As we ring in a fresh, shiny, new year, I reflect on the year past. Looking at my last post date, I am reminded at how quickly 2017 flew by. We were so blessed to share our year with friends (old and new) and family. And, as with all years, 2017 was marked with successes and failures, joys and sorrows. Innisfree Design saw much success and growth! I feel extremely blessed that so many trusted me with their graphic design needs in 2017! My man landed his dream job at the end of the year! And our happy wee man continues to grow like a weed!
An overview of 2017 “funny farming” successes
Our new venture, raising a couple of pigs, was to my mind quite successful. We were fortunate to find an organic feed company, Five Star Feeds (Desboro, ON), early on in the process and so we were able to brag that they were free range, organically fed piggies. Bacon and Pork Chop rounded out at a hanging weight of 244 lbs and 277 lbs, and now we have a freezer full of delicious smoked pork for the winter! And I only had one moment of regret while coming around the back of the stock trailer at the butcher but that was quickly erased by the obstinance of one pig to get off the trailer.
I came across our remaining rabbit mid-summer with a terrible case of ear mites. We borrowed a rabbit cage from our neighbours and family, the Kapteyns, and after an hour I was finally able to catch our rogue rabbit. Not only did I discover ear mites are the most disgusting thing I’ve dealt with in a while but our rabbit is female (so Aaron is actually Erin)! So, it was a fairly severe case of ear mites and I was afraid we may not be able to save her, but lots of mineral oil, hair loss and tender loving care brought her back around. In an effort to save myself the difficulty of another hour long search and capture mission we built a very fancy rabbit cage (by we, I mean, my man, the wee man, my sister, my nephew, my Dad and myself)! However, only days later my oaf of a horse broke through the electric fence and freed the rabbit from her new home. So, once again Erin roams rogue in our barn, roosting with the chickens and enjoying her freedom.
We added 10 new laying hens to our flock this year and successfully raised 18 meat birds. My most exciting adventure in farming life yet happened this fall when two lovely ladies, Katie and Fanny, came and taught me how to butcher my own chickens. This sounds like a terrifying experience to some of you, I’m sure, but, to me it was a dream come true! There are many different ways to accomplish the same end, but I found Katie’s techniques worked well for me too! And the 3 of us managed to kill, skin and clean 18 birds in about 4 hours! Not only did I learn something necessary on my path to self-sufficiency but I made some new friends as well!
Looking forward to 2018!
We have begun to make plans for spring and summer 2018 – there will definitely be more gardening (two new raised beds have already been built to accommodate more vegetables), a trip out west is in the works, and I see more pigs in the future too. We pray for continued success in our jobs, continued health and a year filled with more joy than sorrow and many more adventures! As we make plans for the year ahead, we wish you and yours much success and happiness for 2018!
Sincerely, The Innisfree Funny Farming Family
The photos featured in this post are those of my dear friend from high school, DeeDee Morris, who took time on a trip to Ontario to visit with us and take pictures of our life (www.deedeemorris.com).