Spring came, then summer, then fall and so on…

Now here we are over a year and a half later as if time jumped forward in an instant. Interesting how that happens and when you look back, you realize that moments seem to fade into distant memory, if they are remembered at all.

2021 saw the stall of farming operations, with minimal advances in vegetable production and animal herd management. More animals succumbed to the ever-present parasite problem, yet the pigs seemed to come through unscathed (although there were several litters that resulted in all piglets dead or dying quickly). On the last day of 2021, the first calf of our small herd (a cow and heifer) was born. Nearly a year old now Prince is growing well and looks to be ready for herd bull duties or possibly freezer meat should the need arise. The prospect of a new life on the farm was a faint glimmer on an otherwise dim outlook.

2022 started with the near death of Elsie, Prince’s mother, only 2 weeks after he was born. Through a timely vet visit and the grace of God, she pulled through and has recovered throughout the year. Mid-January brought even greater joy in the birth of our 3rd child, a healthy baby girl. Throughout the difficulties of the year, we have seen some glimpses of potential though, and hopefully momentum continues to build into 2023. One main infrastructure improvement included an additional fenced pasture at my in-laws property down the road, which has already shown improvement through rotational grazing this past summer. In the spring, The Russell County Butchery, LLC, was born, in partnership with Kyle McMaster of Redemption Farms near Crawford, AL. The first cow was slaughtered on May 4th, and the remainder of the year was lots of learning in the art and skill of humane animal slaughter and processing. In the summer, Kyle and I also acquired some rusty baling equipment that we managed to use with continual repairs (along with borrowing equipment) to put up an unforeseen necessity of our own hay, as well as selling some to recoup the costs of the equipment. More work is needed before the next hay season, but the benefit of one’s own ability to make hay has been realized significantly through a fall drought and rising feed and hay prices.

Much more could be written, but time is fleeting. God is good, even through difficulty and hardship, and our present difficulties are not worth comparing to the eternal weight of glory that shall be revealed.