We have a weasel.
She's gotten about ten chickens so far. We go down in the morning to do chores, and we find a dead, headless chicken. In one case, we just found a hole in the chicken wire to the coop, with some blood smeared on the door frame, and a few feathers.
It's a terrible feeling. We were supposed to protect the chickens. We promised them. That was the deal. You give us eggs, and we will feed and house and protect you. We might kill you eventually, but we will do it as quickly as we can, because we know you. We held you when you were a baby. We watched you grow. It's the Great Domestication Deal.
But it doesn't take away the reality of wilderness vs agriculture. The woods vs civilization. As farmers on the edge of the woods, we are at the frontline of this ancient battle.
Do we revere nature and respect the weasel's need for food?
Or do we stake her out with a rifle in hand and try to kill her?
My husband is unequivocally taking the latter approach. He was up at five this morning, leaning against a hay bale with a rifle laid across his chest, waiting. It got light, and he saw a dead, headless hen lying in the corner of the barn; the weasel had already come and gone.
We have been lucky all these years, with very few predators. Our hens and rabbits free-range. Those days may be over.
We are barely halfway through February, but ... I... am... DONE.
It's not even that I am sick of winter. I love so many things about winter. And I'm happy to actually have some snow this winter. It's just that spring is better than winter!
March is just around the corner and March generally hits us like a flatbed truck filled with seedlings, chicks, piglets, projects, plantings, hope, excitement, and general mayhem. The truck hits us hard, and every one of those items piles on top of us like an avalanche of busyness. So exciting.
In preparation for that avalanche (because that truck is not going to fill itself), I am obsessively looking at chicken catalogs, emailing my farmer friends about when they're expecting baby animals, growing seedlings in my living room...
I was just texting with a farmer friend down the road. I saw her pictures of new baby goats on FB and asked her about them. She offered me baby boys, $50 apiece, if I come get them right now. Talk about forcing my hand! I told her we had to wait.
It is like the welling up of excitement and energy. It's coming!
We had a great summer. The farmstay was booked almost constantly -- our best year yet.
Thank you to our wonderful guests, who make our farmstay possible-- not only with your business, of course, but more importantly with who you are. I truly enjoy meeting you all, talking about your children, sharing what I have learned about farming, chatting about life. I always say that we have a self-selecting crowd, and it is what makes this business possible for me.
It is a joke in our family that every time I come up to the house from the farm tour, I announce as I walk in the door some variation of, "Those people are super-nice." "Wow, those people are cool." or "You have to see this kid. Oh my god. He's cute."
Thank you all! Thank you to our repeat visitors, who are ever-growing in number. And thank you to all who are just stopping in on this site to check it out, thinking about a farm stay visit.
I'm Larissa. For as long as I can remember, I have always loved animals, and always felt the urge to MAKE things. In my farm life, I get to pursue both these paths. Luckily, my husband and kids feel the same way.