My name is Melissa and it’s been 4 years since my last blog post….
I don’t know if you can relate, but I have several websites that I still keep hanging on to even though I haven’t updated them in a long time. I always have this idea that one of these days I’m going to get motivated and organized and start schedule of regularly updating each of them. Even just once a month, I mean, how hard is that? Apparently too hard for me…. but I keep them, thinking one day I will. Some of the websites like this one, have a decent amount of content that I don’t really want to just do away with. But there are a couple at least that I haven’t even set back up again after having to move web hosts a couple times. Afraid of letting go? Maybe.
So, alot can happen in 4 years. Lots of changes, kids getting older, yet some things haven’t moved forward nearly as much as I’d like. We’ve been on the farm going on 6 years now. 6 years! Hard to believe how quickly time flies. I’ll give you a little run down of what we’ve been doing in that time….
The Stuff We’ve Been Up To…
So, we came here in 2016 with one horse and I had planned to use the property eventually as a riding facility and give lessons full time. That same year we purchased another horse. Cool, 2 horses, time to get this party started! Kinda of hard without a covered arena and really not much of an outdoor arena. But I got to do more riding than I had in a long time.
Then we got some chickens, built a coop and people started asking to buy eggs. So, ching ching, I thought, cool this might be a good side business to make a little extra money, so I gradually started getting more chickens to lay more eggs.
In the mean time, I also had always wanted a dairy goat because I love goat milk and fresh goat milk is the best!! So 2018 I bought a doe and her kid and thoroughly enjoyed the milk. Then a month or 2 later I bought another doe that I would breed later that year. Sadly, later that year right after Christmas, the neighbor dogs attacked my goats (I had a buck also by then) and killed both my does and wounded the kid and buck. Both the kid and buck survived just fine and I found a couple more does.
Meanwhile the chickens were multiplying. I probably had close to 100 by mid 2019 with plenty of customers. We built an egg stand with a fridge for people to get their eggs. Late 2019 we stopped at Coastal Farm store and they were trying to get rid of a ton of layer chicks. So we got a crazy deal and bought, I think 150 or so.
Then October 2019 about 2 months after we bought all those chicks (and our dog had just had puppies as well) I broke my ankle walking in the mud with my flip flops on….Don’t do that…. So, my husband, boys and my parents all took care of the chickens and other animals. I started physical therapy in December and ended physical therapy right when the Covid pandemic hit. In fact I was supposed to go in for one more xray but they called the day before and said they were closing all non emergency stuff, so no xray. But the ankle was pretty well healed by that time.
Spring 2020 we started our meat bird venture. We built chicken tractors to move them around the field in and we did 3 batches of cornish cross chickens, 60 in the first batch and 120 in the each of the next 2 batches, and pretty much sold all of them except what we kept for ourselves.
Oh, I should back up a little bit, I did start giving horse riding lessons to a friends girls in 2019 during the summer and fall. We skipped 2020 because of my ankle, the pandemic and the bad wildfires we had that September when it was too smokey to ride. I took on a couple more students in 2021 and thoroughly enjoyed spending more time giving lessons and riding.
Last year (2021) I was able to get a horse trailer, though very old and needing repair, and we had an area excavated out for an arena, plus filling it with sand. It was so nice being able to ride on a sanded arena!
My plan this year is to hopefully build a roof over that arena. We found that we can refinance the house and get enough cash for the materials. We’ll still need some to pay for help getting it built, although my dad and a close family friend know how to build pole buildings (they built the covered arena that my parents had when I was just graduating high school). They are getting up there in years though so they will mainly just be directing.
Phew, that’s alot! There’s a lot that’s gone on in family life too. The boys are almost all teenagers at 12,15 and 18. We’ve had our challenges with 18 for sure (really the whole high school years with that one)…It’s a tough age though, I realize that. That may be a discussion for another post. Our 15 year old is not homeschooling anymore, but he is doing very well in public and keeping up his grades so far. Our youngest is still homeschooling and probably will continue through high school with the way our schools are heading. Our oldest who is 18, is finishing up his senior year at home and studying for his GED and has a job. I think I started this blog when he was 9 years old! Wow.
So there’s a recap for anyone that might be interested lol (if anyone is even visiting this website anymore!). I’m hoping to get back in to posting on here a bit more. I’ll be sure to do posts that have a specific topic though and not just going every which way ;)