Where’d summer go?

Even though it feels like we had a very short summer, it was a good one. We spent a lot of time outdoors either working on one project or another, or lazing about . . . after all, isn’t that what summer is for? Well, it is if you don’t live on a farm.

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Here’s a flashback of all that’s happened this year . . .

Purchased seven alpacas.
Purchased 16.5 acre farm with oodles of space.
Purchased three rabbits.
Purchased 10 ducks.
Purchased 15 chickens, but ended up with 34.
Purchased two goats.
Purchased one Maremma – livestock guardian dog.
Had a friend come from Canada to help with new fencing for the alpacas – thanks Richard!
Mowed more lawn in one summer than I’ve mowed in my entire lifetime.
Planted and harvested a garden.
Planted 10 maple trees, three blue spruce, three cherry and two apple trees.
Sold my Reiki practice in Madison.
New pavement from driveway to barn.
New water lines to big barn and chicken coop.
New doors and windows are going in the house along with a new front porch.
Repainted and upgraded main floor bath.
Installed farm sign and landscaping.
Hosted five Open Farm Days and National Alpaca Farm Days.
Learned how to trim Bijou’s beak and nails (saving money and an hour’s drive!).
Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

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It’s small wonder that I feel so exhausted . . . but in a good way!

I’ve enjoyed getting up at the crack of dawn to prepare food for the rabbits, ducks and chickens. To cleaning out the coop and filling water buckets. To treating my goats and Loki to animal crackers and dog biscuits. To learning how to halter and lead our alpacas and cleaning the pasture. But mostly I’ve enjoyed the presence, and the antics, of these amazing creatures. All of them! They’ve all imprinted on my heart and I’m pretty sure Brian feels the same.

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And now as we move into fall, we’re making preparations for winter. This, my friends, will make us or break us. We’re pretty tough though because in our hearts, we were born farmers!
 
 
 

Living Alpaca Loca,
Teresa

Whirlwind Romance

Wow! This last month or so has been a whirlwind of activity! We brought the girls home to the farm on July 25th without too much trouble. However, Alice did not fair well in the beginning, showing signs of extreme stress. We managed to situate her in the front of the trailer which seemed to help the rest of the way home. It’s a blessing that we thought to stop and check on them or we may well have lost her. Once home, we unloaded them and because it was so hot, decided to give them a good spray from the hose, which they thoroughly enjoyed!

bringing girls home

20150814_072128We managed to integrate the first flock of chickens with the second flock without too much ado. We can still see the separation in the flocks, but the second flock is growing fast and soon we won’t be able to distinguish them by size. It’ll be all in the feathers! I hadn’t planned on having 34 chickens, but it’s not much more trouble and for now, all is well. We did end up with one rooster and I’ve decided to keep him . . . as long as he doesn’t cause any trouble and doesn’t become aggressive.

The rabbits, ducks and goats have all settled in nicely. The only real trouble comes when the ducks decide to take a bath in the water in the chicken coop creating quite the mess. Yesterday I had to clean out the chicken coop three times . . . not my idea of a good time.

On August 1st we welcomed “Loki” our livestock guardian dog to the farm. He is a Maremma, a breed that originated in Italy. He is already showing signs of “guarding” . . . when he’s not in puppy mode! LOL!

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Tomorrow we’re hosting our monthly “Open Farm Day” and we hope that you’ll join us. You’ll have a chance to see the farm and all its inhabitants running through their daily activities. See the Events page for more information.

Living Alpaca Loca,
Teresa