Well it is official! We are just days away from the end of 2019 and a reflection back on the year has us smiling, exhausted, and thinking we are slightly crazy but truly grateful for what this year has been.
The year started out with a whole lot of planning of expanding our flock and veggie garden which took a quick turn of adding in microgreens as another production item.
We planned on more than doubling our flock of hens and no matter how much planning you do, something is going to go wrong and were we really prepared to sell that many eggs. Eekkkk!
The baby chicks came at the end of March and oh were they some cute little fluff balls. They grew fast and out grew their brooder faster than expected which meant we needed our new larger coop up and fast. It took days of getting the old coop cleaned up and moved out of the way so the new coop could be set up all while keeping the big girls happy and laying without interruption. The move went good. Actually it went smoother than we could have expected with only 1 little; actually more like major hiccup. Adam taking a utility knife to the hand while helping me fence. It ended with hours in the hospital and too many stitches to count but it was still attached, functioning and needed some time to heal.
The spring weather hit us hard and fast with warm and dry weather. We knew no matter how many seeds we were putting in the ground, water was what was needed. It was dry. But water we can add, so no problem we got out the sprinkler system, we sowed the seeds and we turned on the water. Now just to wait for the sun and heat and watch those babies grow. Well that didn’t happen because well its Alberta and sometimes summer never really comes. We didn’t get the sun. We didn’t get the heat. Instead the sprinklers got turned off because the sky sprinkler never turned off. Instead we battled mud, drowning plants, reeds growing, and frogs jumping in your face. Not the bountiful produce we had hoped for. We did manage to get an okay crop of beets, carrots and peas this year with the odd bean and zucchini. If we were in the rice growing business; we would have had one heck of a year. Oh well, there is always next year.
Our microgreens were something we added into production on a whim. It is an up and
coming product that a lot of people are still not familiar with but it is something we can grow all year and we are always open to educating and trying something new. Our first batch of trays went crashing to the ground, literally. The second batch of trays we lost at least 50% as we tried to figure out how these things grow optimally. By the 3rd batch we were getting better and every batch we would continue to tweak to get the best product we could. It wasn’t long and we were producing a decent amount of product and now need to move it; which we did. And this is where the giant thank you to our retailers and our amazing chefs/restaurants that purchase from us weekly comes in!! If it wasn’t for you guys our entire diet would consist of small green things and eggs. Ha ha ha!
With any type of livestock, you tend to face predator attacks and we are no different. Our first predator attack was one of our cats that stole and killed a few baby chicks when they first arrived in March. We then faced a fox attack in the late spring and then to our more well-known predator attacks, the hawk and owl, which I was so very fortunate to come face to face with during the attack. Not really what I wanted to deal with on those days but it did provide me with a guide of where more learning could be obtained. We know it’s not the end of the possible attacks but we continue to improve our coop, our procedures and systems of how we do things to keep it under control and at a minimum where possible.
All in all 2019 has been one for the record books for us. We have had our moments of wanting to throw in the towel and other moments of doing happy dances of our successes. But we really wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for all of our loyal customers and clients that purchase from us weekly/monthly or when they think of us. It’s because of each and every single one of you that we get to not only farm but continue to build, expand and truly live a life we enjoy each and every day. Thank you!
We have some big news and announcements headed your way of what is to come in 2020 from us. So please stay tuned and watch for them to come through in the coming weeks. There are some big dreams and big goals that will be achieved next year and we cannot wait to have you all be a part of it.
Wishing you and your families all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We will see you in 2020!