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2016 Farm Life in Review

It is pretty hard to believe that we are already here in the last week of 2016. It has still been less than a full year since we moved to our new farm and less than a full year since we've had goats (or anywhere near the number of chickens and geese we keep now). All of that seems like it is routine in our lives now, but it is all still so new.

I thought I'd take the opportunity to look back on 2016 and all of the changes that we've been making. If any of you are interested in looking back at some of our 2016 blog posts, I'm also sharing links to our most popular posts of the year at the end of this entry.

Our year started off with us still living at our small, suburban farm down the coast. My partner, or both of us, would make the drive nearly every day to our new property to work on making it livable for ourselves and our animals. All through the winter, which was thankfully warm, we kept working on cleaning out the old barn and putting in new stalls, electricity, and plumbing.

We moved up here at the end of April 2016. It was a little bit chilly at first, but it took no time for us and our animals to settle in. Shortly after moving we got four new goslings, who now complete our flock of eleven. In July we would also add four ducklings, and now we have eight ducks in our flock.

It was June when we brought home Tater, Sweet Pea, and Mr Jones. I cannot say enough how happy I am to have these three on our farm, brightening up each day with their silly attitudes and cherubic, expressive faces. Getting goats was the best thing we've done for our farm so far.

All summer long I tended to a container garden that gave us plenty of tasty rewards, but by mid-August our spring fed well had run dry. Hundred year old wells around the state dried up during a record setting drought that put a strain on our day to day lives. We were able to truck in water from my workplace, but the last months of the summer were spent carefully rationing water usage.

The effort to bring back the fields was ongoing, and nearly every day my partner would head out with the tractor and chainsaw to bring back another few acres. This winter we are able to stand at our house and look to all points of the compass and see at least some clear, clean fields.

More recently we brought home Stanley, our Livestock Guardian Dog, and we've been training him and getting him integrated with the goats. We were able to breed Tater, and hopefully we will have Sweet Pea bred soon. The flock of chickens, only five when we moved up here, is now over twenty and keeps us in a good supply of eggs.

I kept busy with writing projects all through 2016. An ongoing series on goose breeds with Backyard Poultry magazine will continue into the New Year, and I had my first piece in GRIT magazine over the summer. In June I was delighted to be interviewed on The Sustainable Dish podcast, talking about keeping geese, and I am looking forward to the January publication of my first "foodie" article on goose eggs in Zest magazine. Thanks to the winter weather, writing will be a huge part of my daily life from now until the Spring thaw.

It has been so much fun sharing everything with all of our followers and I'm so delighted that you take the time to read my posts and stay up to date on our farm's progress. It is truly touching that there are folks out there who want to know the latest news on Tater or Lady Goose. Thank you so much for every comment, like, share, and view.

If you're curious in taking a look back yourself, our six most popular blog posts in 2016 were as follows:

1. Keeping Goats Amused, July 7, 2016

2. Settling Into Barn Living, May 12, 2016

3. One Year Later, September 8, 2016

4. Treats for Geese, November 22, 2016

5. Helpful Herbs: Dandelion, May 17, 2016

6. A Spring Move, March 29, 2016

Thank you and Happy New Year!


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