On Saturday morning, once Stuart and I realized that we'd run out of coffee beans, we took the “oppurtunity” to visit my parents for breakfast. Seeing as they only live about ten minutes over in the next canyon, it seemed like a very good idea. And it was. We were welcomed with fresh buttermilk pancakes, delicious grilled sausage, and fresh fried eggs. What a wonderful way to say good morning. Mmm. Hello, Mom and Dad. Thank you for breakfast. I'd starve without you.
As we sat around the breakfast table, we all began to chuckle at the current state of Beatha Fonn.
Our dairy cow, as you know, is in the process of being artificially inseminated. Currently, she is not pregnant. Not pregnant = no calf. No calf = no milk. To put it simply, our dairy cow is dry. Ain't no dairy.
Our seventeen chickens are on the brink of beginning to lay, though at this point, I feel as if they never will. Each morning, as I sprinkle out their homemade chicken feed, I anxiously check their nesting boxes for the first-golden-egg that will soon be laying there. And yet, I continue to wait. Cause it sure ain't laying there yet.
Our 576 square foot garden bed is finally build and finished – after a lot of sweat and manual labor. We've hauled in five yards of old horse manure and an additional four yards of compost. And yet, besides a few chive seeds planted in the left hand corner, it's bare. There isn't a lot of winter gardening here in North Central Washington and besides a few rows of greens and garlic, it will remain an unproductive garden bed until next spring when it can be put to use. The thus, the garden is yet another seed that has been sow but has not yet been harvested.
But seriously. I went to a vintage flea market this weekend and I'll be danged if I find the cutest little garden gate in the entire world. It was $30. And it inspired us to construct this entire fenced garden area on Saturday. I've always wanted a garden gate. They make my heart happy.
This week, we're going to construct a loose arch over the gate from curly willow trimmings – it's going to blow ya mind. Blow. Ya. Mind.
We have labored over our dear farm these past few months. Corrals have been build, pastures have been fenced, gardens have been established, chicken coops have been rebuilt, weeds have been mowed, berries and honeysuckle have been planted, chicken tractors have been built, our cow has been loved on, our laying hens have been happily enjoying their newly expanded space. And yet, it's not our season for reaping.
It is still the season of sowing.
We are laboring especially hard in these last few days before Stuart goes back to teaching next week. Once he's gone full time again, the process on the farm will slow greatly, as myself and two children are not nearly capable of the tasks that he can so easily complete by himself.
He's, like, so strong and capable.
I'm, like, totally not.
Mine and the kids' focus will instead shift to maintaining the animals, caring for the fifty meat chickens that will arrive next week, and completing some more inside projects that we've been anxious to get started on (though, let's be honest, by myself I don't make much progress on projects).
There is still much work to be done before fall and winter completely set in – even before we begin to reap *hopefully* the fruit of our labors next spring and summer. After all, there are still fifty meat chickens to raise and harvest before Thanksgiving. There is also a dairy cow that will be bred on September 4th and 5th, which we are praying settles that whole matter (Dear Lord, please help my cow get pregnant!). There is still lettuce, shallots, flowers, and garlic to be planted, gardens to mulch, and one more pasture to build for Kula. There is orchard grass to be sewn and grape trellises to build.
The fruit of these labors will not be seen for many, many months. Which frankly, is sort of funny to laugh at. By worldy standards, we are no doubt in a laughable situation – pouring time, money, and effort into a farm that is not currently providing us anything besides a heart full of potential and promise. And yet we sleep with smiles on our faces, loving the work that the Lord has put on our hearts to complete here on Beatha Fonn.
And dang man. One day. There will be an egg in that nesting box.
And Lawd have mercy. One day. There will be milk from Kula in my pail.
And I'm trusting that one day. There will be vegetables from my super-rad garden in my basket and in my storage cellar.
In the meanwhile, the Lord is teaching us difficult (but wonderful) lessons in animal husbandry, irrigation trouble-shooting, fence building, patience…
…and most importantly, perseverance!
Hey. At least the corn is growing.