'Tis the season for best and worst of 2011 lists. And boy do I love lists! Farmer John and I spent some quality time in the car this past week, and we ruminated over the past year. What we kept coming back to was how much we learned this year. The following is an annotated list of some of the things we've learned this year - in no particular order.
- How to make "no-knead" bread - thanks to new friends at the very beginning of the year.
- How to make rabbit pot pie - I also learned that I really enjoy rabbit.
- Our knowledge of raising chickens grew exponentially - meat birds in 2012?
- How to build a cattle chute - thanks again to Farmhand Rich who saved the project.
- Straw mulch is worth the investment - gardening was more of a joy than a chore this year.
- How to blog - many thanks to you for reading (and commenting)!
- How to stabilize a falling-down walking bridge - call on friends for engineering and emotional support!
- We gained more inspiration for full-time farming - another goal for 2012?
- How to raise a calf with BVD (Bovine Viral Diarrhea) - we'll miss you shaggy girl.
- Farmer John is still learning about teaching middle school - a sense of humor is a must.
- How to fix a small engine for a wood splitter- thanks to Joe Lasure for all he taught us about engines.
- We learned more about gas pipelines than we ever thought possible - or wanted to in the first place.
- How to make a slanted building level - easier than first expected.
- Cut wood early - we knew this, we're learning to actually do it.
- How to buy a bridge and install abutments for it - also, measuring said bridge is extremely important.
Finally, most importantly, we learned we have to take care of each other. Yes, it means the obvious, Farmer John and I are partners and we have to work together and care for one another. But it is bigger than just the two of us. We have learned this year how necessary it is for neighbors, friends, and family to help, protect and love each other. At times, it has come up and smacked us in the face. We couldn't run this farm without our neighbors, friends, and family. We couldn't cope with heartbreak and grief without our neighbors, friends and family. We wouldn't have as much joy in our life without our neighbors, friends and family.