Progress and regress on the farm

There is motion – always. But sometimes things don’t move quite how you would hope. Here at the Ozark House, we are moving both backwards and forwards, a feat formerly only accomplished by the likes of Stretch Armstrong.

PROGRESS – We moved the chickens into their “new” chicken house (it’s quite old, but newly cleaned out, and new for them). It has a functional lightbulb, with which we hope to trick their silly systems into laying eggs like it’s July. 14 hours of daylight, here we come! We then moved the pre-teen chicks into the old chicken house, to give them more space. In about a month or so, we’ll put the two flocks together.

REGRESS – The chickens don’t really “get” the whole moving situation. They keep getting confused about where to roost at night, and we end up hunting around the (dark) backyard for them. Our intent is to pen them up in the house for several days, because supposedly that will get them accustomed to it, but that hasn’t happened yet – we keep letting them out prematurely (sometimes deliberately, sometimes accidentally). One hen has successfully laid (at least) one egg in the new house. But they don’t like the nests we set up for them, so the egg was laid on a board, and cracked (but it’s still salvageable!) I set up some new nesting boxes for them, and tonight, we’re gonna pen them up, and leave them penned for a few days.

PROGRESS – Since Ozark Painting finished working in St. Louis, the house has been able to resume its normal rhythms. Our 10-o’clock and 4-o’clock prayers are picking back up; Our Tuesday night liturgy/worship is back in action, and Monday night date night is hoppin’.

REGRESS – We had our first hard freeze last Thursday night. The tomatoes suffered. The plants are still alive, but they’re on their way to veggie-heaven. I’m hoping they’ll hang on until the three tomatoes clinging to the vine ripen. I know that’s not really regress, since it’s just the seasons changing.

PROGRESS – The increasingly cold weather has given us a chance to try out our natural heating system. The wood stove is working quite nicely. It puts off some good heat, and we’ve yet to really get it crankin’. Our electric bill this winter looks to be low low low!

The season change has continued to beautify our view as well.

REGRESS – Yesterday, we went to purchase raw milk in Tunas (an hour away) from a Mennonite family who supposedly sells it for $2/gallon (we quit buying from our current Mennonite provider…she charges $5/gallon!). We drove all the way out there, and there was nobody home. Frustration. That’s a regress. Except that we found a sweet tornado/fire-scout tower, and climbed it.

Also, our fall harvest of black walnuts has gone unaddressed. They have remained in a plastic container, unshelled, for about a month. The task just seems so daunting, I’ve yet to take it on (and have been unable to convince anyone else to do it, either).

PROGRESS – Pasture-clearing. Most of the unnecessary trees have been leveled and burned. A few large ones left to cut up and save for firewood and burn the small bits. Then a fence. Then livestock…muahahaha….

Also, our arrows are being refeathered, we’ve put out a salt/mineral lick, and there are fresh deer tracks in the pasture water-hole. Fresh meat will soon be here….

After such a lengthy post, I’ll close with a final thought from this morning’s reading, found in St. Ignatius’ letter to the church at Ephesus:

“Indeed, it is better to keep quiet and be, than to make fluent professions and not be. No doubt it is a fine thing to instruct others, but only if the speaker practises what he preaches. One such Teacher there is: He who spake the word and it was done (Psalm 33:9); and what He achieved even by His silences was well worthy of the Father. A man who has truly mastered the utterances of Jesus will also be able to apprehend His silence, and thus reach full spiritual maturity, so that his own words have the force of actions and his silences the significance of speech.”

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10 Responses to Progress and regress on the farm

  1. johnny pronto says:

    Greetings –
    I continue to enjoy revelling in the antics of you guys. I was talking to Nathan’s Dad, Barry, yesterday about you all. Barry just kind of did his Barry thing, where he turned his head to the side and chuckled. I was an early subscriber to the Mother Earth News when it first came out (70s?) but I never really implemented any of the things that I read about.
    Concerning your chickens, do you think it is really fair to “trick” them? And is that like a difficult feat to accomplish?
    That is a fine quote from St. Ignatius’ letter to the church at Ephesus – words to ponder and apply.
    Keep on Keepin’ on. Thanks for sharing with us.

  2. Adonius says:

    1) Great post!
    2) I’d forgotten how quickly our feathered friends mature – those babies are huge compared to one month ago!
    3) How could you possibly be saving money at the rate of $3/gallon by driving 2 hours round-trip for such savings?
    4) You do realize you didn’t discover the tower, but that’s the one Dad mentions every time we drive to and from Missouri? Nice RE-discovery.
    5) It looks like I’ll be reading more Ignatius!

    • Oh, I knew it was that very same tower. But there’s a difference between noticing, seeing, and discovering.
      A good question about the milk money. Our plan is to buy several gallons (perhaps 5 or 6 or 7 or 8), freeze most of them, and then thaw them as needed. I’m told this works quite well.
      Don’t read Ignatius unless you want to be forced to ask difficult questions about protestantism, catholicism, church authority, Christian tradition, and martyrdom/suffering. In other words, do read Ignatius.

  3. Friend Mouse says:

    I know this is not the proper forum for what I’m about to say, but say it I must…I’m still bitter about the loss to Nebraska last Saturday. It should not have happened; Mizzou is a better team, and, to top it all off, the referees STUNK! Oh, by the way, your chickens and coops look real nice. I hope you get some venison soon. I’m glad you finally made the trek up the “Branch” fire lookout tower. [btw, I think it would take a moron to be atop such a tower in tornado weather].

  4. Mr. Bruce says:

    I hear its hard to find a good Mennonite provider. Haha. I continue to grow jealous of yalls adventures. Maybe the blog just makes everything sound so quaint and interesting. Me and Robin may be joining the blog universe soon since the ozark house has made it so popular. We miss y’all and you owe me some of that raw milk.

  5. Dave says:

    I stirred in bed as I heard the water dripping in the alley beside our apartment. Rain. I woke momentarily to see Lori changing Judah’s diaper on her side of the bed. He giggled at me. When I finally got out of bed they were both gone, but a note waited for me on the kitchen table, written on the back of an envelope (the nearest available scrap paper I assume):
    Dave, Go to Folklore this morning and engage in all things melancholy on this rainy day.
    She loves me.
    So here I am, nursing a delicious cup of coffee on a couch that reminds me of your futon that Lori and I slept on at the apartment in Maryland, having recently finished a bowl of baked oatmeal topped with fresh fruit… and I’m enjoying every line of the Ozark House.
    This is a good day.

  6. Travis Brown says:

    Onii san! i will forever encourage you adopt a shaved face. We miss you guys…We tire of the humdrum of working 8-6/7/8/9 and school although he mejorado el espanol mucho. I am now able to write spanish words phonemicly/phoneticly identify the morphems in a spanish word, and am well on my way to conquering spanish sintax. we are discussing potential plans to move somewhere far far away…bye!

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