The first major cold snap of the 2019/2020 winter has come and gone after a soft exit from the year. Our temperatures plummeted from average temperatures of -11C to -30C or lower, not factoring in wind chill. Less than three days ago that temperature remained and today we are expecting 0C and temperatures not much lower for the foreseeable future. Saskatchewan’s predictably unpredictable winter has chosen an excellent time for a mild break in the weather as we begin the 2020 kidding season on February 2nd, and I am unexpectedly booked to work for three days when several does are due.
I am fortunate enough to work nearby, to have fabulous neighbours and friends and a husband (who claims to not be as invested as I) who will check in on the goats on regular intervals to assure their health and dry babies. Should an emergency come about, there are people more than capable of helping out just a call away. I am looking into rigging up an old cell phone and connecting it to the house WiFi so I can live feed the girls and keep an eye out myself, but I’m not sure if our signal will reach that end of the barn.
We are coming into 2020 without a couple animals who have meant the world to us, as 2019 held several losses. Happy Hoof Acres Madeline died during kidding due to complications, Rose and Sweet Solstice Nugget were put down due to illness, and my old Poplar girl just didn’t make it into winter. She wasn’t able to hold weight and when I had finally decided it was time to say my goodbyes, I went out to find her down. Our 2019 kids, however, are growing beautifully and I am really enjoying watching their progress. Even in their winter clothes, they impress me on a daily basis.
Our social media presence has been limited to Instagram as Facebook had become a huge time waster, so I removed myself by disabling my account and it has freed up so much time to get a clear vision in place for 2020. Our reduced social media will be exchanged for an increased Youtube and D.tube presence as we pursue our channels there in order to connect with our audience and reach people who are interested in our lifestyle. We have watched several channels on a regular basis for the past few years, each one unique to those living their lives on it, and we have learned a lot; it would be nice to share our experience as well. I also plan to keep this blog updated on at least a monthly basis as a supplement to the channel.
We will soon be offering a resource page that will include information on our natural methods, our experiences with conventional and traditional medicines on the farm, recipes for the remedies and supplementation we use for illnesses and day to day farm troubles and so on so if people are looking to change things up on their farm or in their home, they can add our methods to the list of things to try for them. To help with this, I have embarked on herbalism training to add to a knowledge base I have gleaned from years of independent research, looking for my own answers, and will be adding to it with other traditional modalities over the coming year.
Several projects are absolute must-do’s this year: the roofs on the garage and doe barn, a new enclosure for the buck barn, insulation of our basement and the expansion of our garden to the old pig pen. Some other projects on the ever growing do-this-asap-list are the fencing will need to be adjusted, the pigs being moved to another area and to create a boar pen, the tractor needs some work done, the pasture some top seeding and, perhaps, fertilization; a milking barn constructed, new bird pens, removal of the old barn and grain bin pads, remove the old oil tank from the basement, re-do the stair stringers, paint, finish the kitchen cabinets and the list goes on and on!
Will you join us on this journey? What would you like to learn with us? What kind of videos do you look for from your favorite channels?