We’ve Come a Long Way

How many people have read this blog, back to it’s roots last October when I was in an apartment, dreaming of farming and living sustainably, running with my dogs in the back yard next to a chain link fence on a stone wall? When all I had to write about were ideas and thoughts and concepts and beliefs and had no way of making anything actually happen?

A view of the homestead, scrapped root garden bed and vermicompost bucket to the left, rabbits, egglayers and grape-vines in the back, meat chicken tractor on the right and everything in glorious greenery.

How many of you knew when I moved onto the Quarter Acre with big dreams, no experience, and inadequate cages for the new rabbits I’d just gotten?

This is Un-named Newbunny. When we first got her she spent 24 hours in a huge cardboard box because we didn’t have enough spare cages for all the rabbits plus injured chickens.

Do you recall when I got the rabbits? Or when I first got my bales of hay? The dogs were so excited they just had to climb on top of them to see what the bales were. It seems like it was so long ago now and yet not very long ago at all. It’s just hard to believe that in one month it will have been a year!

There were so many hard moments this past year. Moments when I thought my dreams and plans would never bear fruit…

One of my heirloom tomatoes, just turning color. Pardon the scars on it from when Nukka tried to eat it while it was still green!

Moments when we lost things dear and close to our hearts, sometimes those losses were tiny, and sometimes those hurt most of all…

Times when we failed at what seemed like the most basic of tasks.

This was the new tractor, before Nukka and a hawk got to the chickens. The wires were too far apart, letting the chickens stick their heads out, and the bottom foot has since been wrapped in chicken wire.

We’ve worked so hard to make this dream work and we’re finally starting to see the rewards… But it’s sometimes hard to honestly say if we’ve grown or have just moved things around a lot.

On thing’s for sure. We’ve all changed a little on this journey, and the year is catching up to us. We’re all turning a bit yellow from age and from the chill breezes as fall begins to settle in around us.

Old hay on the left, new hay on the right. The difference a year can make is astounding!

Only more time will tell if we’re changing because we are drying out, slowing down, and hitting a brick wall with the resources we have… Or if we are changing because we are aging, like a fruit turning ripe or juice turning into wine.

About half the grapes from the vines in the back.

Either way it’s been quite a year for me. I have learned a lot in the past year, things that will be skills for the uncertain future. I really hope that some people have learned things along with me. I’ve learned about my animals, about working hard, about respect and humility for people who do hard work, and about being the salt of the earth. I’ve learned to make mistakes and to fix them. I’ve learned to try to love what you have… Even when sometimes there’s an ad on craigslist for a polled A2A2 miniature jersey calf that could just make all your dreams come true! I’ve also learned to try to do what you love because that’s what makes us really happy in the end. And while winter will be hard, long, and cold with a dozen rabbits and five hens to care for, I will face any challenge that stands in my path. And I already look forward to next spring when even more will stand before me!

Could one of these be my new challenge in the spring!? A girl can always, always, always dream.

It’s been an incredible year. I really couldn’t have done it without you… And I hope we can all keep facing challenges together.

6 thoughts on “We’ve Come a Long Way

  1. Well, I haven’t been here since you started, just since March, but I have read it all. I don’t think I’d have started raising rabbits yet without having read your blog and listened to your advice. I don’t know what you have learned, but I know that I have learned an awful lot from you. I think you are doing great.

    • Aww, thank you Robin! It’s nice to hear that I’ve helped at least one person on their own journey.

      Honestly, upon further review I think the one thing I’ve learned is I’ve gotten a lot better at handling mistakes. I’ve made enough of ’em and I’m going to make more, but I’ve learned to accept them, correct them and not make them again instead of sitting and dwelling on them and letting them consume me. The animals taught me that better than anyone. “Mistake made. You better move on because we don’t care even if the mistake was about us… We’re just hungry! Feed us!”

    • Hi, Robin! Yes, I am OK, thanks so much for caring! :3 We have had a lot of stuff going down that I haven’t really wanted to write about… We hatched out our Maran chicks and lost all but one to neighborhood cats and it’s had me pretty down… Plus the rabbits aren’t producing babies right now for some strange reason my last four breedings have been flops. But really, I haven’t been writing because Persy used our computer screen as a spring board and I can only use the computer plugged into our TV. Then we had a huge freak snowstorm and power outage and I have just been very busy. Thanks so much for thinking of me, though! I’m sure I’ll get back to writing my blog soon when things settle down a little.

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