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Rats, Opossums, and Spreadsheets

Every time I go into the shed I find more evidence of a rat who has clearly taken up residence. It’s a fine reminder to refill the poison traps both in there and outside the chicken coop. Whenever I go to water the bulbs and seeds in the hoop house, I find more bulbs pulled from the soil. Now I need to get chicken wire around the sides of the hoop house to keep out rabbits and whatever other animals might find that warm microclimate welcoming in the cold to come.

Last night as I went to collect eggs and close the access door to the chicken run, I was greeted by a clever opossum, who I soon realized after kicking him out of the coop, had actually taken up residence right under the coop. I set up the live trap near the coop, dumped some cat food inside, and waited until morning. I can now confirm that we no longer have an opossum under the hen house…unless there was more than one…crap…I guess I need to set the trap again tonight.

These are all constant reminders that winter is on its way and we are woefully unprepared. We still need to clean up our field and store our drip irrigation. We need to clean and organize the shed and prepare for the workshop that we hope to build inside it come spring. We need to beef up our predator protection in the hen house. And the list goes on and on. Audra keeps telling me that she’s glad that I get to handle all the “gross farm stuff.” She’s been hunched over a computer for hours every week writing business plans and making spreadsheets. I think I might prefer burying the opossum, actually. Maybe this is why we make a good team.

We have marked a few things off the “Holy Crap We Need to Get This Done Before It Snows” List. We tucked in 40 bare root peony plants this past weekend with hopes of them producing large, bursting blooms in three years. The anemones finally made their appearance. We are also working behind the scenes with some exciting gift ideas for those interested in buying local and beautiful this Christmas season. We have a lot in the works around here. To tell you all of it might impress you, or bore you, or make you realize how much you DON’T want to start your own business. But we’re plugging away, thankful for all we have accomplished this year, and mindful of all that still needs done around here.

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