The past year on The Farm has been a busy one, so we have a lot of catching up to do here on this blog. A few changes, a lot of projects, some losses and some gains. Shall we?
As many of you know, we unexpectedly lost our faithful sidekick Emma shortly before Christmas. She was with us for nearly 12 years and was the first friendly face who greeted everyone at The Farm. She was a trustworthy farm dog, a protective friend and a loving soul. It was the toughest event we have endured here by far, and we miss her every day.
Winter was relentless with regular snowfall that fell weekly from January through February. While we are well aware that you guys up North endure far more... We rarely get snow around these parts. It was cold, but even worse, it was windy and wet, which pushed through our uninsulated house easily. Even through our rationing, we still ran out of firewood twice and had to scramble to remedy the issue.
After tragically losing Emma, we were given an unexpected opportunity by a family who had heard our story. In January, a German Shepherd puppy was donated to our farm. We didn't know if we were ready for another dog, but we both decided that sometimes things just happen that way. We named him Seife, which is German for soap, and he has become the center of our world.
We avoided the incubator this year and decided to let our Silkie hens hatch a couple rounds of chicks for us in late winter. Of course they loved their job of being mamas, and we enjoyed not having to clean the brooders several times a day.
After ten years of being here, we finally hired someone to help us on a regular basis with things around The Farm. So a shout out to Willis! And thank you for everything you do!
We had another successful kidding season with our goats, except for the fact that they had all boys this year. Oh well! At least they were healthy. We sold them all as soon as they were weaned. We are keeping our fingers crossed for girls next year.
Kidding season brought on milking season which means.... cheese! Ahhh, cheese. Lovely, lovely cheese.
We got another major project underway... badly needed electrical upgrade for the house, which was horribly outdated, and all new service run out to the barn and other out buildings for the first time. Not having to feed up at night in the dark with flashlights = GLORIOUS.
Since we had to bring in the Ditch Witch to dig trenches a bazillion feet deep from the house to the barns for the new power lines, we also used the opportunity to put in water lines to the barn at the same time. No more dragging water hoses from the house to the stalls anymore.
We hit a huge milestone... in June we celebrated our ten year anniversary as well as ten years on The Farm. If you remember, we got married and moved to this old farm in the same week. Happy anniversary to us!!
Seife has continued to grow....
...And so has the soap business. 2014 has brought on new packaging that reflects the 1800s era of our farm, equipment upgrades, production increases and a few new products. But there is one thing we haven't changed: It is all still made by hand, from scratch, right in our kitchen.
There's been more, so we will fill in the gaps in the coming weeks as we elaborate on finished, current and future restoration projects as well as the daily farm shenanigans. We thank you for following our journey so far!