So apparently we’ve been through some sort of Space-time Continuum here on the farm. Like seriously, what day is it?
It seems like only yesterday I was 8 months pregnant and reminiscing to the slow pace our lives once were in 2015. Fast-forward 5 months and holy.crap. Things have gotten very interesting at Canadian Acres.
After such a long absence, I started to get subtle (and some not-so-subtle) reminders that people missed the blog. But as so much has happened in these last few months, I honestly didn’t really know where to begin. So I’ve decided to start where I meant to last January, which is to review the goals we set for 2016, plus give you a short review on how our lives have been over the past few months. Sound good? Good, because I don’t have any time to argue with you. Shit’s gotten real, and the one thing I do not have time for is extra time. Also, some days I have trouble finding time to get pants on. But that’s besides the point.
When Clay and I sat down together to map out our 2016 goals on a quiet, non-hectic day in December, we wanted to keep things short and simple since we knew our lives would certainly change once our new son entered the picture. You know, make sure we didn’t over extend our expectations because we couldn’t possibly get it all done with a baby. Hahahahahahaha. Anyway, our list promptly grew and grew and although we’ve almost murdered each other a few times, we’re actually figuring out how to make it all work. Mostly. We’ve definitely had to readjust our level of expectations, especially the day-to-day. And we’ve definitely had a steep learning curve. And we’ve definitely felt absolutely nutso and insane and cried for an hour over an egg we dropped on the way back from the chicken coop while carrying the baby. Well maybe that last one was just me. But mostly, mostly, we’re very much making it work 🙂
So…. here’s the list and a review on what’s been accomplished thus far:
Birth and bring home a happy and healthy baby boy:
Success!! On February 24, 2016 our son Bowman Tuchodi Peck was born. I went into the hospital on my birthday, the 23rd, for a routine check-up and never left. He was two weeks early and delivered by C-section as I had pre-eclampsia (which is *SPOILER* how Sybil dies in Downton Abbey which didn’t freak me out at all!!!) We were the parents with the car-seat still in the box at the hospital. It was scary and real and crazy and amazing. And then we came home and never slept again. But I’m happy to report that he is the greatest baby on the planet and by far the most handsome human being I have ever laid my eyes on. We just took him on his first camping/Hot Springs adventure and it was awesome.
Wild Horses: capture and bring at least one wild horse from across the river to the house (I literally wrote that down on our list… boy was I naive)
So, funny story. On February 21, my father-in-law went across the river and through the woods to feed our wild horses. He found a few lingering in our corrals set-up and decided to catch them. So three days before our son was born, 10 wild horses showed up at the house. This is my life people. I was obviously thrilled and very very slow at getting down to see them. We were officially in the business of horses. The corrals held up, though we added one extra rail around the top and after that, more horses just kept showing up. We’ve had anywhere between 10-35 horses on the property since, had one major branding, one horse cutting, four babies born and too many stud fights to count. I will write more in depth on this in a later blog. I guess you could call this goal accomplished.
Finish hanging the gates in the corrals: Done
Chickens: Keep them happy and add a few to the flock
For the most part we’ve kept this up. We’ve lost a few to predators this year, but they are a free-range flock so I suppose that’s bound to happen. There has been some talk of perhaps getting a Livestock Guardian Dog in the future (and goats!!) so we will have to see how that turns out. But the chickens live great lives and always keep us entertained.
Finish fire-pit area:
This was a two-year project for us as we collected all of the sandstone by hand off of the property. We have some pretty amazing date nights around here. Clay spent a good portion of a week getting everything measured out, some weed barrier laid down and the stone all placed in sand. It turned out spectacularly. I spent most of this time trying to figure out how to do farm chores with a 2 month old.
Cabin: Clean-up for summer guests, install septic tank
The cabin is nice and clean for guests and now sleeps six. We have a propane stove and fridge and a large bear rug covering one wall. The septic tank remains on the to-do list for this summer.
Get whatever we can planted with a newborn
So far we’ve planted flowers in all of the house beds, a small kitchen garden in the hugelkultur bed Clay built for me last summer, 100-ft of potatoes, 150-ft of onions, 36 asparagus crowns, 75 strawberry roots. beer hops and numerous amounts of veggies in containers on the porch. I still have some planting to do, but I call all of that a win.
Kill as much grass as possible
Last year we really struggled with the amount of grass that came up in the garden. This year we are focusing on killing the grass bastards with lots of black plastic, sheet mulching and wood chips. The struggle continues.
This years goal is to plant one large guild under one fruit tree of the food forest and see how that goes. I have plants and plans, but we’ll see how time factors in over the summer.
I have always fancied myself a bee charmer (I’ve never been stung) and it’s been a dream of mine to be an apiarist some day, even if it just means I can say that word more often. This year, we received a beehive as a gift and we will be taking a bee course as soon as the weather cooperates. We were scheduled for May 28th, but then it snowed so… welcome to the North.
Install clothesline: fingers crossed for this summer.
Continue landscaping: y’know, in our spare time.
Install deck railing: since we will soon have a mobile baby and our house is less than baby-proofed.
Whelp, I think that’s it. See, were are totally sane and within reasonable expectations… The real test has been how to keep the baby safe, warm and alive during all of these things and so far, so good. Sleep is overrated (NOT) and we’ve only had one “oops-we-fell-asleep-and-left-the-chicken-door-open-so-a-fox-massacred-a-few-in-the-night” incidents.
We left the dog’s 2016 goals to them this year, which basically consists of not getting attacked by wolves. Once again, so far, so good.
Katy, you are amazing!! How do you ever get time for a glass of wine? We are so impressed with your life still.
Wow, once again spectaular!!! So glad to see you writing again! Good work, and we do mean good work. Wow
Congratulations on your very handsome son, starting the horses, getting into bees and functioning every day 🙂 I’m very glad your back! I love the photos of the horses and can’t wait to hear more about your adventures! We got bees and goats this summer as well as planted aparagus…you have a lot of the same goals as we do here in Wisconsin, I can’t imagine fl doing it with a new baby!
I had a baby boy three weeks after you. I’m looking forward to watching Bowman grow through your pictures and stories and will have a good idea of what he’s up to based on my boy.
Good luck farming with an infant! In addition to keeping clean clothes available for the family to wear, putting meals on the table, keeping the mess this side of chaos and trying to catch three consecutive hours of sleep you’ve added large numbers of animals and plants to care for. “The days are long, but the years are short” is so, so true. You’re going to do great, Mama.