Hey there! Long time no post. If you’re new to Tales From the Mutiny…Welcome! Velkommen! Bienvenue! Kalós órises! Hello! If you’re not new you might notice something different…the website and theme! After 4 years of being nagged…I mean encouraged… by some fellow bloggers I finally made the switch to wordpress. So, please bear (bare?) with me as I learn all the things, all over again.
We’ve officially been on the farm (and off the road) a full year and our menagerie has grown. Here’s our current head count:
12 chickens (10 hens and 2 roosters, who were supposed to be hens)
3 pygmy goats (we bought one who happened to be pregnant and gave us 2 more…such a deal, right?!?)
1 Mini Horse (we bought the goat to be her friend)
I have to admit, there are days I look around and wonder how did this happen?? But more often than not I look around and say how did we get so lucky? Yes, the days are filled with feeding the chickens, cleaning the stall, collecting eggs, mixing feed, spreading straw, hauling hay, squashing squash bug and getting drenched with the sprinkler so we can water our little garden. A far cry from our nomadic days when we’d wake to a leisurely morning of coffee and discussion of whether we wanted to hike in this beautiful place or that one. But to me, our new farm adventure equates to a life of connection, an appreciation of where our food comes from (and the true cost of food), love of the land and soil and lady bugs and bees, the splendor of finding that first shoot of wild asparagus popping up along the fence and the joy in spying the first tiny cucumber developing on the vine that’s growing from the seed I planted. I sweat. I get dirty and sun burnt. I get mosquito bites and the bejeezus scared out of me every time a snake slithers through the garden. But we love it…this network of life that makes up our soil is spreading through our veins.
Like our RVing days, we jumped into this farming/ranching thing with both (or all 4) feet…totally green and with just a tiny bit of research. We planned on taking a year to travel through Colorado to find our forever home and ended up going no further than our first stop and moving into our place in less than 2 months. Our garden developed in much the same way. I found a local(ish) seed source (Botanical Interests), liked the pretty pictures on the packages, planted some seeds and hoped for the best. Okay, I did attend a two day Permaculture Convergence and proceeded to read every permaculture book in our local library but still…not a lot of proper planning went into this year’s garden. In the past month I’ve started a part-time internship at a market farm a mile from our place. This gives me the opportunity to gain hands on experience with farming in a setting almost identical to ours (with vegetables that actually grow). Lemme tell ya, next year there will be some big changes in our garden.
And now monsoon season is here and it’s fantastic! Last year we had very little rain and didn’t really know what to expect. I had heard that June is the hottest month and thought these people are crazy. But I see it now. With these afternoon thunderstorms come the cool breezes and more moderate temperatures. Goes to show me (another lesson learned)! So much to learn about the land, weather cycles, growing season and finicky-ness of high desert farming. You see, even though we’re in Colorado and our property sits at 5500 feet we’re also in the desert, surrounded by the sage brush, junipers and red rocks of the Colorado Plateau.
But the most magical thing that’s happened so far this year has been the birth of our two bucklings, Buster and Ewan. When we purchased Dot, our pygmy goat, we had zero intentions of having babies (as a matter of fact, we were really hoping to get a wether, or neutered male goat). The seller had said two of her other goats had recently given birth unexpectedly (apparently she only planned on breeding two of her 5 does). So, when I asked if Dot might be pregnant she grabbed her by the udder, felt around a bit and said, “hmm, possibly…oh well”, or something along those lines. Now remember, neither Clark nor I had ever had goats before (he spent summers at a dude ranch as a kid and I worked at riding stables growing up but no goats). We were simply getting a goat because our newly acquired minihorse was lonely and needed a “herd”.