The Year That Flew The Coop
You did great this year. You showed love and kindness to others. You made it through every hard day. Quite honestly: You were an absolute triumph. May your 2023 be even more full of love, laughter, and snacks. — Chicki Minaj
Here’s What’s Happening At Good Spirits Farm
Everyone made it through the big freeze. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were marathons of keeping the hay buffet stocked and water troughs thawed. The reason I go to the gym three days a week when I move non-stop on the farm? Because hauling water—two five-gallon buckets at a time—a quarter of a mile through snow and ice is something you kinda need to train for. Even with my regular routine of pushups and squats, I was totally trashed by Monday. But most importantly, everyone made it through. That wasn’t the case for many of my neighbors, so I feel grateful that I was able to keep all my stock alive.
I’m using this quiet week between holidays to think about how to focus my energy in 2023. I truly cannot do it all, especially all by myself. Maybe I’ll cut back on the size of the garden, or only grow things I especially love to eat. I likely won’t grow meat chickens, since processing is truly a two-person job. One silver lining of running this place alone is that I’ve learned that letting projects go is okay. It’s fine—maybe even great—to do less and focus on the things I love most.
I can definitely see the beginnings of farmer burnout entering my peripheral vision. I don’t think I ever, in my wildest dreams, imagined a future that looked quite like this: With 45 acres and a gaggle of animals all relying on my care. Day after day, no matter the weather, there is something demanding my time and attention. But I’ve worked too hard building this place up to burn out now. After three years of carefully managing grazing patterns and encouraging pollinator habitat and native grasses, it would be a shame to let Good Spirits Farm become yet another subdivision. And so: I’m going to keep on farming, so long as I can. Into 2023 and hopefully far beyond.
Here’s What I Loved This Week
I made these grain bowls last night and they were just what I needed after a week of rich holiday dinners. Double the dressing—you’ll want extra to keep in your fridge and put on…everything. I added a range of roasted veggies - mushrooms, carrots, onions, plus the called for sweet potatoes and broccoli. I also topped mine with fried tofu because, well, everything is better with fried tofu.
From all of us on the farm, we hope you have a doggone great New Year!
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You go girl! What you're doing is amazing. Sometimes my 2 cats, 2 dogs and 2 horses are overwhelming, so I can't imagine with all you have and doing it alone. Do you think you could get a "WWOOF" er? https://wwoof.net/ Or maybe you've already considered it. What you're doing is incredibly inspiring.
Thank you for sharing so candidly. May 2023 be lighter and brighter (and full of even better snacks)!