An attempt to declare the Glory of God for what He has chosen to do with our lives. A legacy to leave to my children in the telling of it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Smell of Fall

With three bucks locked in a stall in the goat barn, the smell of Fall is in the air. I can feel the shift of the seasons beginning in my own body and mind as well. The slowing down of summer chaos has begun, and I am beginning to relish the thought of lazy, snowy afternoons with a cup of hot chocolate and books to read or write.

Home school thoughts are creeping in. Not that any of us are quite ready for it yet, but we're getting closer to being ready for it. I have yet to begin to put together any official curriculums, but rather have a vague list in my head of who needs what. When the gumption strikes(and Lord willing it will strike this week, perhaps after the corn is picked and put away in the freezer and the tomatoes have been canned)I will attempt to niche out a couple of quiet hours and type up a schedule and dig through the shelves to see if we need to order additional books. I have successfully ignored WalMart for several consecutive weeks, but I may have to break down to take advantage of their pencil sales.

This may be, by far, the easiest Fall farm preparation we have had since moving to this abandoned plot of our dreams. There are no falling down barns this year, no plastic to staple up to block the drafts, no half-built chicken coops to finish trimming before the frost comes, and no imminent projects to finish. The calves have shelter, the goat stalls all have gates, and the chicken's toes should stay warm in their insulated abode.

Soon the pigs will be shipped off to the locker plant. I never have to feel like we waste any food with pigs around as every little scrap is fed back to ultimately feed us back. The three steers will be a bit smaller this year as we have refused to pay the high prices of corn, but God always makes it enough. The three young steers are growing just fine on grass, and given the state of the pastures they make me think again that we could have raised four.

There are eight does to condition for the upcoming breeding season which ushers in the dreaming season of spotted kids in early 2013. Soap classes continue to be a success, and an invitation to host a goat's milk soap booth this fall at a local event is a good sign that their livelihood on the farm is secure.

The garden is dwindling down. It hasn't been a stellar year, but we have had it so much better than most of the country. If my world wasn't so consumed by grief I would probably be much more appreciative of the lush green that surrounds us up North.

Thanking God, again, for His sustenance on OurCrazyFarm.


Red Gate said...

I'm curious, do you only raise your steers for one summer? It seems you buy bottle babies in spring and slaughter in fall-- Is this correct? What made you decide to do it that way vs. what seems to be the more common of buying weaned calves in spring and slaughtering the second summer, around 18 months old? Your way seems like something that would work much better for us!

Brenda said...

I love the photo at the top with the goats eating the leaves. I do this every day with my 45 young does as we take our daily browsing walk at around 6:00 in the evenings. We stay out till the sun starts slipping over the hill in the west. It is my time of day to reflect on the good things of God and commune with Him in a very peaceful setting ... well peaceful as it can be with 45 young does with me! :D

OurCrazyFarm said...

Red Gate~ Actually, we do raise our steers for about 18 months. Every spring we buy 3 holstein calves and bottle raise them on goat's milk, eventually weaning them to pasture, then every fall we butcher the bigger steers from the previous spring. We have discussed butchering them at 6 months old, but have not experimented with that yet. I would guess you would need about 3 young holsteins to average the same hanging weight of an older steer, but the advantage would be no winter hay feeding. Hmmmm... it is definitely something to consider.

Thanks Brenda:)) I can just imagine you out there with your girls! What a serene thought!

Dicky Bird said...

Love the goats! The corn looks great - the rain went north too much for us this year - no home raised corn...and we won't be buying field corn either to feed our steer - grass/hay will have to do.

Sherry Sutherby said...

I smell Fall absolute favorite time of the year. We are now up to 6 goats...I feel like OCF now. ;) Wonderful post Terri. Love the photos, as usual.