Yes. I said what I said.
Anyone who has met me at the farmers market or in person knows that I am not svelt. Not even a little.
Like most I'm not thrilled with this but I digress.
The day the fat helped was a typical 90* day here in Indiana. I'd worked all morning but scheduled to pick up a few round bales for the girls that afternoon. I texted my husband to hook the truck up to the trailer because I was going to come home and hop in the truck to hightail it to roundbaleville.
So I run a bit late, get home, hop in the truck and head out. Now...this truck is on it's last legs. A 2006 Ford that sounds like it's going to hork up a cylinder at any time, that we still owe money on, and is too far gone to fix according to the mechanics we've had check it.
But by golly we have it and will drive it until the wheels fall off (or engine falls out) whichever comes first.
I baby this waste of metal the three towns away to "hay guy #2" (I believe his name is Curtis...but I wouldn't swear to it, my phone contacts are quite a chore to go through for anyone that isn't me) and drift to a stop beside the already selected bales. He loads. We chat. And then he offers to help me strap them down. Awesome!!
Where are the straps?
.....WHERE ARE THE STRAPS?!
Dear husband deigned it unimportant and did not send straps with me. Luckily I had him set the bales on end so they aren't prone to rolling and if I go slow it should be ok. (Ha Ha so naive.)
So I get the hunk of junk started and pull slowly on the road. It's going well. I get to the highway and wait quite awhile, playing with the gas peddle to keep the heap running. Go through the little itty bitty townlet my mother grew up in and come to a stop, ready to turn on the second to last road before a straight shot home.
Truck is sounding like it's choking on some sort of Decepticon, the car in front of me goes and I creep forward to peer past the corn and see nothing so I start to go myself and a Jeep flies out of a driveway which results in a stomp on the breaks. It passes by, I may or may not have glared...and...well moving on, I whip the truck out...get a wee bit down the road and think that it's pulling really well. Look back and see nothing. No bales.
Farther back they are merrily blocking the country intersection, practically waving with smug, hay looking faces in the net wrapping.
There were many NSFW words that came out of my mouth. The only place to turn around was an angled driveway guarded by a mailbox and a light pole. Ya know....no pressure. After a ten minute struggle in which I jackknifed the trailer numerous times BUT no vehicles came down the road, I get turned around and weave myself through the bales and park on the side with hazard lights flashing.
I have no tractor. I have no winch. I only have me. I try to call my husband but it just rings (this is a chronic issue) and I think I see a glint of car in the distance. Crud.
So....me it is.
I pull out the ramps and go about pushing the first of two 1,000 lb round bales off it's end (amazing how the damn things ended up on their ends again. They planned it, I know it) and out of the middle of the road.
I probably looked pretty similar to a psycho water buffalo as I ran at the bale time and again to rock it enough to get it to tip on it's roley side (bale tipping, the new American past time) but finally over it went. Next was to get it rolled UP the trailer ramps. Yay. So fun. 1 star do NOT recommend.
So my fluffy butt is rolling this hay bale nonchalantly as a car passes by, I can only imagine what they thought. The first bale finally arrives at the base of the ramps. I try my husband again....no answer. Shocking right?
So, all she-hulk style, I start shoving the bale up the ramps. Move it a bit and get a bit more of my body under it. I fleetingly consider joining some woman body builder competition, there has to be some award for this somewhere. Suddenly there was a bit of relief as the bale reached the apex and rolled onto the flat area of the trailer. Oh thank goodness. I roll it to the front, for a moment afraid I'd push it too far and it would hop of the little rim and nestle itself on the hitch. It would be just my luck. But it rested gently and stayed where I put it. YAY.
One more to go. Only I had to turn this as well.
Ten minutes later I had done it. Wishing that the buckets of sweat that I'd poured out would actually stay off next time I stepped foot on the scale and tried my husband again. And he answered!! Yay while at the same time infuriating. He'd been on the tractor...he hadn't herd me.
Anyway I need the straps that SOMEONE did not send with me and our bales went walkabout on the road. 20 minutes later he shows up and we strap those bales down as hard as we can. The rest of the ride home was uneventful but I did have a certain glee watching the goats tear into the bale we put in their pasture.
Moral of the story? Always double check that you have ratchet straps.
This year has been a tumultuous one here at the very least. Ups and downs, changes, loss.
When we moved out of the 'thriving metropolis' years ago our tiny Cabin was a whole new start. No paying rent, no mortgage (though we did pay on the cabin shell for three years) and a return to my beloved country lifestyle.
We built the cabin up from a shell. Learning a thing or two about wiring, insulation (and the lack there of) and all the other fun things about creating a livable space from the shell up.
And it worked, there were some growing pains...some things we missed (hot showers instead of baths for instance). To this day it isn't 'finished' though, the weekly runs to the home improvement store got exhausting. It's a nice space, though incredibly cluttered as I am in no way a minimalist.
Our daughter got to live so much in the outdoors (though for a social butterfly like her is a step down from having neighbors...oh my gravy).
We've built sheds out of pallets, as well as fencing, put up pastures, cleared some land.
But we need more space.
At first we seriously considered jumping into building a house on our current acreage. But our county is notorious for making this a difficult and expensive option. We still checked into it as we love our land... and no matter how we spun it it was cost prohibitive.
Then we started looking at other houses. We had stipulations, close to our current land, with acreage, barns or outbuildings a necessity.
We did finally find a suitable property and are waiting to hear back from the various hoops... and so this blog may come with us as we move in and turn that into our new homestead...or it may come with us as we look for another potential new home for Denti Di Leone.
Think spring people. Think. Spring.
So onto the updates. As I have said on Facebook as well as on my CSA page we are not offering a CSA this year. We are moving things and adding gardens and I just don't want to worry about not being able to offer folks what they deserve if an area doesn't bloom the way I want. However we are trying our best to get places at three area farmers markets. So we 'should' be easy to find. Sign up for the newsletter to stay up to date. I promise I don't spam... I hate spam..and Spam...
Along with produce I will be offering hand made cheese boards and serving boards. Wild crafted and/or organically sourced tinctures and salves and various other goodies.
We will also be offering meats.
The thing with meats... we are not a big farm. We have zero desire to be a big farm. We will have LIMITED amounts of free range poultry (chickens, ducks, turkeys), pork, lamb, rabbit, and goat.
Limited means we will sell out fast but it also means that we can offer the best individual care to these animals as well as quality organic and non gmo feeds.
If you are interested in any meats PLEASE let us know early. Also, if you would like to purchase a specific number of broiler chickens please contact me, right now we are only planning on 50 available for resale. Contracted orders will get priority.
Unfortunately if you're in an area like mine there really aren't many green things... But right this second we have no snow and so...I'll take that.
Recently I've strained and started regular use of some of my wild crafted herbal tonics, tinctures, and infusions. I've foraged in some sort my entire life. As a child I gathered the raspberries and blackberries that ran wild over my parent's 50 acres. I would eat the sweet red clover tops and pull the potent wild garlic from the earth. Stained my hands on the mulberries as I pulled the sweet gems from the trees.... I'm sure many have foraged at some point if you think about it.
As I got older and realized the vast amount of wild things that we could use either for food or our own medicines I strove to expand my skills beyond the 'basics'. There are two items, often found and unwanted, in our very yards. Plantain and Dandelion both have wonderful healing abilities and yet are considered weeds by many.
Driving down any country road in the late summer we can see Goldenrod (often mistaken for the green allergy aggravating Ragweed), Mullein, Meadowsweet, Yarrow... the list goes on and yet we've forgotten how to utilize them.
And so, I set to educate myself.
There are many books and websites on the subject of edible and medicinal wild things. I strongly suggest to read whatever you can get your hands on, old books, new books, websites... you can glean helpful bits from them all.
I recommend picking an herb a week to completely familiarize yourself with. Learn their common name(s), botanical name, what parts are used, how to harvest them, their constituents, energies, taste, preparations, and dosage and safety.
Don't for one second believe that just because something is from nature that it's safe. Always familiarize yourself with any safety recommendations.
If possible, forage or even buy a small amount to see, touch, and smell in person. If I cannot forage it, or I run out, I purchase extras from Mountain Rose Herbs. I trust them, their prices and shipping are top notch.
The world of herbalism is vast. There is so much to learn that you have no worries of it concluding. You can even involve your family, children love to immerse themselves in the outdoors.
So next time you go for a walk, keep your eyes open. You could have a veritable herbal goldmine right outside your door.