A year has passed since I moved here to the farm. In my journals from last year not knowing this place, I just referred to it as Rancho Grande; I mean going from 7 acres to 400 was quite a thing to wrap my head around. It takes a while to get used to a place, to get to know its personality and traits. Going into my second fall here I have an idea what’s ahead. Which has given me more of the feeling that this is home.
This last year has held some challenges for us, a colder than usual fall and a very early winter with a blizzard on Christmas Eve (I was in Seattle and Linda here by herself) taught lessons in preparedness. It’s hard and painful to think back to those times especially the blizzard which took our two very sweet bucks we had bottle raised. So to say I’m a little nervous is a slight understatement but terrified might be over the top so, I’ll say I’m right there in the middle, which is plain discomfort.
The beauty of farming and I suppose life itself, is each year you can start over. You can change it up as you see fit. You can, as a sticker I have in my office reads “Begin Anew”. I suppose that statement can be applied in any way as long as you have the mind to do it but with farming it’s the re-set button at the end of every season.
So what’s different? Last year I had no larder, nothing in the freezer and nothing canned in the pantry. Today the larder is ¾ full and the freezers awaiting a ½ pig, and the end of the season’s veggies. I know the tilt of the land now, so in the barn area I now know where to winterize before the storm. I know I need better tires on the truck if I’m gonna get through another winter (I got stuck in the mud a bunch of times, once with a trailer load of alfalfa right at the barn door and had to unsuccessfully chase off the very happy cows who found me, that was a sight!). And I know I need to have a wood burning stove in soon and plenty of wood lined up (we lost power a bunch of times). So if we need to we can cook and heat and not be completely at the mercy of our propane, electricity etc.
So I guess it’s about being more self sufficient, which when you live out in the sticks every little bit helps. So here is my list of needs: if anyone out there has any recommendations please send em my way.
1) A Good small efficient (used) wood burning stove (our house is little, 1000sq ft)
2) A larger chainsaw and someone to help me take down a dead tree or two in exchange for wood. I’ll rent a splitter.
3) A generator I can run at least two freezers and a refer on, what size should I get? I’ve never used one before.
Being prepared will ensure the mildest of winters; however a repeat of last year is not an option. I want to go into this ready for almost anything. Do I sound a tad apocalyptic? But just planning like this, knowing what I need is a comfort in itself. I feel this place is home now.