation for a farm-to-table dinner and roundtable discussion with Joel and other local growers and interested parties. Little did I know that Dave and I would get to have dinner at the same table as special friends AND Joel Salatin! During our meal, we enjoyed much laughter…and really good food! (Thank you, Griggsby’s Station and Tyner Pond Farms!)
Anyway, unbeknownst to me, Dave was planning to use our weekend away as an opportunity to pick up another newbie for Country Haven.
Meet Liberty Belle.
She is an 8-week-old goldendoodle puppy whom we hope to breed. Over the past 15 months, Dave and the kids have co-invested in two females and a male in the hopes of generating income for school, farm and home expenses. Miss Libby, as we call her, is adjusting very nicely to life at Country Haven. We all love her.
One of the things I like least about life on our little farm is that things don’t always go the way we’d like for them to go. We experienced this a couple of weeks ago with the loss of a couple of dozen broilers (meat chickens) ready for butchering. It was a sad (and expensive) day, but we learned a valuable lesson in the process. Since we had planned to tuck that meat away for the winter months, our freezer is a little light on chicken. To fill in the gap a bit, Dave brought home 20 chicks last night. They are a mix between amberlinks and buff orpingtons. We will keep the hens to lay eggs and process the cockerels for our table. Dave found them for a great price at a nearby farm store, so we felt good about the financial investment.
There are always so many things to learn in this life, and I am thankful for the opportunities we have to learn them in a safe, peaceful environment. Seasons come and go, but there are sorrows and gifts in every situation.