Well 2020 is almost over and what a year it truly has been!
We started the year off with big plans for the farm and some massive goals we wanted to achieve and to be truly honest I never thought it would have turned out to where it is today. While the big plans of moving the farm to our new property had been in the works since 2019 never did we expect we would start the move right as a global pandemic hit us as well. It made for some challenges with not being able to have help but we were fortunate to have Adam home from work and not have to worry too much about getting Ryley to and from school as we moved load after to load for 3-1/2 weeks.
We planted our first U-Pick garden this year which turned out amazing and we were extremely excited to share it with our community. To spend the afternoons visiting with people while picking veggies, hearing all the amazement and wonder from the kids, answering all the questions on our farming practices and getting recommends on some family favourite recipes were just some of the many highlights in that garden. The garden was not just about the food but about learning, expanding our knowledge and building connections with new friends as many aspects of life were put on hold with lockdowns.
Somehow, in amongst the starting up of the garden, we decided we needed to fill that big hip roof barn of ours. And in our true Lil Ryley Farm style we decided to start our flock of sheep. What started as 4 bottle babies has now grown to 11 sheep that are just starting breeding season. The lambs were a big hit on the farm with visitors and we are excited to show them all off again next year as what were lambs last year are full grown sheep this year and will have their own lambs in tow.
Events have been something we have wanted to do with the farm since the very beginning, but we never had the space or time or the complete know how. This year we tackled it. We didn’t just try to pull off 1 event instead we decided to try and pull off 3 and see what we could make of it. And to be honest; you, our community, blew us away. All 3 events we more than a success and we have made them annual events for us and we look forward to adding even more events to each year. Stay tuned, for the added events in 2021, because we have some big ideas.
Most of our decisions on adding in new aspects to our farm are derived by a single need we have. We like to manage our animals and plants health right from the beginning because the only way we can control the outcome and ensure our community is getting the best quality is to ensure we manage everything we can control because there is a lot we can’t. Feeding our animals is a large aspect that we wanted to, and were ready to, take control of. We worked with nutritionists to ensure we were building the best feed program for them and we started the search for the best grains and equipment to make it all happen. Little did we know that there were many others out there that wanted the same thing but didn’t have the means to make it happen. So out of our need came our last added division of the farm for this year, our mini bulk livestock feed. We get to manage our feed program for optimum health of our animals and we get to help our community in feeding their livestock as well. We don’t care if you have 2 legs, 4 legs, fur, hair or skin we are here to help feed you all!!
2020 will most definitely be a year to remember for us! It has allowed us to grow, show us how adaptable we are and helped us truly find the best community a farm family could ask for. From the bottoms of our heart we want to thank each and every single one of you for jumping into this crazy farm journey with us and supporting us. It’s because of each of you that we get to truly live out our dream life.
Wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!