Howdy friends. Welcome to the last day of 2012. I can honestly hardly believe another year has passed. I am sorry my blog posts have been few and far between. Life is just really busy around here, and honestly I’m not the greatest at blogging about day in day out stuff. If you know me at all you know I love to talk and will chat with you for hours about my life, the farm, how I’ve adjusted to being a country girl from a suburban girl yada yada yada – but to type it all and make it sound interesting? I don’t know if I have that skill. If you want to know about any of the aforementioned items – email me and we can chat. I love my life, every second of it, and I love to talk about it!
So as I sit here in my living room, watching the wind blow the snow around outside I’m reminded of how wonderful this year was. God has honestly blown my mind in His ways of blessing us, even in disguise. We definitely had our share of hard times this year. Farming is no easy life let me tell you. It’s a total gamble. Crops could fail, animals die tons of variables are in this profession – but God is our Sustainer and He gives us enough. I thought I’d review some of the highlights of this year with you all. Some of these events are personal and nonfarm related, some are solely farm related, but all played a part in this past year.
In January of this year my amazing husband and I decided to take a trip to Florida to visit my family there. We spent a week in the Sunshine State soaking up the rays in Panama City and Jacksonville. On the way home we stopped in and visited my cousins in NC and the Salatin family in Virginia. I had never been to Polyface before so it was so nice to get to meet the people who I have heard so many stories about. We got to help them move pigs down the mountain and I got to drive the big truck down the hill! When we returned it seemed like we blinked and it was into February we went. In the beginning of Feb we went to the PASA conference. Heritage Farm is a member of this organization and it was a great conference. Pete spoke at 2 preconference tracks with Daniel Salatin and moderated Daniel’s other talk during the conference. I thoroughly enjoyed Sheri Salatin’s marketing preconference track. It was so informative and got my mind running with new ideas! During the conference we had a family/business meeting and discussed some new ideas for the year and were ready to start them when we got home. One of those ideas was to add 2 new Buying Clubs to our delivery route. We started a South Hills one and a Greensburg one. And boy –oh-boy- have they taken off. We are so blessed by these people who have become part of our lives and business. We want to be their primary source for food – because we know that by buying from us they are providing food that they can know is healthy and beneficial for their families. As March rolled around we continued to get into gear for the upcoming spring. Calves were being born, pigs getting bigger, chickens in the grass…. So much good stuff happening, and remember folks by March I was 5 months pregnant!!! April was a fun month. If you’ve read my prior posts you’d remember what happened that lovely April 20th. That was when a bear came and scared our yearlings so that they ran out of their field and through miles and miles of terrain. I will never ever forget being 5 ½ months pregnant and hiking all those miles. I honestly don’t know how I did it. It was crazy. But God sustained us and got our cows back to us. In May I took Pete out for his birthday. He chose to eat at Cure – one of our restaurants we service in Pittsburgh. That was a meal I will never forget. They served us our pork and chicken and a plethora of appetizers and desserts. We loved every bite. And just so you know, #1 – the chef Justin Severino is not serving chicken until spring when he can get our fresh chicken. Also, #2 – Cure was listed in Bon Appétit magazine as one of the 50 top new restaurants in the US! In June we got really rocking with full farm stuff. I mean it’s a mad house over here then! Let alone when you’re 8 months pregnant with a baby that moves CONSTANTLY!! Pete’s goal was to get all hay making done before the baby was born. That’s a lot of hay to make before July; enough to feed all the cows and donkeys through the winter. He worked tirelessly doing it.
Small side comment: I love my husband. He worked oh so very hard to make sure everything was taken care of during my pregnancy. He knew that I would need him a lot when the baby was born and so he took great care in making preparations for that. Also I want to say that I love my church. My pastor and his wife took it upon themselves to fill in all the gaps of things that we needed before our baby came. They saw our need and without hesitation came in and helped. We went from having little more than a crib and a pack of diapers and some blankets to a fully functional nursery and full clothing repertoire. Our church truly blessed us beyond words this year.
June was also fun because it’s full out Farmers Market Season! Anna and I usually maintained the Clarion one (because Pete was making hay all the time!) It was fun to get to see all the customers and get to talk to them. Then came July. Our sweet little baby was a stubborn little bugger (for good reason) and was in the breech position – so I had to have a c-section delivery on July 6th 2012. Micah Samuel Burns was 7lb 14oz and 21 inches long. He is our little man, and the cutest baby ever. I’m partial I know. From the day we came home from the hospital Micah was a farm boy. It wasn’t even a week after he was born that we had him and I sitting in our chair at the garden as the family picked summer veges and fruits. We would sit in our chair across the field from the team as the processed chickens each Wednesday. After a good number of weeks off I was reinstated to help process them and Micah would sit in his carseat and watch us (actually he slept). In August we had our first annual Heritage Harvest Dinner. That was a BLAST! We had 4 families come up and spend the day at the farm. They toured everything, activities for the kids, and then we cooked them a full farm fresh meal! It was wonderful. We plan to do it again this August. In September Pete and I celebrated 1 year of marriage. I could never have dreamed of a better husband. He respects, honors, cares, dotes, loves and cherishes me. He is my prince and I am so blessed to have him. We went up to Presque Isle for our anniversary and sat on the beach for a few days. That was so relaxing and fun! In October we wrapped up processing for 2012. It was a busy year for us with chickens. We had some set backs and then ended up wishing we’d done more! You never know what you’ll have with a farm! I also started baking for our buying clubs in October. I am trying to earn enough money to send Pete on a mission trip to New York City with our church in Feb. In November we had to do an emergency run to VA to get more turkeys because we oversold ourselves. So Micah got his first interstate trip! He did great! The holidays bring about a flury of activity for us over here. Pete and I process deer for a man who taught Pete when Pete was 12 years old. So after a flash of Thanksgiving celebrations in the Mon Valley of PA (my family) to Albany NY (Pete’s mom’s family) we started that for a few weeks. Into December we went. We could hardly believe that December was already here! In December we had a few firsts. Micah ate soft solids, met his cousins from NM, my parents came up for the first time this year and Micah got 2 teeth! We enjoyed a visit by his sister, her husband and their 4 kids. Their youngest is a month older than Micah so the two baby boys had a good time meeting each other. We also had a baby chick problem so 500 chicks had to come live in my living room for 2 weeks. Yeah that was fun. Christmas was great. We delivered meals to shut ins in our community and had a get together with Pete’s family. Last weekend we had the annual tradition of my family’s HUGE Christmas celebration at my parents house. It is always so nice to get to see all my aunts, uncles and cousins for a fun filled evening. And now we’re here. And tomorrow starts another year.
As I reflect on all of the activities of this past year. I am reminded of a question that my pastor asked in discussion a few weeks back. What is enough? This is a highly personal question and everyone’s answer is different. What is enough house? What’s enough money? What’s enough groceries? What’s enough debt? What’s enough stuff? What’s more than enough? What’s not enough? For me I can say that God has blessed us with enough. We have enough food for ourselves, house for our family and friends, and more than enough love so that we can share it with others. I hope that your year was as fun filled as mine and that you’ll take a moment and think on what is enough. Remember that God is Sovereign and His will is to bring Glory to Himself. Period. Have a fantastic day.