Tag Archives: organic farming

the Nightmare Part of Living the dream

I’ve been blogging for a bit now and realized that I have been always mentioning the positive things about the lifestyle. Although there is a lot of postive things that happen on our little farm there is also  a lot of sacrifice, disappointment and hard decisions.

I mention this as my young daughter and I were joking about it yesterday about the financial aspects of the lifestyle. How every single penny we have seems to go towards feed, the farm, the cost of maintaining it, dog food, cat food, the list…really is endless. Perhaps living in a modern home, with modern conveniences, makes it that much difficult and expensive. I say this because we do live in a modern home with modern conveniences. We have a huge mortgage payment and a huge property tax bill.

imageOften… I wonder if it would be smarter to more country setting just to lower those costs. Then…I think of all the effort we put into the property already. The three years of garden prepping, the three years of fence building, the three years of trying to convince customers to find us on our back road and think to myself that I do not want to start over again.

As we hear on the weather report that winter is going to keep going and going and going.. it makes me realize realistically the money I wanted to spend on new seeds will probably go into the oil barrel. I understand better how much it costs now to run our little operation but it really does not help when there is next to nothing on your return for your efforts. I really had to start looking at the cost of our feed as being savings on our grocery bill and the cost of starting my plants in my house would save me from having to buy them for double the cost in the Spring.

So.. we sacrifice..we go without. There is a saying in our home that cheese is for rich people. But by making some sacrifices and doing things like building stands out of recycled lumber, we are making it happen. I may get frustrated that I can’t find 60 cents in my purse for a pack of gum but I’ve learned to go without. Ive learned that it is much more important to know where our food came from. It became much more important that the animals we eat are treated well. It is a lot of hard work, sacrifice and disappointment but it is worth it,  We may not have as much variety in our garden because we had to put oil in the barrel, but we will have a garden.

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Igoos, Tee Pees, Straw bales and Coops

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We are Christmas tree, Chickens, Ducks, Pigs, Rabbits, Turkey and vegetable farmers. Part of our challenge since we started this life style was to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as we physically can. I often look out on our little farm and see the art pieces that are starting to form. One being our tee pees for the chickens, turkeys and rabbits. I left out the ducks because they moved into the straw bale structureimageimageimage

at the beginning of the year and do not use the tee pees.

This was the first year we built the structure as a tee pee. We had built a chicken shelter as an igloo and it worked out perfectly. The snow and recycled tree structures provided a very adequate shelter. As you can see from the picture next to the igloo the hens are healthy and feathered very nicely. This is the main reason we went back to this system for this winter. Drafts and Wind are the chickens worst enemy,so as long as you build a structure that protects them from these, they fair better in the winter than they do in the coop.

In Canada we have the aid of snow to help build the shelter. Once the snow comes, naturally it builds all around the structure. This provides extra warmth and makes them draft proof. We stuff hay into the shelter for the bedding which then gets packed into the ground. We generally do not have to do a whole lot of maintenance to keep the shelter fresh.

Our animal pens, tee pees, igloos etc all are built where our next year garden is going to be. All winter the animals have been providing the soil with some much needed soil conversion. WE have clay, unworkable soil which we are slowly turning into organic gardens,with them help of our critters.,