Reflecting On A Busy And Unusual Spring @HiBar Ranch

I feel like this is the first time I’ve been able to truly sit down and relax with a cup of coffee this whole early spring.  We had intended a big and busy spring due to a planned family reunion here in East Tennessee over the Fourth of July.  However, with Covid-19 we’ve had to postpone the reunion which is very unfortunate.

The flurry of farm life with new babies including ten new baby kids (goats), three new lambs, six new turkeys, seven new puppies and many hatched out chicks and some ducklings, has kept us busy like always.  But, with Covid-19 we’ve drastically ramped up food production and infrastructure to support more significant gardening and much more.

Building raised garden beds, portable turkey, rabbit and puppy tractors, tilling and preparing two massive in ground gardens, planting many new fruit trees, relocating lots of blueberry bushes, milling some massive trees on our portable log mill, installing a large full scale solar system, milking seven of our goats out every morning and processing the milk in our home dairy, restocking our fish pond and beginning the build of #TNTinyHouse2020, a tiny house project going on at our ranch; have all been added to our spring list of to dos.

I am exhausted to tell you the truth.

We are having a cold chill here in the south that hits now through this weekend so I have the wood cook stove going and am going to milk my goats, plant a few potatoes in my tilled garden and sit by my wood stove and relax.

As I type this I ponder, when was the last time I sat down like this to even think and type?

Hasn’t all of our lives changes since the Corona virus struck?  Even us farmers and homesteaders have had to kick our game up about ten notches to prepare for this.  We’ve been quarantined at our farm since early March.  We have family at our multi-generational farm, that really can not afford to be in the line of sight of this virus.  So, home baking is a daily thing.  There is no running to the store to restock on bread and chips.  We home bake and scratch cook every single day.

So, what are some of the interesting things we’ve learned while quarantining?  Well, we are sure glad we have meat in our freezer, that’s for sure.  We’ve also been told it’s near impossible for folks to get their hands on freezers to buy if they butcher their own meat.  Literally, folks have searched within a five hour driving radius from their house, all over the country, with no freezers available to buy.

Think about that?  That is crazy.

But, who’d have thought that farmers would have to be throwing out their milk and killing their livestock due to meat butchering and packing plants shutting down?

I mean really? Who could have envisioned any of this?

Well, for me…..I am going to sit a little longer by my wood cook stove here and appreciate the smell of fire, enjoy the warmth on my skin, listen to some beautiful big band and Frank Sinatra for a bit, while I sip my coffee.

Does that sound like a pre-1950’s moment?  Well, sure it does.  And, I am not that old. LOL.  But, in times like these when the world has stopped, I feel a wood cook stove, some good swing music from the 1940s and coffee is just about as perfectly fitting as I can imagine.

I hope you all enjoy your day and are thankful for the ability to slow down for a bit yourselves.

Stay positive and safe out there.


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