We held our monthly farm meeting yesterday. As indicated by the photo, much of the meeting was spent finding things to distract Canaan and Kai with so the rest of us could actually get a bit of talking in. The Playdoo distraction lasted for about 15 minutes.
Amid the two year old noise and chaos (or ‘gong show’ as Julie calls it), we did manage to touch base about a few important things and make some decisions (or ‘almost-decisions’) on a few topics.
Here’s what’s new in our world on the farm:
We have 4 rabbits (including a new, young buck) on the property. They currently live in rabbit cages above our three-tiered composting system. The set-up is very permaculture friendly in the sense that we’re using the rabbit’s poo and pee to fertilize the compost, but it’s also our least animal-friendly abode. Unlike the other animals on the farm, our little rabbits aren’t free range. The only access they get to grass is when we grab it up in clumps and put it in their cages. Because of this, we’ve had ‘Build a rabbitat’ on our to-do list for awhile. We envisioned something like our chicken tractor that would allow the rabbits access to grassy meadow spaces on a regular basis. The reason we got rabbits originally was so that the meat eaters on the farm could produce their own meat. However, despite having rabbits for over a year, we’ve only gone through one butchering session. They’re also our highest maintenance animal, needing water and feeding top-ups more frequently than the other animals. All this to say, yesterday’s meeting involved a discussion about whether or not rabbits is an animal we want to keep on the farm right now. Matt wasn’t at the meeting, so a final decision hasn’t been made yet, but if he’s flexible on the topic, the rest of us agreed that keeping rabbits isn’t something we want to continue doing at the moment. We’d rather put resources into the chickens who supply eggs regularly (and could also provide meat if desired) and find a better home for the rabbits.
We have a lot of ducks. Too many, it turns out. Or the wrong ratio anyway. Our male duck population greatly outnumbers our female duck population. You know what that means. Fun times for the boys, but not so fun for the girls. We’re looking for homes for some of our male ducks. They’re Muscovy and make wonderful garden buddies (they’ll eat up all your slugs and save your veggies!). $20 each. We’ve posted them on Craigslist, but if you’re reading this and interested, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yep, it’s that time of year again! Our 4H friends are interested in partnering with us again and it sounds like it’s a go. They’ll keep their pigs on our property this year, visit the farm daily to care for them and cover the feed costs. In exchange, we’ll get some lively, new animals on the farm who will do wonders for our soil and we’ll get a pig to keep for ourselves. Definitely a local, community partnership that we enjoy.
Our chickens are doing great and we love them. We’ve also loved letting them run all over the property for the past few months. Unfortunately, the time has come to keep them in their designated chicken run. Seeds are being planted and we’d like to them to grow into veggies that we’ll be able to eat. Until the garden beds are fenced in, that means the chickens need to be. Sorry chickens, but you still have a nice space to play in :)
We need a greenhouse! (aka I want to get seedlings started and I have nowhere else to do it! :) We’re all very excited about getting a greenhouse built on the property, so yesterday we made the decision to hold a ‘Greenhouse raising’ party day over spring break. We’ll plan and prep in advance so we have everything we need, invite some firends over and raise it up! Anyone interested?
6. Work parties:
Last year we hosted some very fun and productive work parties on the farm. Time to start thinking about doing some more. We’ve got some projects up our sleeves and we’ll keep you posted. They make a great social event and give people a chance to get their hands dirty and goof around on a farm. Stay tuned!
Last but not least, seeds! Time to order some. We were hoping to sit down at the meeting and make a list of what we want, but we ran out of time (and the ‘gong show’ known as Canaan and Kai got too rowdy). So, I’ll be starting a list of seed requests (from the West Coast Seeds catalogue) and circulating it to the rest of the farm for their input. Hopefully we’ll have our order ready soon.
I think that’s it for now. Despite the noise and commotion of our meetings, they’re always a fun time to connect as a group and make plans for the property. I’m excited to see how this growing season unfolds. We’re feeling a lot more confident now that it’s our second attempt. Seasoned farmers? Not yet, but definitely more experienced than we were this time last year.