Open Doors

Barn Door

I had three cows – one milker, one heifer, and one calf – looking for new homes, and they’re all spoken for.  In about three weeks, we’ll only have Sunshine, our milk cow; Delilah, our Jersey-Angus cross heifer calf; and two steers who I might feed out to butchering size, or who I just might sell anyway.  I can’t decide.

We’re all kind of looking forward to the smaller workload.  I’m in an interesting position in that I’m still feeding eleven people, but three of them are not available to help with the work, and soon, that number will be four.  Two of my remaining people are babies, and so that leaves me with just four helpers, and that’s not enough to run this place all out.

In fact, I’m trying to get my beloved to consider moving.  We have almost fourteen acres here, and that’s about 8 acres more than we can maintain.  But we’re halfway through our mortgage, and plan to pay it off in just five more years, and the idea of owning our home outright is too sweet to him.  I try to tell him we’ll have the equity in this home to apply to our next, but he’s not quite convinced.

We’re so far off the beaten path here that we’ve had trouble getting customers for our herd share program, which is a major reason why we’re downsizing.  There’s no reward for milking and maintaining all these cows, and without the positive feedback of cash and pleasant conversations with visitors, the work gets to be an overwhelming burden.

So, since David doesn’t want to move, we’re going to turn our attention back toward a homestead type of farm, in which we try to take care of ourselves as well as we can off of the land.  That means I get to plant more orchard and nut trees, and I’ve been wanting to try some interesting growing methods in the garden that don’t even require weeding.

And this also gives me some time to pursue some other projects I’ve been dreaming of, like my photography.  When one door closes, another one opens.


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About Jennie Cooper

I'm the mother of eight children, the wife of a retired soldier, and a newly minted farmer. I spend my days fairly productively, home educating our children, raising large quantities of food for several families, and volunteering in our community. I read entire novels a page at a time in the comfort of my bathroom. I tell people I'm Catholic just because they find it so shocking. I think there's nothing so exciting as a thunderstorm coming in. It doesn't bother me at all that my dog barks outside my bedroom window all night. And I rather enjoy being 40. I didn't think I would, but 40 is pretty good.

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