Happy New Year! New Hope!
Hames & Axle Farm is my window to the world. It is the one place that I have felt safe in a world filled with security options, firearms and bug repellent. When I think about its future I think what can I do here, at our farm, to make the world safer for everyone.
Since we moved here in 1996 I've seen an extension in our tick season, new species of ticks come to the region, and diseases that were once stopped by the cold, become a factor in our management concerns. When we built the farm I was amazed at the number of butterflies we saw; they were everywhere! Last summer we saw more than we'd seen in a decade, but it was still far less than when we first moved here. I know part of it is that we disturbed the soil, the trees and the magic in the land, but I work every day to make it safe for the magic to return, the soil to flourish and the trees to be healthy. I need to do more that, so I hope you'll help me do that.
When we started farming here I was hit like a club with the knowledge that I was the responsible one now. Before I had gotten to care for the animals, but it wasn't my responsibility to determine the rations, know which meds they needed, what the herd size should be. It was my job to give out the food, he meds, and move the animals wherever the farm told me. The knowledge of that responsibility changed the way I looked at my goats, my chickens and sheep, the first animals at Hames & Axle Farm. That idea never leaves my head, but now I've extended it to the choices I make in the way I live my life, off farm too.
Now as we look at retirement from an outside job for my husband I am looking at intensifying the work here at the farm. Given my arthritis and false hip, it has to be done with age and those considerations in mind, but we still need to make this land work, financially, for us and ecologically for everyone who lives near us.
For years I've been trying to grow more of our own food here, for us and for the goats. Now it's time to beyond "looking at" into "doing it," and that means adding new animal inputs, soil inputs, water conservation and a lot of creativity. I hope you'll join us on this adventure, and along the way I'll be trying to follow our "We Grow Awarness" motto as we grow into our new one "The little farm that does...." Let's see where that leads us!