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Monday, January 20, 2014

New Babies and A Breath of Fresh Air

Last week we had much new life show itself on our farm.

Much anticipated 2014 baby pigs were born, pigs which will be raised by our 9 year old to hopefully show at fair for 4-H this summer.

A wobbly legged bull calf awaited our discovery while being licked clean by it's mom after just being delivered.

A set of twin lambs appeared in our bedded lean-to, just a day after Ethan and I literally spent hours trying to convince our herd of ewes that the lean to was a cozy place for them to stay for awhile.

In the early afternoon, when our youngest ones lay down for a nap and our older ones work on independent activities, I try to accomplish tasks that I am not able to do with lots of little ones running around.

Almost always during the growing season this time is spent in the garden, with livestock, or doing other farm work. On a rainy day I might be inside catching up on canning produce that has been waiting for my attention.

The winter months, however, look a little different.  Although the pressure gauge on the canner might still be wobbling, filling emptied produce jars with meats, broths, and seasoned dried beans, I do spend quite a bit of extra time inside.

Some of this time is used for checking, planning, and preparing school lessons.  Some of it is for taking care of construction projects that have been patiently waiting around the house (yes, after 5 years in our house there are still some projects that need to be finished) or even working on the fix-up projects that come from the general wear and tear of living in a house.  There are also those projects that have been put off and put off during the seasons where work outdoors was calling my name: paper work, filing, deep cleaning, reorganizing, purging . . .

While I do still join Ethan outside many mornings and evenings throughout the week to help when he needs a helping hand, and I still do go out on my own some afternoons to take care of projects that might need a bit extra attention, it is nowhere near like the summer . . . until weeks like last week come around - when the baby animals start appearing. 

Part of the reason that I go out is to check on all of the little ones to make sure they are doing well, or even to see if more little ones have joined them. 

Although that is just an excuse, I think one of the bigger reasons is to just be outside by myself again.

Don't get me wrong, I love being outside with my family.  I love working on the farm with my husband. I love having our 4 kids tag along beside me - learning, enjoying, and playing.

But I also love being outside on my own.  It's a time to step away from the pressures, lists, and worries that too often confine me.  A time to remember the truths and promises given to me through God's Word as I soak in the wonders of the work of our Creator, weather it be freshly falling flakes of snow swirling in the crisp air (or the power of a surprise blizzard!), the stillness of a resting garden echoing the hand fulls of seeds hidden by tender young hands - seeds that produced a bounty to nourish us through these cold months, or the new born farm babies who are discovering their legs as well as the world around them.

Yes, when new babies join the farm my days are added to, but what is added is increasing fullness. A fulness of time, but also a fulness of heart as I take in the beauty and wonder of our Maker.

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off grid mama said...

That looks like a Hereford hog.. am i correct?

The Beginning Farmer's Wife said...

Yes, they are Herefords! Good job. :) Not many people know this breed. We chose Herefords as our heritage breed because we live in Iowa, and the breed originated in Iowa. They are a wonderful hog to work with. Not only are they great on pasture and well tempered, but they have also produced us blind taste test winning pork. :)

off grid mama said...

We had looked at them at one point but decided to go with Gloucester Old Spots. LOL Also excellent pork! When we looked at them we couldn't find decent info on them even from the association .. glad to see them coming around more.. I'll keep watching to see how they work for you. We have people ask us about different breeds. Do you sell breeding stock?

The Beginning Farmer's Wife said...

That's funny because we looked at Gloucester Old Spots but couldn't find those! One of the farms where we purchase some of our feeders is a generational farm of one of the individuals who helped get the breed established, which is pretty cool. Right now we don't sell breeding stock. (We can't keep up with production yet, which is why we are getting feeders to fill in the gaps.) Occasionally we will have a boar, but all of the good mommas get kept - the bad mommas end up sausage. Maybe some day we'll have breeding stock though . . . maybe with the help of our new hoop house. :)


I cannot wait to get to the country & feel that reconnection!

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