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You can do too much, you can try too hard. Prompted by a post from my friend Dave, at Wrong Direction Farm (, I stopped to consider what I have learned from trying too hard to be an all-inclusive “real farm”. Too many fruit tress planted, some in the wrong locations, sheep that gird these same fruit trees when they were suppose to eat only the grass. Hawks killing chickens, Coyotes killing the geese, Groundhogs in the garden, red cedar rust on apple trees and too many red cedars to cut them all down (but enough for some fine fence posts!). Too many bee hives to maintain.

I have had to learn to scale back and sharpen my focus. This last year has seen real progress with my honey bees (now only four hives instead of eight) and a new flock of chickens. The chickens are now safe in the orchard with electric fencing and hawk netting over the entire orchard (50 x 200 feet - quite the job). I sold the sheep and I am planting currants (red, black, and champagne) and gooseberries in their pasture. More Jams in the future!

I am looking for a more enjoyable and manageable farm enterprise and that requires a sharper focus on what is realistic and practical. As winter approaches, I will rest by the fire and revisit my dreams and plan to work more with what I already have!

I trust in the slow work of nature and of God.


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