Mostly because I’m not one that likes to admit I’m wrong, let alone announce it to the whole world.
That’s why it took me a long time to muster up the courage to post them.
My deepest apologies if I’ve fooled you into believing we’re living in a fantasy land...it’s far from a fantasy some days!
I’m not sharing our failures because I’m looking for sympathy. I’m sharing them to give you a glimpse into what really goes on behind the scenes around here.
So here goes nothin’….
Our Top 6 Bloopers Revealed!
1) Procreation = Crazy Cows
Especially this girl right here.
She’s been known to bust through the fence and go lookin’ for love.
Thankfully when she bolted she took off hot & heavy leaving tracks to her hiding spot at the neighbor’s farm.
Somehow my dad convinced her to walk home... and must have had a little chat about making good choices because she hasn’t done it again.
2) Why did the chicken cross the road?
She still hasn’t given me an answer and I’m dying to know.
I think (and I hope) the only ones who saw me sprinting and swerving down the road to catch her were my kids waiting in the car.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen them laugh so hard and I don’t think I’ve ever been so out of breath!
3) Someone Call a Doctor
Every winter my parents go to Arizona to visit my grandparents which leaves Tom & I alone with the responsibility of the farm.
Last year while they were gone the temperature plummeted to 20 below. Naturally, this would be the most opportune time to have a baby outside, right? Oh wait, actually make that 2 babies born on the same day.
Aside from having to bring them into the barn so they didn’t freeze, everything seemed fine.
“We’ve got this!” we thought to ourselves.
Then we realized neither of the mothers could get up - a very serious problem with cows. And the guy who knows what to do in this situation was in Arizona.
Thank goodness my brother-in-law is a dairy farmer and is extremely knowledgeable about cows as well.
He assumed they were suffering from milk fever which requires IV calcium straight into her jugular. (Something I don’t do on a regular basis….)
He saved the day! Both moms made a full recovery and were reunited with their girls once it warmed up.
4) Perfection is Pricey
When we started out we really wanted a herd of Red Devon cows. Why, you ask?
Their meat always wins blindfolded tastes tests, they’re great grazers, excellent mothers AND George Washington had these kind of cows! (Am I the only one who thinks that’s cool?!)
Our dreams were quickly shattered when we saw the price tag…$4,00-$5,000/cow.
However, we learned that we could implant an embryo into a surrogate mother. Success rates were typically 50%, sometimes higher.
We bought 10 embryos at a hefty price and hired a vet who specializes in implanting embryos - also a hefty price.
He came, did his work, and thought we’d have pretty good results because everything went really well.
I’ll spare you the details and let down, but we have 1 purebred Red Devon cow today.
We settled for a herd of Angus cows, who are mighty tasty as well.
BUT we didn’t give up completely on our desire for the tastiest beef around...we bought a purebred Red Devon bull to breed the Devon genes into our herd.
5) Chicken Catastrophe
Our first stab at raising chickens outside was a TOTAL flop.
How do you raise a chicken outside and make sure a nothing kills it?
Solar powered electric netting, of course!
Things went very smooth for about a month and then one day we found feet laying inside the fence. (In case you aren’t following me…feet that were not attached to the chicken’s body.)
My heart sank.
How could this be?! We were meticulous in our work to make sure nothing could get in.
A few days later we walked down to the horror of 2 more dead chickens.
And the cycle continued daily.
We finally realized there wasn’t anything getting in from the ground, it was a chicken hawk swooping in from above.
He spread the word about the Gold ‘N Plump chickens at Nature’s Pantry to his friends and we ended up losing ⅓ of our flock.
Chickens are the most labor intense and expensive thing we do on the farm. Needless to say, we lost our shorts that year!!
Not to worry… we got smart and built a more enclosed chicken tractor so they still get to be outside in fresh grass & soak up the sun.
6) Honey Hijackers
After 5 years of beekeeping and not a single drop of honey to show for it, we finally were able to keep our bees alive long enough to harvest some honey.
Side note: If you’ve never stole honey from a hive of bees it’s not something I’d recommend adding to your bucket list unless you are properly equipped. They get very, very angry.
Tom got the brunt of it that year and ended up getting stung in the neck multiple times.
With thousands of angry bees swarming around us we dropped everything (including the honey in the driveway) and headed for cover.
His neck started to swell and he thought it felt like his throat was closing so we quickly ran to town to get some Benadryl.
We got home 2 hours later and the honey we stole had been stolen from us!
Within just a few hours thousands of bees reclaimed every last drop of the honey we patiently waited 5 years for and we were left empty handed once again.
Of course this doesn’t include the number of times ALL of our cows have been out and wandering around the farm, or spilled buckets of milk, or kids falling in poo, or kids being chased by roosters.
Life on the farm is exciting, challenging, heart-breaking & rewarding - and we wouldn’t trade it for anything. Thanks for joining us on this journey!
If you’d like to stay in the loop with what’s going on around the farm and get notified once we’re taking orders for beef, pork & chicken you can sign up to our email list below!
Here’s to hoping no more bloopers will be added to the list for 2019!