There certainly seems to be no end to the “to-do” list on a farm or homestead . It can be overwhelming and sometimes seem impossible. You may even doubt your abilities as a homesteader, but keep in mind that you are not alone . The more contact you have with other homesteaders or the more you read about others’ experiences , the more you will realize that farming , whether it involves livestock, agriculture, or both , takes time .The more you have to do ,the more you have to prioritize . Start by deciding which area will be more negatively impacted by being delayed . Most often you will be working around the weather so keeping an eye on the forecast or a barometer will help you plan . Think ahead to make the most of your time . I already had my goats in pasture when I stained my first set of wooden gate posts . The goats were attracted to the smell of wet stain and I had a hell of a time getting them to stop licking the wet posts! At that time they weren’t letting me leash them yet . To put up the pasture divide I leashed the goats , tethering them to the pallet shelter . After I had everything measured and staked out , I dug the post holes and cemented them in . Then , while the cement was drying , I drove my “T” posts and started on my fence . The idea was to be able to get the goats back to pasture as soon as possible and not have them getting into wet cement or pushing my posts off level. The cement was already hard by the time I was done for the day and I covered the area with boards before I let the goats back into the pasture . The next day I removed the boards over the cement to find the cement hard and untouched and the posts level and rock solid. Again I had to tether the goats away from my work site . To decrease the amount of their time off pasture , I stained the pressure treated wood posts first so that they could dry while I put up the remainder of the fence and gate . It worked well . I certainly could be accused of over thinking and over planning . At times I would be the first to agree . But I really piss myself off when I mess up because I didn’t consider something .
Getting goats so unexpectedly sure put off my firewood collection and my vegetable garden . Once I had the goats they became the priority and everything else took the backseat . Why ? Well obviously they are emotional beings and deserve the best care I can give them. Neglecting them so I can focus on prize winning tomatoes makes no sense to me , and I can pull off a marathon fire wood stocking if need be . Sure I still have to repair the chicken run and the ground underneath but I won’t need that until next spring . And so on ,and so it goes . The worst part of that is that I can not stand to let a project go unfinished . Well, that’s not entirely true : the less interest I have in doing something , the less motivated I am in finishing it , which is directly proportionate to how much it bothers me ! Debbie would agree to that !
All in all , when I look at it realistically , I’ve done a fair job on the farm this year , for a guy who cannot tolerate the heat and humidity . I have had to put off my exercise and weight training for five months , but I wouldn’t have been able to complete my work or stayed out of the hospital if I hadn’t ! Again , it’s about priorities . I know that the time will come when it will be at a maintainence stage and that I’ll have a greater balance in my life . This has been very enjoyable this year , and next year I’ll be able to get back to workouts and FISHING . Oh ,how I miss my fly fishing…
As my mom says, ” take it one day at a time son , and enjoy !” Wise words to live by when you’re looking for peace in your life – especially from yourself .