I haven’t been writing as much as I usually do. Not sure why. I dabbled with the Devil early last week and that sapped both my energy and my spirit. I tried working for people that I had worked with once before. It didn’t end good then; it didn’t end good this time. I don’t know why it is that I keep coming in contact with these horrible people: people that have more money than anyone should have who can afford to hire people like me and treat them like shit. There are people this bad economy hasn’t touched and a lot of them are taking advantage of the slave labor they can hire.
I’m starting to wonder if I’m ever going to find a real job again. I wish we could afford to live off the farm, but it’s no-where near that point and probably never will be. I hate to think about going to work again as a cashier or a prep cook or something like that. I wish I could find a job where I could use my skills and intelligence. In this economy, those things are not so much in demand plus my age doesn’t help.
Wally and I went to the Farmer’s Market last Saturday and while we enjoyed ourselves, we didn’t sell much. We only had two rabbits to sell. We sold one of them and a dozen eggs. That just barely paid for our space rental. I know we need to pay our dues and wait for people to figure out we are there. At least we enjoy going and we’ve already made some really good contacts.
If all goes well, I’ll be going to learn to make goat milk soap this week. That will add a little bit more income to the farm. I made this contact thanks to the manager of the Farmer’s Market. On Saturday, I bartered milk, cheese and eggs for a bunch of things such as some organic chick starter, heirloom tomato, pepper and eggplant seedlings, apple butter, etc. That’s cool.
There’s some talk about a Tractor Supply opening up in Lincolnton where a Wal-Mart used to be. I suppose if I had to work in retail, that would be a good place to work. At least I’d get some discount, not that we buy much grain from Tractor Supply these days, but any discount will be helpful.
I am going to try to make a commitment to go down into the garden every day, early before it gets too hot and work on at least one bed. Wally said I can’t go down and do just one bed, that I’ll start on one bed and then go to another and another and not get any one bed done. He’s probably right and that’s probably why I can’t make a go at the garden. A friend of mine is going to bring me some Jerusalem Artichokes to put in the garden. These are prolific tubers with shoots that make great fodder for the rabbits and other animals. I’m going to set aside one bed for them. I’d like to find somewhere else to plant them, out of the garden, but I can’t figure out where to do that so for now, they’ll have a small bed to themselves.
I made an appointment to bring two of the buck kids to the processor on June 11. On June 18 we are taking a cow that belongs to the veterinarian across the street to the processor. She’s an old cow that he likes and doesn’t want to take sell her or to a cull cow processor where she’ll likely be treated roughly so he’s letting us take her, with dignity, to our local processor to be made into ground beef. We’ll likely use most of it for dog and cat food. We’ll take her the morning of the 18th where she’ll be processed immediately. We never leave our animals there overnight, we always bring them the morning of. That will make for a lot of dog and cat food for not too much money. It will be a lot cheaper than buying food at the grocery store and she’s been 100 percent grass fed. Of course we’ll get the bones. I hope doing the goats goes okay. At the Farmer’s Market, people are interested in goat meat. I’m afraid these goats aren’t going to amount to a lot of meat. Next year, they should be larger given that we are using the Saanen buck. He’s doing well down in the back pasture. He’s hanging quite a bit with Ace, the horse. We’ll have to make him a good, dry place to go in when the weather gets bad. I’ll probably keep one or two of the wethered (castrated) goats to put down there as a companion.
The chicks are doing well. We hatched out 27 Dark Cornish chicks and a few chicks from our hens. The White Rock chicks are out in the outside brooder and they are doing quite well. I think that breed is going to work well for us. They are growing quite fast and seem to have some meat on them. We’ll see how the Dark Cornish do. I am going to go and pick up another two dozen eggs to incubate and I think that will be it for the year. In a few weeks, I’m going to start doing the roosters from the dual purpose chicks we bought in February. As expected, at least 80 percent of them turned out to be roosters.
I guess I had better get going and get the goats milked. I’ve already moved the rabbit tractors. I need to get down there and weigh some of the Chinchilla rabbits to see how close they are to processing size. I’ve got two does with litters that I need to get out on pasture and need the tractor space. We still have the materials to make another small tractor, but we haven’t had the time to get it done. Wally is off a few extra days next weekend so hopefully we can get it accomplished.
Until later …