The garden is a total flop this year. Well, almost. We are still getting some food out of it, but not like I would have liked. Such as life. Some summers are like that. Especially summers that have gotten busier than normal.
I was crazy this year and took over managing our local farmers’ market in addition to running my own market booth/business. Then to really make it crazy around here I have joined the Board of Directors of our local grocery co-op. Hmmm… Some days I wonder about my sanity.
Then again I get to do things like pause and watch a silly kitten and dog play together. They are both mostly black with just a touch of white and they are young. The kitten, Sparky, really tears into the dog, Kyra. He claws and bites her face, ears, and tail. She just mouths him and nudges him with her nose. For a dog that I know kills varmints and has been known to get the odd chicken she sure is gentle with the kitten in spite of his not-so-gentle play. This is why the dog is a part of the family now. Despite her chewing and digging she is a very gentle dog. She lets the kids and the kitten climb all over her.
The property is doing pretty well over-all this year. We have some good pasture and it is being rented out. Three yearling calves think they have gone to heaven to have the place to their selves. Next year we’ll probably have a few more up here. We’ll see what winter does and how the grass holds. We’ll probably only have the calves for another month or so.
In addition to the property bringing in a little money we bought half a hog this year. Our hog went in for butcher on Monday so in a couple of weeks we’ll be getting our meat back. We’ll have to see how we do with a half this year and whether we want to do a half again or a whole next year. If we want a whole we might raise a weaner-pig but we’ll see. Only problem is we don’t really have a way to transport them so we might be better off just buying the finished product. I’ll have to pencil out price per pound we end up paying and look at feed and fencing. If the costs balance out then maybe we’ll get the weaner-pig. I’m excited to not buy pork from the big box stores. I know the meat for this winter is of higher quality, a cheaper price, and I’m helping support a friend’s family. These are all good things. Plus we are supporting a small butcher shop. There aren’t many of those around anymore.
I love the feeling I get when my kids know where their food came from. They know where their eggs and vegetables come from, along with their milk. Even if we didn’t grow the food ourselves they generally meet who did. I like that. They know certain people have beef, others pork, others eggs, others milk, and others corn or tomatoes. My son calls me a farmer. I am not sure I equate myself there yet but I’m working on it. I also really love teaching me kids about food, plants, and the land. Their eyes light up when they know where their beef came from. They ask me if things are store bought or from a farm. They like both but tend toward excited when they can put a name and a place with where their food came from. It makes me think that maybe we should all be a bit more like that.