Part of what we do on Crossroads Farm is share our life with people who may have never been on a farm before. This has become quite the joy for us. It’s become equal parts education, evangelism, and entertainment. We recently responded to an inquiry on our town’s Facebook page about a family wishing to experience farm life. We invited them out to play with baby goats, feed livestock, and play in the creek. Now we have a steady flow of visitors from the word of mouth in our small community.
Gardening has kicked into high gear. Prepping our raised beds with new compost and soil before planting has been a painstaking process along with building up our supply of organic pest repellents. Once we were sure of no more frosts (after Mother’s Day in Tennessee), we planted all our seedlings in a day. Although we are still working through the logistics of a rain catchment system for watering our garden, they have taken root and started growing like crazy. One thing we really like about our raised beds is they are high enough for the 55+ year old crowd doesn’t need to kneel or bend over to work in them.
Baby livestock, whether it’s puppies, chicks, or calves are fragile. It’s frustrating to pour effort and love into a baby only to find it dead one morning for no discernable reason. Despite this, we decided to buy two bottle fed calves to grow our modest 3 cow herd. One was 3 weeks, the other 3 days. Both had clear eyes and were energetic so we brought them home. Both girls ate well and responded to electrolyte and colostrum supplements. We stayed on the lookout for scours, which took two of our previous calves, before we started treating the remaining ones for it. The 3 day old was almost 2 weeks old when she woke up one morning with crusty eyes. She still ate well so we opted to wait a day to take her into the vet (house calls are a $150 baseline costs). We came out the next morning to feed only to find the young one dead. There’s SUCH a feeling of failure when this happens. We decided to be stewards of our animals and made ourselves responsible for them so a loss hits us hard. With loss comes more knowledge for the next one. We will not buy one so young next time and will keep supplementing their milk replacement with colostrum for the first week. It is still a bitter pill to swallow.
Work on farmhouse renovations had to slow to a near stop this month, but we did experiment with waxing the 100+ year old pine floors to see how they would look once we sand and seal them in the fall. As you can see from the photos, they look much better and are a glimpse into the future when they will look that way permanently. Because of the many projects on our plates, we’ve carved them up into smaller bites. That way, progress continues albeit at a slower rate.
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