Trying to Catch Up
Thanks to the nasty flu bug, Yeoldfurt and I have done next to nothing around here for the past two weeks except eat and sleep and occasionally (only recently) go to work. Other than feeding the menagerie and a bare minimum of housework, pretty much nothing got accomplished. We are finally starting to feel better but to look around at what needs to be done just to catch up makes me want to crawl back under the covers.
The garden is a mess but we're reconfiguring the raised beds this year, so it will be a late start anyway. The buckets we used last year need to be loosened and composted. Seeds need to be started. The fruit trees are budding and one is even flowering, so they need to be mulched and watered. The chicken coop needs to be raked out and the bedding composted for mulching the fruit trees. There's the never-ending fence projects and still plenty of downed trees to be cut up and hauled either to the burn pile or stacked for firewood. The iron hay ring we bought when we moved here in 2006 is rusting and falling apart. So next Saturday we're taking a road trip to our old home place to buy a new one. The one we're buying is galvanized and will probably last longer than we do. It's worth the trip and the price.
When we moved up here, we were raising Paint horses but the market for pleasure horses has tanked in the past couple of years. We will be venturing into the cattle business this coming year in order to maintain our Ag Exemption on the property. We'll buy three or four weanling calves this spring, raise them for up to six months, then put one in the freezer and sell the rest at the auction. It should pay for itself plus a little to spare but it's not as much about making a profit as it is about putting quality meat on the table and maintaining the tax exemption on the land. But that means we need to invest in a freezer this year too. It's something we've wanted to do for a while, and will be useful when the garden starts producing. I will be able to blanch and freeze vegetables as we harvest and wait until I have enough to make a whole day of canning worthwhile.
It's going to be a busy year and, I'm hoping, a bountiful one.