The Goings On – January 2023

The grass plays patchwork on the farm this time of year. There are no flowers to share their glorious garments. The trees leaves reside on the ground where it seems wind and gravity have so purposefully placed them. Their branches, naked stand in expectation of what is to come in a matter of weeks. We learn a multitude of lessons from nature. What we learn from the trees is patience. Wait. It all comes back around in due time. The sky, every changing, however, manages to capture so much beauty all at once. With all it hues of blue, orange, pink, and purple, it has observed many highs and lows at our corner of the universe over the last month.

Artic Blast

We were absolutely exhilarated to see freezing temperatures on the forecast in December. If you are following our journey then you are aware of the constant struggle we have with certain pests. Aphids in particular have become the reoccurring nightmare that tortures us year after year. This Winter, thanks to the Artic blast that brought consistent freezing and below temperatures for days at a time, we received respite, however brief. When temperatures began to rise we noted a heavy presence of ladybugs in the high tunnel, all over the farm in fact! These little creatures waged the next battle in our war of pushing back the aphid population. They are quite adept at their job and have very healthy appetites. We are more than grateful for the assistance.

In September we took on the challenge of growing our own onion starts from seed. It was less of a challenge really and more of a test of our patience. While we waited for most our own starts to reach appropriate planting size, (some varieties grew notably faster than others) we ordered from our usual suppliers. These were already planted in various beds throughout the farm and in the high tunnel when the Winter storm hit our town. We lost 90% of those purchased starts and about 20% of what we grew from seed. This even after we took the time to cover beds with frost protection. It was just far too cold. The frigid temperatures along with high winds secured their fate. This was a blow to our yearly harvest plan. Onions sold well at the Farmers Market last year so we hoped to have enough for this season for returning customers, enough for our family to make use of, and even more to dehydrate and use in our spice blends. Rolling with the punches we simply replanted some of the areas that experienced losses with our own starts as they are all good sized now. They have been replanted in the Olle raised bed on which we plan to install hoops for a more secure protection should our temperatures drop & remain below freezing again this Winter.

In the high tunnel things were not as severe however there were losses. Our Snow peas took the biggest hit. They had only about 2 more weeks or so of heavy production before they would have tapered off. Still, we wanted those harvests to stock the freezer with these delicious legumes. It is what it is. Soon we will be enjoying the fruit of our last succession planting of snow peas since they managed to survive the freeze. How? Well the first couple of days of the storm the wind was high. We were not aware until too late that in one area of the high tunnel the plastic was ripped from the rail & wiggle wire. The space was only about 2 feet or so. Through those 2 feet concentrated, wintry air flowed freely down the right side of the high tunnel killing most of the producing peas. Also on the right side was dill that also took a hit. Thankfully, with some time, much of the dill has recovered along with the fennel which happened to be on the left side. The fennel is greening back up beautifully however the bulbs may be stunted. Time will tell. Celery – Chinese Pink & White – had some damage. The rabbits readily accepted those damaged leaves. After some fertilizing with fish emulsion, it also bounced back, put on new growth and much of it is being harvested as needed for customers and for our own personal use.

Our citrus fruit trees that we were storing in the high tunnel certainly did not approve of the cold, specifically the grapefruit tree. She lost all of her leaves however she is putting on new ones. The tangerine tree responded a tad bit better. Pear trees of course are very cold hardy and have since found their forever home on the farm.

Cauliflower, broccoli, and collards planted in the raised beds died. The collards likely because they had been transplanted just a couple of weeks before and had not been established enough to endure. All of these will be restarted from seed this month and planted in February for a Spring harvest.

Mustard greens seemed absolutely unphased by the cold. The existing mustards along with the succession planted younger plants are doing very well. Green mustards are available on the shop page. Mizuna mustard in the high tunnel took off after the freeze. We think it is because the pests that were feeding on it died giving it every opportunity to do what it does best. You can find it now on our shop page.

We were very happy with how well the chickens and rabbits faired throughout the subzero temps. Our Olive Eggers and Easter Eggers both began laying this month. Out of 22 hens all except perhaps one (our rescued Barred Rock who we believe to be too old to lay) are of laying age. With it being Winter of course production is lower. Our new layers are eager to lay so we are getting 8-10 eggs a day. This allows us to have enough for us each week and a couple dozen to share with our friends & subscribers. Considering what is going on in the grocery stores right now, this make us very happy. We will come back to that.

Our Giant Chinchilla buck, Sonny, seems to think I control the weather. During the freezing temps he was very unhappy with me that week, even refusing pets and bunny boops that he usually embraces. Oh how I do wish I had control over the weather! Then again, it maybe best to leave such things out of human control. He has been mated to Cher (Giant Chinchilla) and Sweet Pea (Lionhead/Angora). We hope to have kits in February. It is rather exciting and nerver wrecking to be entering this new arena. We have already experienced some losses which is very sad but that does come with the territory.

From Our Garden To Yours

When we began gardening with just our family in mind, we spent a lot of money on fertilizer. Organic this, organic that… the wallet was broken! While we are not allowed to use it directly on our garden areas due to our CNG certification, you should feel free to. It is not a hot manure and adds valuable nutrients to the garden. With an NPK of 2.4-1.4-.6. it is easy to use and will not burn your crops. If you are looking to grow a Spring garden, now is a good time to work it into the soil. Our rabbit manure is now available for shipping. For local delivery we are offering our rabbit manure tea which we aptly call Bunny Brew by BHG. It is sold by the gallon. It is great for use on your plants as they are in the growth stage however we do not suggest using on leafy greens for contamination issues or any plant that is flowering.

Let us not forget to share with you our eggshells are also available for use in your gardens as well! The average egg shell contains about 0.3% phosphorus and 0.3% magnesium. Although they only have a small amount of sodium, potassium, zinc, manganese, iron and copper it is the high calcium content that makes them so valuable. If you experienced any blossom end rot last season, sprinkle these in your garden beds right away as they do take a while to decompose. We have sped the process up some by decreasing the surface area by pulsing these into fine pieces. If you need immediate assistance you may consider using them to create a tea. We will show you how to do this over on our YouTube channel in the next month. If you have not already, please subscribe to our channel.

Moving Forward

In planning for the new season there is so much we want to do that we are bubbling over with excitement! One thing that is exciting is our Flowers by BHG subscription for Spring 2023. We anticipate many colors and varieties for the upcoming season. We have already planted many bulbing perennial flowers as well as some annuals. Tentatively, the Spring session will run from April 3rd – May 1st. These dates are subject to change depending on weather conditions. Since we are starting early Spring, many of our flowers are being started now and will be grown in Hoopty. Weekly we are starting many seeds to create beautiful arrangements for your homes and businesses. In addition to flowers our arrangements include edible herbs. These are very aromatic and give you the added benefit of use at your leisure. We hope that you will consider signing up for this exciting, educational subscription!

We had to take an extensive break from our MICROgreens by BHG after catching COVID. Thanks to our extremely understanding subscribers we were able to recuperate without the burden of worrying about deliveries. We are happy to announce we are opening up subscriptions again for Spring 2023. Dates for the Spring session will run from April 3rd – May 15th. We love how versatile the microgreen is. All in our family love them. Just the other day our daughter was rummaging the refrigerator looking for some for a wrap. It is a nice way to add a refreshing crisp to sandwiches and wraps.

Eggs are a huge commodity now days. With the avian flu taking out so many bird, prices of eggs are on the rise. As a result many have reached out to us looking to pay cheaper prices. We do need to take a moment and address this. Before the avian flu our large 12 count eggs was already $6. Our entire farm is certified naturally grown. This means everything we grow and everything our chickens eat is certified organic. At this point in life they eat better than us! From the feed to the garden scraps that they receive… everything is organic! Traditional feed prices have been on the rise for a while so imagine what has happened with organic feed prices! For this reason our eggs may seem higher in cost however this does not even begin to cover the cost of feed. It does provide some funds to put back into the feed bill making our chicken operation more sustainable. For now, that is the best we can hope for. We hope that things improve soon with the egg market. We also hope that you understand a little better why our prices are what they are. Although we didn’t go into great detail about wood prices, fencing, and other things that have also been subject to inflation, we think you get the idea.

Prices are all over the place. Up and up (seldomly down)! How would you like to secure your egg prices for six weeks? Well we are happy to announce Eggs by BHG our new egg subscription! Enjoy six weeks of eggs delivered to your doorstep! We are so excited but also very nervous to help our community in this way. We go to great lengths to keep our chickens healthy and happy so they continuously offer us beautiful golden yolks. Since we and our birds are new to this we are starting very small allotment with hope to expand later. You may wonder what is the benefit of the subscription verses buying eggs as needed. One outstanding benefit is that our subscribers get 14 eggs per week instead of 12. That is 2 free eggs each week. If you do the math that is one free dozen of eggs! Our farm is all about spreading knowledge. This subscription also locks you into weekly emails teaching you a bit about your beautiful yolks and how we care for our flocks organically. If this is something you have any interest in, we advise you to secure your subscription right away! In keeping everything as streamline as possible, dates will be April 3rd – May 8th, running alongside microgreen and flower subscriptions. There is a possibility we will do a Fall subscription but that will depend largely on how the hens are doing and how Spring goes. Check out our complete terms and conditions here.

We know we have just thrown a lot of new listings your way but we are not finished yet! If you have interest in flowers, microgreens, and eggs then we would like to offer you our BHG 3-6-5 subscription. It is a bundle of all three subscriptions we currently offer. This subscription saves you $15!

Well, friends, that is all for now. Thank you for you loyal support. Sending well wishes – from our family to yours!


Eggs by BHG

What a joy it brings us to offer this 6 week subscription service from our family to yours! Our hens are the only ones laying Certified Naturally Grown eggs in the state of Alabama! We proudly offer this homegrown goodness to you and yours!

Below you will find what to expect from us and what we expect from you should your sign up. Please read carefully prior to purchasing as purchasing is an agreement to the terms below. Contact us with any questions.

  • Subscription cost is $65.00 for 6 weeks and is non-refundable.
  • Subscription the Spring session will run from April 3rd – May 8th. Dates are subject to adjustment should our hens have an unexpected molt.
  • Due to Alabama Egg Shell Law eggs will arrive washed.
  • You will get 14 large eggs per week. Eggs in this subscription are large which means they weigh about 2 ounces per egg, 28 ounces per package. Colors may include blue, brown, green, pink, and/or white. Please leave a a cooler out the night before to receive these beautiful butt nuggets. If a cooler is not left out your eggs will be left on front porch or other specified location. Please ensure your delivery is taken in promptly as we are not responsible AFTER delivery is made.
  • If you are planning to be out of town on a delivery date we ask that you please give us a 7 day notice so that adjustments can be made. We will ensure that your skipped week (s) is added on at the end of the session. If we are not informed and your eggs are delivered with no one to receive them we are not responsible. That week’s eggs will be forfeited. If a change is unexpected or last minute just inform us as soon as possible.
  • If you have cold or flu symptoms please let us know. We will make your delivery for that week in disposable cartons instead. The following week we will get back on rotation with your reusable carton. Please dispose of disposable carton.
  • Each subscription comes with two complimentary plastic egg cartons that will be labeled for each customer. One we will use weekly to deliver your eggs, the other you will return each week to get your next weeks allotment. This cycle will be done weekly, excluding week one. To be returned at the end of the session.
  • Delivery is included within the Dothan City Limits. If you are not local we would love to be able to accommodate your needs. Please contact us to arrange a convenient drop location prior to purchase.
  • If purchasing as a gift please ensure that the recipients address is within the Dothan City Limits and is informed of these terms and conditions. Please provide recipients contact information including email.
  • Subscribing locks you into our email list. There you will receive notification of delivery, updates to the schedule, and other important news and updates. Please be sure to check your spam folder and add us to your contacts list.
  • Occasionally we may need to reach you by phone. Since we are aware that many of you are working during the day we will do this by text message. Please let us know if you DO NOT TEXT.

If you are ready to join, we advise yo do so as soon as you can. Subscribe here!


The Goings On – December 2022

December has arrived with all of her unpredictable glory. Weather, traffic, growth – no one knows exactly how either will flow. Will it rain? Will it snow? Shall I dawn a hoodie or tank? All that is certain is what has already transpired.

We Planted

We tenderly cared for our Clean Start seedlings yet sadly there were not enough hours on the clock nor energy in our bodies to plant them all before signs of stress began to show. Purple leaves on our brassicas, a sure sign of nutrient uptake issues, whether it be phosphorus or magnesium, were proof we had fallen severely behind. The sooner we could find a forever home for our fledgling plants the sooner they could revive. That was the hope.

We etched out rows in our high tunnel. Each was prepared by adding soil and amending it according to the plants being installed.  On row three we have planted our succession planting of Snow Peas. Planting monthly on the 14th has worked far better than we hoped. This planting included field and high tunnel locations. Currently, our first planting in the high tunnel is at its peak production. Yielding numerous large yet tender, sweet & stringless pods daily. We hope to join forces with our friends & fellow homesteaders to get a few pounds freeze-dried before production slows. Our last succession planting of Snow Peas is February 14th. Only two more sowings.

Succession sowing was the theme of our November planting as we sowed, cauliflower, onions, celery, mustards, collards, and cabbage one progression after the other. The next planting becomes even more hopeful than the foregoing.

On rows four, five, and six uniquely beautiful Chinese Pink Celery & Chinese White Celery have been established with green onions as their companion. In addition to standing guard in protection of the celery, onions have the weighty responsibility of protecting the cauliflower as well. They are doing well against common pests we face in our region. All except the horrific aphid. That nightmare will be revisited shortly.

Green & Red Mustards have been succession sown too. The rapid manner in which these mustard seedlings break the ground is indicative of the growth they will maintain. In just two months our hands will have the pleasure of reaping the benefits of the labor of love that went into augmenting these plants.

Cabbages have been a source of contention personally as I have failed to find success over the last two years with them. This just as I discovered fermenting as an ideal way to preserve them. One may say that is irony at its finest. I am hard-pressed to disagree. However, my tenacity will not allow me to wave the white flag just yet. Ergo, we have set out many cabbage plants in the high tunnel and raised beds. They are putting on new, green leaves free of deficiency as the purple ones fall off. There is a great opportunity for abundance here. Only time will tell.

There are three double rows in total left to be planted in the high tunnel. Whether we allow those to continue to rest or not remains to be seen. Potentially we could add more lettuce, arugula, and/or carrots. There is also the option to try our hands again at more challenging crops for us like Radicchio, Shiso, and/or Endive. Lastly, all three rows could be sowed with spinach, as it takes quite a bit of space to plant enough for our family to utilize AND share with the community. Considering our spinach in the raised beds acquired tip burn with the last frost, this is the most likely option.

We Protected

Each year we become more and more impressed with the resilience that abounds in nature. Working closely with it to grow our food had taught us more than any book ever could.

Resilience, however, in the ownership of some will prove to be problematic for others. Take the aphid. Able to reproduce sexually and asexually depending on the season this pest had become the bane of our existence. Possibly among the insect world’s fastest reproducers, once you see them, it’s beyond challenging, if not impossible to eliminate them altogether. This is where we find ourselves for the third year.

We are not in a position to give up our produce to them. Trust us, if we could we would simply because this feels like an impossible war with odds stacked high against us. How interesting that the superior being falls to the mercy such a tint creature. Instinctively wise because the Creator made it thst way, I cannot be too angry.

The aphid finds safety in numbers. Thus, the most that one can hope to do is to decrease those numbers to a population that will result in the least damage to crops.

After alternating treatments with high-pressure water spraying, DE, & soapy spray barely reduced the aphid inhabitants we realized the need to pivot. We spoke with our friend and entomologist Dr. A. We thought that perhaps some beneficial predatory insects would be an excellent next step. However, the temperatures are prohibitive this time of year. Back to the drawing board. Dr. A suggested we try pyrethrins which we had on hand but hadn’t used because we thought it made the population worse (that is according to a previous conversation we had with Dr. A). Turns out we had it all wrong! Whiteflies tend to become worse with pyrethrins, not aphids. With this clarification, we took to the high tunnel like cowboys at showdown at high noon! Two treatments later and the population has decreased notably. Relief at last!

This will be done regularly as a part of our pest management routine to protect our crops as many are aphid magnets.

We Plan

In just a few short weeks we will begin planting seeds for next Summer’s harvest. This may seem far too early to some but peppers and eggplant tend to grow slower than one would like. We have found that starting these in January increases our chances of being first to market with valuable produce. It is, admittedly, a challenge keeping the plants happy and healthy until late March when we will set them out. We have learned various techniques that increase the likelihood of that happening from trial and error.

Since January is merely two weeks away, we have already begun to map out where the Spring crops will be sown and set out. This time of year you will often find me sitting in Hoopty with my phone and tablet reviewing notes and counting rows. This is my process. It works. It results in a plan that will very likely evolve as one season ends and another begins. As draw the garden in my mind I arrange crops based on what was in location last season & the temperature zone of the row. I ask myself, “Can this be grown in a raised bed instead to save valuable space in Hoopty? What pests attacked this crop last season? Are those pests better or worse in the high tunnel?” I never trust my mind to remember these things so out comes the garden journal. It holds the answers my mind seeks. These records are our data for our corner of the earth and as such, these pages are priceless.

We recently were blessed with several fruit trees that require a home. For now, they have taken up residence in Hoopty. Finding a forever home for them has proven arduous to say the least. Our orchard area is at capacity so we are forced to explore other options for planting. Among the trees are tangerine, pear, and grapefruit. Pear trees have long been desired for the farm. We love eating them fresh and making pies and preserves. We have an existing grapefruit tree that has gone into dormancy, come out, and been moved to a more ideal location. It’s had quite the journey. We hope to have all these planted this month as January tends to be on the colder side in our zone.

New Projects

We have jumped into the arena of making our own Kombucha. Since we’ve begun we have experimented with several flavors. One of our most recent is mulberry ginger. It just went into the refrigerator this morning and will be strained and bottled this evening. The prospect of using our freshly harvested fruit to flavor our home-brewed Kombucha is absolutely thrilling! For now, we are using frozen fruit from the store, dehydrated fruit and herbs from our pantry, and some freeze-dried fruits gifted to us by friends.

We have also begun breeding our rabbits. Our first experience was a little sad, however, expected as our doe was inexperienced. We bred our Lionhead Angora (Sweet Pea) to our Dwarf Angora (Domino). She had a total of 4 all of which died over two days. We recorded some footage for the channel. We have yet determined if we will share it. We also bred our Giant Chinchilla pair. We were certain that Cher was pregnant however she was not. Both does will be bred again in January. The purpose of breeding is to open up a source of income for the farm. Our rabbits contribute their manure for compost, they are companions, and if we are successful in breeding, selling the kits will supplement feed costs for rabbits and chickens.

Obviously, we have been very busy planting, protecting, and planning. There is much more that transpired over the last month. For instance we harvested our Kiwano Jelly Melons before our first frost. Our Chinese White Celery is at the beginning of its harvest period. Since we planted it in succession, it along with the Chinese Pink Celery will be maturing slowly over the next few months. As far as harvests go there is also kale and green onions. So many beautiful vegetables we have been blessed to grow over the years but harvest continues to feel new. This is a life we never knew we needed so much. While our hands seldom rest, you are hard-pressed to find happier ones. I think the ancient Bible writer King Solomon said it best at Ecclesiastes 3:13, ” everyone should eat and drink and find enjoyment for all his hard work. It is the gift of God.”


Fall Plant Sale 2022

Fall is has arrived with all its windy glory. Shades of orange, brown, and red cover most of the once green landscape. Some days it is believable that the current season is Fall, however, others, like today, not so much. Temperatures climbed to the mid-eighties today. Certainly Spring was a more believable season today. It was an ideal day for garden work. If you have prepped an early Fall gardening space then you are likely harvesting select varieties of your bounty already. We admire your diligence and effort. You inspire us! May you and your family enjoy the fruits of your labor!

If you, despite your best efforts, are just getting your Fall garden ready then you are not alone! We too struggled more than we ever have lining up all of our ducks! The goal? To get started early enough to be harvesting now. As you have followed our social media outlets, you know this is not the case for Bain Home Gardens this year! What is that famous saying, “Better late than never!” For us, much Fall planting is just beginning. Although we have more time on our clock due to living in the Southernmost part of Alabama, time was still running out!

In an effort to ensure that this, our last shot at planting before the first freeze, we OVER PLANTED! This purposeful and decisive action worked just as we expected! Plants are growing in ground, in raised beds, and in starter trays! We have an abundance to be sure. We would like to extend our abundance to your gardens this Fall. We had hoped to offer our Clean Starts plants earlier this Fall however issue after issue took out our plant babies. It was very disappointing. Now, however, we do have beautiful , healthy plants looking for their forever home. Our Clean Starts plants are given the same love as everything else we put our hands to. As we continue to plant we may add more plant varieties to the shop depending on space needs. For now we have the following:

  • Purple Caulioflower
  • Yellow Onion
  • Red Giant Mustard
  • Collard Green Mix
  • Chinese White Celery

We will possibly be adding cabbage, kale, and chard in the upcoming weeks. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions! Happy growing – from our family to yours!


The Goings On – November 2022

As the leaves change hues, the wind wakes from her Summer slumber blowing them to the ground. There they find their purpose. Their fall gives life to innumerable microorganisms and insects over the next few months. This is what we’ve witnessed over the last 31 days. Although they have been unbelievably chaotic, this is the way of the farmer.

Planting

Immersing my hands wrist deep in the very elements I am created from brings me a unique tranquility. As I prepare each furrow to receive seed, my mouth naturally forms a smile as I think of my Creator using this soil to craft the first man. The life-giving gift of soil, the blessing to grow – He wanted me to understand the gratification. I do.

October was an exhaustive month of planting. On this, the tenth month, we planted Collards, Kale, Carrots, Fennel, Mizuna, and Lettuce, to name a few. Of these, we are the most eager to harvest Carrots & Kale. These are the choice vegetables of our family. We appreciate their versatility. Carrots may be eaten fresh or cooked, may be shredded into fresh a salad, or baked into an appetizing dessert. Kale is much to the same tune.

Garlic found its place just yesterday. As the many moons circle our great blue ball floating in space, these cloves will secretly spawn something amazing, aromatic, and flavorful just beneath the surface. In just eight moons all secrets will be exposed.

It is a rewarding feeling to attain our planting goals. We take the victory with hands held high and humbled hearts. But rest not, there’s more yet.

Mating Season

Life begets life. That is a fact we have come to appreciate as growers. Expanding our growing knowledge and skill past plants to our farm animals has been enlightening! As our chicken flock has grown, there is a sense of pride as we observe paternal and maternal traits rise to the surface. I think, “I know who your mama is!”

Now we are expanding that love and care into our rabbits. Our rabbits are our babies and they are truly a part of our farm family. We obtained them to eventually breed although in the meantime we have appreciated the donations they readily make to our compost. We have mated our Giant Chinchillas (Sonny & Cher) to each other and our Dwarf Angora to our Lionhead/Angora mix (Domino & Sweet Pea). All signs point to kindling in our near future. In fact, by the time our next blog post is done (December), we should have welcomed the kits into the world. A few of them will be available for forever home placement if things go as planned. We will make an announcement on our social media platforms at said time.

Harvesting

Roselle continues to grace us with bountiful calyces the brightest of scarlet and leaves from fern to emerald. Although harvesting is an arduous task it is well worth the effort. This month the flowers will finally halt blooming and harvest will come to a climactic end giving us further reason to look forward to Spring when we will embrace this bounteous flower yet again.

Arugula & mustards are among the leafy greens the ground has chosen to offer us. Both are peppery, both delicious & dual-purpose. As we harvest it is a reminder to replant. Succession planting ensures there are no gaps in harvesting. Schedules are challenging to adhere to however the benefits, the benefits sustain the farm and this family’s grocery budget.

As November’s 30 days come to pass, we shall have the joy of harvests from our flat-leaf kale varieties, Dill, Red Giant Mustards, radishes, and Snow Peas. Fall potatoes will also be lifted from the earth. We desire to see results far surpassing the meager Summer harvest. Undoubtedly, we will make use of whatever we gain. Whether it be enough for one meal or one serving the fact remains that we laid our hand to do the work of planning, planting, and cultivating. We now have something that we did not have before. For that, we will show ourselves thankful to our Provider.

A Gentle Push or a Shove

This evening was beautiful. White clouds scattered on a blue canvas with orange highlights surrounded us as we began to tackle November’s planting – Cauliflower & Cilantro. Here at my home, fully immersed in my happy place, my garden, I would have a terrible interaction with a neighbor’s dog. For reasons unbeknownst to me, our neighbors choose to walk their aggressive and disobedient (quite possibly untrained) dog off-leash. What this entailed for me this evening is standing frozen on my own corner of the earth listening to the snarling, growling animal state her case. Her owners ran behind her unable to tame or capture her in all her wildness. Laughingly they reassure me she is not aggressive and will not bite. As they continue attempts at apprehending her, my observations are quite contrary to their statements. The hair on her neck is raised. Her tail, straight. Her teeth, bright. All the language of her furry body is deafening, blaring over her barking. I choose to heed her unspoken communication rather than her owners’ dialogue. I stand still. Shortly our daughter charges outside, angry, wearing pieces of a fur suit which confuse the dog long enough to bring our situation to a screeching halt. Everyone is safe. The neighbors and their canine unapologetically exit. I share this story because afterward, I dove deeply into fencing options. It is quite a costly undertaking. We are painfully aware of this as it has been our aspiration for many years. Now, however, faced with such an unsafe set of circumstances we are being forced to consider this option more seriously. We are being shoved. Do we have a choice?

There is a faint message to be heard here. Take the gentle push. Do not wait on the shove. If you have been thinking about growing food for your family, start today. If you want to expand your homestead to include livestock, now is that time. If you want to learn how to can your harvests or what you pick up from the grocery store – hello! In life we often get gentle nudges guiding us in a good direction – not always right or wrong, just appropriate for us at that moment in time. Due to the hectic nature of life and our tendency to reason, we can do it tomorrow or next year we will make the dive, we wait. Procrastinate no more.

As for our shove, we have a plan in place to approach it efficiently. It is our hope you are able to do the same – from our family to yours.

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