I’m screwed …

I think I’ve known this for some time now.  I’ve gone too far with this farm to turn back now.  I’ve become, basically, unemployable.  I apply for jobs, really, I do.  I’ve interviewed for jobs and in fact, I interviewed for one a week ago now that I thought I’d really like, but I’ve heard no decision from the potential employer.

The farm is going through a really bad dry period right now.  We are low on meat.  We have another cow to take to the processor, but he’ll be processed primarily into ground beef, bones and organ meat.

Rabbits are still growing slower than cold molasses.

The grant to expand our chicken operation that I had hoped to get from AWA didn’t happen.  All my my hopes and dreams are now hinging on the RAFI grant.

We dumped a lot of money into sheep and several times over the past few weeks, that money has almost gone when they went missing.  I mean gone, not-to-be-seen again, which would be a huge blow.

I am allocating incoming funds as best I can towards grain and hay of which we are going through a lot of now, mainly hay.  We’ve had virtually no rain in months and the pastures are toast. We’ve got a second pasture available, but we can’t use it until we do fencing which, right now, we can’t afford. Really, it won’t take much fencing if it’s used for cattle and hopefully we can get that done soon.  On my list of goals for next year is taking better care of our pastures.

I think I’m not a very good business person and I need to get better at that.

I know my negativity and frustration has been coming through in both my posts here and on Facebook and I need to be careful about that.  No matter how good our products are, if I am negative, they won’t sell.

The thing is, I really don’t know of anything else I want to do besides this job.  It would be nice to go back to my $60,000/year job sitting at a desk, but I’d miss filling in rabbit holes, milking the cows and goats, hauling hay and water, etc.  My morning chores now take about two hours to accomplish (I should say to do them right); the afternoon chores take about as long.  Then I have a to-do list that I accomplish during the middle of the day.

Right now, on the to-do list:

  • Clean out rabbit barn;
  • Remove cow manure from the milk cows’ paddock;
  • Harvest Romaine;
  • Fill in rabbit holes;
  • Chicken Proof the milk shed;
  • Fix the gates in the milk shed.

I almost finished filling in the rabbit holes yesterday.  I hauled four wheelbarrow of dirt to fill about 30 holes.  These holes have been irritating me (and I know Wally) for some time now. I also hauled two wheelbarrows-full of cow manure to the compost pile.

I have to get the Romaine harvested either today or tomorrow.  Tomorrow would be better because it will be fresher, but I’m afraid that something, like escaped animals, will interfere like it did last Friday.

Yesterday I called the mill where we usually get our grain mixture and was told that they were out of barley which is irritating plus I need to figure out where the $150 is coming from to pay for it.  Oh, to be able to buy a commercially-prepared mixture that is the same all the time, but that really isn’t the case because when you are relying on a big company to prepare rations, you never really know.

Ever since I started feeding my cats a raw meat diet, I stopped trusting companies to prepare food for my animals.  I trust them to prepare food for us, why should I trust them to prepare food for my animals?

So, it’s all frustrating and I’m trying to keep things afloat as best I can.  Selling the sheep and putting that money back into the farm will help.  If I can’t train Shine on goats, then she’ll have to be placed in another home.  I think our livestock guardian puppy is going to go and live with the Amish family that I get chickens from.  They need him more than we do right now.  I can get another one down the road.  We’ve got a puppy sired by Gel coming next week and there’s only so many young canines I can focus on and I’d rather put my energy into Gel’s genetics.

Until later …

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