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Thursday, November 7, 2019

We're not that kind of farm

We're not THAT kind of farm. Ok, I supposed technically we're a "ranch", but our name is Arella Farm, therefore the whole farm stigma. Yes, we did that to ourselves. It got it's name from us, but come on, Arella Ranch would have sounded funny and would border on a tongue twister at that. But, I digress, no, we don't grow anything. Our job is to do our best to keep things fed, healthy, and generally happy. That's it. No yummy vegetables or fruit, though we do have one pear tree in the field, but that's not what we're TRYING to do here, it just happens to be here. I'm certain an accidentally fruit tree does not count as farming per se.

By now I'm sure you're wondering why I'm going on and on about defining who we are. It's our neighbors, I'm afraid. I don't actually know them. I really don't even think of them as human. Our neighbor is a field. You see, there's no house there, just the field, and I've never seen anyone out there personally. I'm certain some unseen humans are tending to the field from time to time because there are things growing in that field. Once a year the things growing in that field are plowed down for whatever reason. It is then that I wish my neighbors were as self contained with their "farm" as we are with our "ranch". We would never allow our animals to roam about the neighborhood reeking havoc on other's people's property, but this "field neighbor" of mine clearly does not share my values.

Every fall thousands of visitors invade our home from the now naked field. They are quite intrusive and, quite frankly, don't smell good either. The wander about our home as if it were theirs with their orange bodies and black spots. It is for this reason that I considering becoming an advocate for the first ever LADYBUG LEASH LAW. Whose with me? Anyone?

Disclaimer: I truly hope all American farmers AND rancher thrive in achieving the American Dream. I share my temporary misery only in the name of fun.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Our new lifestyle of alpaca ranching

When the notion first hit us to become alpaca owners, there were a lot of decisions to be made. First of all, would be where to put them. At that time we lived inside city limits of a town right outside of Memphis, TN. Needless to say, farm animals are not readily accepted in subdivisions nor would they have the room they required to graze in the confines of a well manicured but small backyard. So what to do? Move, of course! So, move we did, out to a small farmhouse in a little known town in North Mississippi.

We found ourselves purchasing this house that needed more work that I care to admit on a nice parcel of land large enough to make our alpaca dreams come true. Problem was there were no fences whatsoever on this property. With the help of our "gateway farm" as I fondly refer to them, we discovered that we would need "no climb" fencing to keep our soon to arrive fibery babies safe from predators. With the help of a now worn out credit card, we also found out how much the aforementioned fencing costs, along with T posts and the like. It's funny how a new lifestyle can shift your perspectives. Seriously, I once looked at houses with three car garages and two stories and thought "they've got some money in that household", but NOW I look at miles of fenced pastures with multiple farm gates and think "they're loaded.. their last name must be Rockefeller!"

I additionally developed a new appreciation for modern plumbing with the move. I never had a septic tank or electric water pump before. I have them both now. After the first storm that knocked out the power here, I was mortified to learn that one cannot get the toilet tank to refill if one has no power! Can you believe it? ONE FLUSH!! That's all you get! Having electricity every morning prior to work is now on my permanent prayer list as I typically like to go to work after showering. Yes, there's a huge bucket of water beside my refrigerator, just in case, but probably not shower worthy.

I'm convinced that our new home was built by oompa loompas. You know, those little orange guys that work in the chocolate factory? This has GOT to be where they laid their heads at night after eight long hours of dumping sugar and rescuing small children from certain peril. Why do I think that? Well, mostly because my vanities in both bathrooms are roughly 4 feet high. My back aches after brushing my teeth. Just replace them, right? Well, no, because the electrical outlets are just above them. To replace them would be to move electricity as well.

THIS is truly how the alpaca owner dream began for us. Stay tuned for my next blog, where I'll share more.