We have been on the farm for a year and four months! And we have just wrapped up our first year’s CSA! We want to thank all our friends and family for your love and support and prayers. We truly could not have made it through this first year without you.
Our first year here has been amazingly blessed. We have raised chickens (for eggs and meat), goats (for milk and meat), turkeys, ducks, pigs, our Duchess of Kylo (our dairy cow) and calves (for meat and eventually for milk). We had our big garden, full of greens, potatoes, radishes, beans, beets, squash and so much more. For a family who recently came from East Los Angeles, we feel as if we are in an amazing school of agriculture–all hands on, and the test is whether or not we can feed ourselves!
We also have enjoyed all the events on the farm. Getting to know our neighbors and community has been so incredibly lovely. The concerts and workshops and farm days have been so fun. Thank you for coming out and supporting local agriculture and for being our friends. Friendship is the greatest treasure in the world.
Our first year has also had its share of challenges. The biggest challenge has been water. Who would have thought, coming from the land of drought (California) that’d we would still be facing water problems? This year has been one of the driest in recent recordings. So, having all these animals and plants that rely on us for water has been interesting and intense.
Last summer our well went dry twice–once in July and once in September. Within a day or two, however, the well recovered. This summer our well went dry in July and still has not full recovered. We have been radically conserving water, limiting ourselves to flushing, teeth brushing, hand washing, drinking, and cooking. Thanks to friends and neighbors, we have been able to do this. People have been so generous to let us shower, do laundry and other essentials at their houses. We have hooked up a hose to the neighbor’s house more times than we care to count! It has been very humbling. We are so grateful. This kind of community is unheard of in our world. We know we are blessed. When it does rain (which has not been nearly often enough in the past four or five months) we have saved rain water for use in irrigation.
Although the drought is affecting everyone (just ask cattlemen who are trying to grow hay!) our well is struggling more than our neighbors’ for the simple fact that it is a dug well. It is the original well for this house–which is 200 years old. It is only 15 feet deep. Believe it or not, that depth has kept us in water the rest of the year! It’s been a good well that has served its purpose. Our hearts are grateful to the folks who dug it by hand oh-so-many years ago! Did they know that in 2016 there would be this family trying to turn their little homestead back into a farm, with 9 kids in tow?
However, we have come to the conclusion that we need to have a well drilled. This was not in the budget for this year. And at the moment it is not within reach. So, we are praying and trying to work things out to have one drilled sooner rather than later. There’s so much about farming that is out of our control–we can plan, plant, work, etc. But we cannot control the weather and water table.
When you pray, could you lift us up as well? We need wisdom, finances, time. If you have recommendations for a well-driller, please do let us know.