I’ve always loved animals and when COVID hit, despite being a town kind my whole life, I decided to take on an ‘urban farm’.
Don’t get me wrong I know my little back yard with ducks, quails, chickens, rabbits (and two house pigs) is no where near a full fledged operation and honestly I don’t think I could hack it beyond my acre of yard.
Even though we are small, there has been a big learning curve and some ups and downs.
Last year was fairly idyllic and this spring for the most part was pretty good as well. My ‘crops’ were planted (lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, peppers and dill) and I was gifted two duckling for my anniversary.
Times were glorious on the farm.
Fast forward a few weeks.
We had one clump of lettuce, a few carrots and it turned out the dill, wasn’t dill. It was chamomile. I don’t know where it came from but boy did it take off.
In June, the bugs came for my ‘crops’. Then we lost a duck to a skunk, a quail to a magpie and a rabbit just dug out and ran away. All of those things happened in the span of four weeks. It was a bleak time on the ranch.
By July, the ducks had gotten to the bitey stage and were attacking me while I did things in the yard, we had an unplanned litter of rabbits, I realized chamomile should have been my main crop and that I might not be as tough and hard working as my ‘farmer’ counterparts.
Farmer’s are tough, resilient folks.
They get up early and go to bed late. They’re in the field or in the barn in the rain, heat and snow. They miss out on family time because they have to check on the livestock or harvest a crop or plan for upcoming seasons. They are there doing what they need to to keep food on the tables and food in our animal’s bowls and they grow and sustain our small communities across the prairies.
Now that it’s fall things have calmed down as we prepare for winter. The rabbits have eaten about half of the chamomile. We don’t have to harvest anything but we are building a new ‘barn’ (more of a glorified shed) for the animals, stockpiling our feed and bedding and hoping we don’t have any more surprise litters of anything.
I’m not sure what winter will hold but I know I will get through it probably just with a few more tears than most of you.
From a wanna-be, but could-never-hack-it, farmer to the REAL farmers. Thank you!