The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

One hundred and thirty days passed since my last post. Lots have happened in all that time.

The Good

We managed to survive our first year at the new place.

We made a few friends and we successfully integrated within the community. As Mitchell often says “whether we like it or not, we made roots at this place”; we have a few go-to people for different things and absolutely love the fact that we are so close (essentially next door neighbours) to an Amish community of 26-27 families.

We became fairly close to a handful of the families and are truly blessed that they are willing to help us out around the farm. As you may remember, they helped to build our barn, they also helped to fence an area with 3 runs for me to be able to separate and rotate animals around.

This year, unfortunately, the hay cutting and collecting fell through and we lost all our hay to the excess of rain. One of our Amish neighbours thought of us first when they had an extra couple of hundred small bales. He also delivered and brought a few extra hands to help unload and stack the hay in our barn, and as of mid-August, we could say we were all set for winter.

With the helpful hand of the Amish (and a couple of other neighbours — everyone had different duties), we were able to take a few days off the farm and go on vacation. We visited Mitchell’s side of the family down in Guyana and enjoyed a well-deserved break from “all of it”. My dad and step-mom joined us too and we had a fantastic time. We recharged our batteries and got back into ‘real life’ with new forces.

Kaieteur Falls, Guyana

The Bad

On a farm, having livestock also means having the odd dead stock. It happens. We do ultimately live in a survival of the fittest world. As much as we try to keep everyone healthy and happy, sometimes things do go astray and sometimes it’s just in the cards and how they have been dealt. Lessons are always there to be learned from every incident and in the end higher levels of growth can be reached.

Bad didn’t always need to equal death. We also made poor judgment decisions, that ended up costing us precious time, effort and money. There wasn’t really anyone there to advise us and tell us “don’t do this or that”. We did learn a lot from the first year and what not to do going forward, or what to keep doing the same.

The Ugly

Every now and then we welcome visitors to our farm. Walking through the farm gates people either get super excited or they feel like they were expecting something different. Needless to say, there are always the wow and shock effects that they are experiencing.

It is then they are faced with the reality of all sorts of moving things, walking and running around, making all sorts of noises, and also all sorts of messes…. Yup, it’s the messes I want to talk about. I have seen people’s faces change at the sight of poop. We have chickens, ducks, guineas, geese, turkeys, goats, sheep, alpacas and dogs… There’s a lot of poop! Poop is part of farming and even though the place gets cleaned regularly, it’s still poopy. No matter how many meetings I hold with everyone, they still do whatever they want hahahaha We encourage people to bring rain boots so that they are easy to hose off and have a change of clothes with them in case anyone decides they want to leave a mark on their favourite pair of jeans.

A small part of the crew

On another hand,

A lot of people that come over, that have known us for a while or they are meeting us for the first time, always ask us what brought us here; why farming? We both have come up with the same answer “we enjoy it tremendously”. Mitchell still works outside the farm, but he is very much a part of it as I am — hands-on during the weekend and ‘online’ during the week.

The more we research about the farming world, we realize young people are desperately needed to fulfil agricultural roles. Currently, the average age of a farmer is over the age of 65. They really need replacements and farming is a quite difficult career to get into, to stay in, to succeed in. More often than not, good mentors are worth their weight in gold! Many times I’m faced with a “good luck” from many seasoned farmers that see me at the sales barn looking at livestock, but I push on and get things done 🙂

11 Thoughts on “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

  1. Hey Laura! This is a milestone and I am glad you wrote about it. The year has been full of so many events and it’s great to reflect on and have it in writing. So happy you are doing this and enjoying it as much as you are!

  2. What a lot has been happening in your world. You’ve chosen a very demanding life – you’d be crazy to keep farming if you didn’t love it. I’m so impressed – and envious. Your stories take me back to my country childhood. Your neighbors sound wonderful.

    • Susi, I am so happy to offer stories of “now” that are similar to what you lived during your childhood. They are very similar to my life at grandma’s place ((except some animals that grandma chose not to raise lol)). We are doing some things right 🙂

  3. Sounds like you’ve had a fascinating, educational year! What helpful neighbours you have.
    Your remark that ‘poop is part of farming’ made me laugh … how sheltered city people are (that includes myself). Looking forward to reading more updates from you.

    • Myself included TOO!!! hahahaha I knew “poop” from grandma’s house, but she had a fraction of what we have. So the shock was very real foe me too!! Grandma had 18 chickens at any time (max), no ducks (because they are too messy), no goats, no sheep (no room for them). She had cows and horses so different kind of poop. Some think I am crazy when I say I actually like the smell of cattle and horse manure (when it’s spread in the fields in the fall) and it’s all because it brings me back to grandma’s home (can’t even say farm, as THAT was her livelihood — horses and cows were part of “the works”. The animals were what made ‘grandma’s place’)

  4. Nice to see a post from you. I’m glad you survived your year.

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