We promptly started off 2012 with two new barn managers that we adopted from a local cat rescue after we lost our old barn cat Caswell. They were delivered to us by the rescue on January 1. We named them Levitt and Dubner and they quickly learned to love life on the farm.
Also in January, we hatched our first round of chicks off of our breeding flock and showed it live online. The first to join the world was a Black Copper Marans... which was unexpected because this egg was taken out of the refrigerator and used as a "space holder" to keep the other eggs from moving around. Not only did it hatch, and hatch first, but the chick turned into one of our nicest Marans pullets and we plan to breed her this year.
The Boy learned about, built and has been maintaining two beehives this year. We've harvested honey twice and look forward to adding two more hives in 2013.
We continued to deal with hurricane Irene's aftermath and, due to severe damage, we replaced the roof on the house. We unexpectedly learned that this was the first new roof put on the house in probably 90+ years because we found the original cedar shake shingle roof under the metal roof.
Though the roof was a massive project to mark off of our restoration list, it unfortunately came with a huge lesson on hiring and working with a construction crew.
It turned out to be the Year of the Rooster on our farm... as crazy as it is, about 80% of our chicks turned out to be roosters. We kept one, sold five and put nine in our freezer.
The one we kept as a Junior Rooster for our free ranging flock, a huge Brahma, unfortunately died in a freak drowning accident. He was big and goofy and his name was Drama. We miss him.
We welcomed a new member to our farm family... a miniature mare named Snow. She's now a permanent companion for our retired mare Pebbles.
I made a lot of soap. So much soap that in addition to selling it online and to friends, in August I started selling it at the New Bern Farmer's Market. Two months later I turned in my badge, left the emergency room world and started making soap full time.
Our quest to help fund our 1800s farm restoration by selling old fashioned soaps and other homestead goods got a little media attention and we found ourselves on the front page of the newspaper.
The house got painted... finally!! Unlike the new roof project that was forced upon us, the paint is something we have been hoping and planning for since the day we moved in eight years ago. The house had to be hand scraped (which took a few weeks) and is now showing off its new outfit of traditional white paint. The shutters will be replaced hopefully early in 2013 once they are stripped and repainted.
We made a massive mess in the house but in the end, we have heat! We no longer have to freeze during the winter! We've been enjoying our "new" wood stove and we haven't even touched the central heat system this winter... it didn't work for this house anyway, and on a cold day it would struggle to keep the house above 50 degrees. While we plan to upgrade to a more efficient woodstove in the future, for the time being we are happy just being spoiled with heat in the house.
It has been a busy but very rewarding year here on The Farm. We've accomplished a lot, made new plans, changed some old plans, and have continued to adapt and grow and learn.
Thank you for moving through this year with us! May 2013 bring even more adventures. See you there!