It is quarter of six and I have a few minutes to update this journal before heading out for milking and doing other chores. This semester is already exhausting me. Four days out of the week, I have to put myself in high gear to get everything done in order to leave for school at 7:30.
I get up, get dressed, make coffee, check e-mail, make sure I have all of my assignments on my hard drive to take to school, etc., make Wally’s lunch, heat up his truck, (all of Wally’s chores are done because I love and appreciate him so much) drink my coffee (usually while checking e-mail), milk two cows, feed the pigs, fill up hay bins for the cows, haul up and process the milk and wash my milking equipment, feed and water 200+ rabbits, feed the ducks and gather their eggs, clean myself up to be reasonably presentable, try to get something for breakfast (this morning it will be a smoothy made from raw milk yogurt, raw duck eggs and frozen fruit), feed the dogs and cats, load up the truck and head out for school. I am wore down before I even get to school. All of my classes are three plus hours in length and they are challenging (that is a good thing).
Once school is over and I get home, it’s almost time to start doing the same chores all over again. Honestly, I am not complaining. I know all this work is keeping me fit both physically and mentally.
Earlier this week out sent out this newsletter. Wally and I are not ready to go back to the Charlotte market. If I had my way, we would not go back at all. I thought about trying the local Hickory market, but Wally disagreed. We need to go where the most traffic is to make as much money during the “season” as we can. It has been a struggle keeping the animals fed this winter. At this time, the farm is not paying for itself.
Back to the newsletter. Primarily, the people on the mailing list are from the Charlotte market. I wrote in the last paragraph, “So, you can buy food from these honest, good farmers, but for now, you’ll need to drive to Lincolnton to get it. We have duck eggs, lots of duck eggs. Rabbit, lots of rabbit. Soon we’ll have pork, lots of pork. It’s worth the drive and you can see, for yourself, how your food is raised. Are you up for the challenge? We hope so.” Unfortunately, it seems no one was up for the challenge. It’s hard dealing with the reality that most people just think they care about good food and how it is raised. I will not give up on farming for as long as Wally and I are physically and financially able to do so, but it will continue to be frustrating knowing that for all that we do, it really doesn’t matter to anyone but us.
I guess I am very guilty of living in a fantasy world where people appreciate what small farmers do, but in reality, I know darned well given we are not at the market, our former customers are simply going on down the line buying from whatever farmers are there. It is a good thing that they are there buying from farmers rather than Wal-Mart, but I simply wish that we were missed and really appreciated. I wish I had a dollar for every individual that writes or calls me asking about buying products but never show up.
Is there a job where you are really appreciated for what you do? At one time, maybe yes, but now, those jobs are likely few and far between.
School is going well and I am slowly learning my craft. Took these images this week in studio. The assignment was to show texture: