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Cowgirls Don't Cry

It's not all baby goats, sunshine, and flowers.

While most of this homestead life is beautiful, it is also work. Sometimes things work well, or don't work out at all. Sometimes Mother Nature has plans for you that you disagree with, whether you are a novice like ourselves, or a professional. You can't always be in control, and homesteading, husbandry, or farming will test your patience at times (just about daily).

We recently invested in a very reasonably priced starter greenhouse for our seedlings. We say this because on the spectrum of greenhouses you can spend anywhere from $25 to $3,000 or more. It was an upgrade for our at home purposes, much nicer than our homemade tarp covered basement situation from the year prior.

So far, it had been working fabulously. It is about the size of a Rubbermaid shed, and held many trays of seed starters. Whenever we entered, it was warm, humid - a little oasis for the garden plants. We ensured that the sides were weighted down with rocks, as the structure itself was pretty light-weight.

Alas, that's the kicker with farming. Every time you think to yourself, "that's good enough" remember that you are wrong, and should then review and reinforce at least twice more before believing that it truly is good enough. This applies to fencing, cleaning, caring, organizing, and securing - the major facets of husbandry.

Unfortunately, we found this morning that our rocks were not quite heavy enough to hold down the fort.

When the Homestead Husband went out to open the barn for the day, he discovered that our pretty little greenhouse, full of happy growing plants, had been blown over and strewn about the yard. Son of a biscuit.

This is really heartbreaking for us. The seeds, 170+ of them, had been growing for weeks. We ordered specialty ones, and now have none left to reseed. We used heirloom seeds from our own plants that we harvested last summer and saved for months. It is a lot of wasted effort, time, materials, and money. It's wasted food that was preparing to grow. And, now we're behind on a project in the midst of the busiest farming season of the year - Spring. Your corn can't be "knee high by the fourth of July" if you don't plant it at the right time. We're already overbooked with coop remodeling, barn building, pond pump engineering and landscaping, glamper projects, and waiting for the ground to thaw so we can fence a goat pen. Nevermind the wine waiting to be bottled, and the faucet in the bathroom that just busted -Arghh!

While it isn't quite as serious a loss of livestock life, it is still loss of growing life. We were both quiet this morning after the discovery was made, like we are most times when we find a misfortune on the "farm". This year alone, we lost 5 chickens over the course of the winter. We meditated on the frustration of the whole thing... Wishing we had done things different, wishing we had set aside some of the specialty seeds we ordered, or used tent stakes to secure the greenhouse...

The thought then occurred to me that when we started this whole thing, we didn't know what we were doing. We are by no means professionals today. We know a lot more than we used to, but there's always room to grow, room to learn more, and learn from our mistakes. When we started sharing about it, we said "adventures and misadventures" in homesteading. This time we fell off our metaphorical horse, but the only way to become more proficient at something, is to get back on and try again.

So, we'll reseed this week. Reorder the specialty varieties, and savor them that much more. We'll ensure the greenhouse is more solid than a rock. We'll pick up some started plants at a local greenhouse if we have to. In the meantime, we'll watch our flower bulbs keep popping up and preparing to open.

We hope that if you find yourself in a similar situation, that you think on this. Homesteading is absolutely the most grounding, humbling experience we've enjoyed, but it is challenging at times. It's a big commitment, and unless you are determined, you may not get the chance to see the fruits of that labor. Know that things happen. It's okay. Don't give up. In the words of Brooks & Dunn, and the solo verse by the great Reba McEntire, "if you fall get right back up, cowgirls don't cry".


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