It's a cold, rainy October day and I'm sitting on the couch thinking about what's been going on at the farm and in our lives over the past few months. I have lots of time to think as I had knee replacement surgery 5 weeks ago. About all I can do is rest, do my exercises, ice my knee, and then do it all over again. The worst part of it is that now that the pain is dissipating and my mobility is improving I need to prepare for another surgery on my other knee in 4 weeks. There may even be another surgery after that! Needless to say, this situation has been affecting farm life throughout the summer and will continue to until next spring when my recovery is hopefully complete. There is never a good time of year for this to happen and Paul has taken on doing all of the work himself with the added responsibility of looking after me. Needless to say it's been a busy summer and the fall will be complicated.
Our summer was taken up with our usual farm duties as well as doing extra maintenance and repair jobs to hopefully make things a bit easier for Paul when I wouldn't be much help. We worked almost non-stop and took very little time to enjoy the summer. Still, we found time to host friends and family at the farm for BBQs and get togethers knowing that we wouldn't be doing much entertaining during the coming fall and winter.
This summer we finally received our farm gate sign from OFA (Ontario Federation of Agriculture). Our products are supported by Ontario Pork and Foodland Ontario. Each of these acknowledgements has contributed to a very successful season at our farm store. Locals, cottage goers, and friends from the city have been supporting us and faithfully buying our products. People went crazy for our Berkshire pork, especially sausage, bacon, ham steaks, and chops. We sold out of turkeys for Thanksgiving. In fact sales have been so great that we need to butcher more pigs so that we can have some pork for ourselves this winter. We didn't even have turkey for Thanksgiving. Shelves are stocked with loads of preserves made from produce from our garden. We harvested 150 pounds of honey. Sauerkraut is fermenting. Meat chickens will be ready in November and Christmas turkeys are free ranging now. At the end of the month we will have our own lamb available at the store. It has been a successful 2019 and it's not over yet.
Unfortunately one change is happening that will be more difficult to deal with. Oliver, our boar, needs to be replaced as he has not been fulfilling his job requirements. He will leave us later this month. Ambrose, a young purebred Berkshire boar, will be taking his place. We decided to name him after St. Ambrose the patron saint of bees, beekeepers, and farm animals. He will be joining Nellie and Maggie who have been enjoying a well deserved break. Thanks Oliver. We'll miss you in the pig yard.
It has been a great summer and early fall for all the animals. The ewes have been busy grazing and raising their lambs. All of them are beautiful. We are keeping one lamb, Gracie, and three others were sold for breeding purposes. The goats continue to charm visitors to the farm and the geese continue their "watch geese" tactics honking and snapping at approaching cars. Our little pigs, including Ambrose, are the first animals that visitors see as they enter the farm. They provide evidence of what happy pigs really are as they run, play, and roll in the mud. We even have a little pink pig which someone found at the roadside and brought to us. Let's not forget Kit who has taken his hunting very seriously this summer and gotten a bit beat up in the process on a few occasions.
One the worst things about the surgeries is that I have to stay out of the barn for at least a few weeks to avoid risk of infection. I sure miss all the animals during that time. Thanks to Kit for his regular visits. Thanks to friends and family who help out when they can. Thanks Paul for keeping the whole thing going! Here's to a healthy, happy, and restorative fall and winter.