Flat Tires and Farm Conferences

Okay.  I know, I know.  It’s been a while and I haven’t been writing like I said I would.  I’ve got a bunch of great excuses (at least to me they’re great) but that’s all they are…  excuses.

If something is truly important to you, you don’t put it last on your list and let everything that comes up get in your way.  It’s called priorities.  And obviously mine are a little skewed.  I’ve always been this way though (yet another excuse).  The house would have to be cleaned, laundry done, bills in order, yada, yada, yada before I’d consider “me” time.  Not today.  Go play little dust bunnies, I have better things to do!

We’ve had a few vehicle fiascos lately.  Luckily at least one truck was running while the other was down.  I think we had a truck down for at least  a week or two.  Stupid sensors go out and your truck quits running.  You have to pay for a computer to tell you what’s wrong.  Gone are the days when you could fix the truck yourself.  Not that I personally ever worked on a truck, but you get my point.  Todd could fix all our old vehicles, but these newer models you need a college education to repair them.  Or that handy dandy computer.  Front ends start shaking and tie-rods and struts need replaced.  Exhausts are due to be replaced.  Does it ever end?  I love the fact that at least one of our trucks is paid off, but it’s starting to get a little old and needing some TLC.  Then one night you are shopping and go out to see your truck leaning heavily to one side.

Flat rear tireFlat front tire     

You have not one, but two flat tires!!!  Not to mention a trunk load full of groceries.  But on the bright side, it was during that polar vortex so the temps were in the negatives.  No chance of thawed ice cream!  So almost a month after we replaced all the tires, we had to replace two of them again.  Argh.

On a brighter note, we attended the OEFFA conference in Granville this year.  Lots of different classes to choose from, lots of networking opportunities, and all kinds of farm stuff. 

OEFFA entry

I was the lucky one who got to attend all the “business” side of stuff workshops.  Agricultural easements, diversification and success of your farm business, marketing your farm, and federal farming programs.  I learned a few things that may help us out.  Nik hung out with me on the second day and attended the federal farming program with me.  It was hosted by Kathleen Merrigan who served as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture from 2009 to 2013.  She was named as one of Time magazines “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2010.  While we were in the class, there was a heckler!  At a farming convention, really?  But it made for a little bit of excitement and we both got a laugh out of it.

USDA conference 

Nik was in charge of attending the workshops focused on food production.  He said that he pretty much knew all that the instructors had covered so he figured he’d take my classes with me because that was stuff he didn’t know!  This kid knows his seeds and plants.  Ask him a question, I dare you.  That’s why we’re leaving him in charge of the garden.  It’s in good hands.  But we still have to help with weeding and harvesting.  Although we have to be careful because he’s got it all planned out so that he can save seeds to exchange with other seed savers, preserve some heirlooms, and to create his own seed lines.  Guess that could be a whole story on its own!

Todd and Lexie attended the “fun” classes about heritage poultry and a sustainable flock.  Okay, maybe it was serious business, but anytime you’re dealing with animals, it’s fun!

Todd and Lexie at OEFFA

And of course one of the best things about conventions is the exhibit hall!  All kinds of information, farming books (yes, I’m a non-fiction/documentary geek), t-shirts, tools, food samples, livestock products, and seeds.  You know where Nik was.  Hanging out at the seed booth.  Those ladies were ecstatic to see him coming.  I think he almost bought them out!

OEFFA Exhibition Building

Lexie got to meet Jim Adkins, who started the Sustainable Poultry Network and knows Dave Holderread of Holderread Waterfowl Conservation and Preservation Center in Oregon.  Dave is her hero and she wants to raise poultry like he does when she is out on her own.  But since meeting Jim, she says she’d be good going around and talking to people about preserving the heritage breeds of poultry and being a poultry judge too.  She’s going to be a busy girl! 

Both of my kids are pursuing their dreams.  Makes a momma proud!!!  I guess we are really lucky because all of our dreams seem to tie together.  Which is wonderful for our little family farm!♥♥♥

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