Now What? The Holidays are Over

We finished field work late last fall, and worked through Thanksgiving, and almost right up to Christmas. We remembered the family before us, decorated the house, bought gifts, made special meals, held those close to us, and prayed for all those around us we couldn’t visit due to Covid-19. We still milked, made butter, and made sure the day to day chores were done.

Now what? The decorations are down, and lights are put away. I herd our water table is 16 inches over normal. Its wet! so many things we can be doing but its just to wet. Now we are getting more snow. It’s sure beautiful, but its a lot of extra work. Yeah our cows are pasture kept, and are out, but in this weather they don’t want to go out. So, we bed the sheds with the straw we baled from last summer. Three in the big shed, one in the heifer shed and probably 2 in the dry cow/ older heifer shed. And can’t for get the boys. This will go on for days. It seems like a lot when we bale and put it up, but it goes fast. We never really know exactly how much we need so we just put up all we can. The weather drives our needs for sure.

Nice warm straw, and no matter how much room they have they like to cuddle.

Usually by March 1, we are back in the tractors and running again. This year it may take a little longer to dry out. So, we are making plans, sorting different ideas around. We have already done some maintenance work on the equipment, but We can also always tweak, an improve on what we are doing. Make a plan. We may trash it later, but it’s nice to have a plan. So what are we planning. Everything from replacing fencing to new flavors of cheese. Adding Farmers markets, random renovations, and finishing the creamery. Even the crops and what we are plant and where. For the most part we will plant corn, and soy beans. However, maybe a little sweet corn, Indian corn, tomatoes, or flowers. Who knows.

What have we done. Well, a big thing is we have been working on doing some renovations on one of our houses. The children are grown, and they need their space. Honestly we are looking at retirement one day, so we have been planning and shifting. The one old farm house was built prior 1860’s. Not sure when, but the land grant was in 1685. We pulled all the rugs up last fall. Then a gift in getting the floors refinished was a great start and motivated us forward. Is it perfect, not but its a work in progress. This will actually be the 4th time we have re-worked on this house. Past tenants have been less than caring, however the last one took care of thing the best he could. I will never understand why people trash the homes they live in. Here are some before and some after. We will never be done, but its a start.

It is amazing what we have stored away. This one area rug, I had bought for my apartment way back before I started dating my husband. I’m clueless where he had it, but he pulled it out and steamed cleaned it. This house gives a whole new meaning to renew-reuse. Almost everything (except the curtains, and a couple rugs, a pillow or two), are all recycled from past generations, and were not purchased. We have spent very little money but it has kept us busy this past winter.

Farm work never takes a day off, but there are times of the years that are slower that others. We can’t make hay when the grass is dormant, can’t round bale bedding when there is nothing to round bale. Cover crops are planted, as is wheat, and barley. These will begin to grow again as the warmer weather moves in. Fields not planted will planted with corn or soy beans (once they dry out). Soon when the weather has dried the fields, we will be back at it. Did we end up planting sweet corn, Indian corn, flowers, oats, Lespedeza, maybe some tomatoes? That will just have to be another day, and another farm update.

Somedays we are hurt with what people have done to us or our property, but new life will emerge from it if we allow it. Sometimes we need a push from something out of our control, to move us forward. The last 3 years for us have been just that. Looking back I’m blessed for all these things. We have had the choice to be a passenger or be the driver.

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