Chris and Sherry Hardie

B&B homesteaders

Opening up a bed and breakfast was the realization of a dream for us. Our long-term goal is to be self-sufficient (we're well on our way) and to be able to share the earth's bounties with our guests.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A challenging year of farming

It would be an understatement if we said that the weather has created a challenge for our farming this year.
The drought has created challenges and concerns that a normal year would not bring -- if there is such a thing as a normal year when you engage in farming.
As we write this blog on Oct. 14, it is raining for the second day and so far we've received 1.35 inches. While the growing season is over (we had a killing frost the third week of September), we need the moisture to start replenishing the ground and to help our perennials and young fruit trees.
There's a saying "no matter how bad you have it, there's always someone who has it worse." That certainly is our case as we had some timely rain in early June that allowed us to harvest a nice first cutting and second cutting of hay. The third cutting was much lighter, however, and the fourth cutting was non-existent because we haven't had much rain since early August.
Because it's been so dry this summer and because we were unable to get some fencing done, the pastures we had dried up and we've been feeding hay to our sheep and cows nearly the whole summer. We have concerns about having enough hay to get through the winter. Buying it would be very expensive as small square bales like the ones we put up are going for $5 to $8 each. That's crazy.
We did send this year's slaughter lambs to market last week and our pigs will go to the butcher next week. That cuts down on our chores and replenishes our freezer. We've got our young rams in with the flocks and we hope they are up to the task.
Now we've got to get our winter's wood supply laid up before the snow flies.

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