Jan’s Farm Update 8/24/18

Good Morning Homesteaders!

This morning for the first time in a long time I wanted to go home.  Where is my home?  That is a great question.  My beautiful homestead in California has a lovely new family living in it so that is not home.  Some days I still struggle to settle here in Oregon so I don’t know that I feel it is my home either.   Oregon is so different with its uneven landscape and poor clayish soil that the easiest things to do on my old homestead are huge undertakings here.  For example the ground gets so hard in the summer that you cannot move your electric fences because you cannot get the posts into the ground.  Water rights belong to the state, not the landowner, so unless your property has water rights you are limited as to how much you can water.  Then when it starts to rain there are springs everywhere and you are doing everything you can to move water off of your property.  And there is not a flat piece of ground on the entire five acres.  Needless to say this is not the ideal area to be a homesteader.

It is beautiful and green though, which brings its own set of issues.  We have a forested ridge on one side of our property which has several deer trails and who knows what else uses those trails.  Predators are a constant concern.  If you aren’t being attacked from the air then you are being attacked from the ground.  Yesterday I lost another chicken to a predator.  Two California girls in two days, it is almost more than I can take.  This girl was literally in our back yard when a feral cat began chasing the group of chickens and she apparently had a heart attack.  I heard a commotion and went out to check and found her still warm to the touch.  She had some claw marks on her back, but there was no blood on her so her heart must have stopped prior to the wounds being inflicted.  It is just so difficult when your animals are not safe or out of danger even on their own property.

For the most part we try not to name our animals, especially the chickens as attrition is expected and losing hen number 38 is easier than losing Fauna.  But, there are exceptions in all things and those animals that capture your attention and your heart are still vulnerable to circumstances outside of your control. Sometimes when you are experiencing multiple losses in a short period of time it is easy to get disheartened and make you wonder if you should just call it a day.  I know that I will shake off this feeling of sadness and failure in the coming days.  I must if I am to continue homesteading, because although it is not an easy life, it is fulfilling.  Resilience is an important component of this lifestyle, because life will happen and although you can take time to grieve as needed, you must pick yourself up and dust yourself off.  Because tomorrow is another day, a better day, and your livestock depend on you to make sure that they are fed, watered, and in good health.  I am looking forward to tomorrow…….

Have a great day!

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