I haven’t updated the blog lately due to the craziness that is our ranch right now. However, I was thinking tonight that maybe I should share what is going on so that when people read our blog and have troubles they know they are not alone.
Owning a ranch is not easy…everyone knows that. We are lucky to have many more ups than we do downs but lately life has been piling on the downs. Jeremy has been working a lot lately to the point where he is gone more than he is home. It is hard to hold down the ranch, three kids and all the summer activities without losing my mind. I am grateful for my friends and family that know when to step in and help without me asking. Even if it is coming over and just chatting.
Let us start with our water situation. We live in a remote area in the Sierra Nevada’s in California and are on a well. When we moved here we knew that the well wasn’t great, there wasn’t a lot of pressure and it would take FOREVER to fill our holding tanks. Well, the situation has gotten worse and we have had days where NO water is pumping out of the well. That isn’t good when you have animals, plants and people that depend on water. Our good friends came over and they pulled the well pump and come to find out…it is undersized and not just by a little bit. We found out we have a 1/3hp well pump and it has to pump 250 feet to get to the holding tanks. What does that mean? It is burning up the motor before the water even gets out of the well! So now we are trying to save for a new well pump along with all the items that go with dropping in the pump. In the mean time, we are trucking in water 350 gallons at a time from our friend’s house. Thank goodness for our friends!! I decided against a garden this year because of the lack of water. It is really sad to see the dust in the back of the house that used to be a lush garden but we have no choice.
The next situation is the power. We live 100% off-grid, the closest power pole is over a mile from our home. So we have solar panels, inverters, a huge battery bank and a 15kw propane generator. About two winters ago, we lost half of our solar panels to the snow load. Luckily they were not damaged but the structure was. So we have been running off of one panel and the generator. Well, the generator decided to stop working. So we have one panel and no generator. We hooked our smaller gas generator up so I have to turn it on and off every night to make sure our battery bank is charged. It is such a waste of money but the big generator is going to cost so much money to fix. So we have to make do with what we have.
Oh and now to the crows…yes CROWS! They are breaking into the chicken coop and stealing eggs! They are here at about 5:30am and then off and on all day long. It is so upsetting and I wish I could make them POOF and be gone!
Other than having little water and little power, everything else is going great. Our first set of American Guinea Piglets are doing and they are all sold except for one. They will be going to their new homes mid-August. The dairy goats are all loving summer and have been producing lots of milk. The babies are running around like little sprites and are so sweet. It will be hard to sell some of them but I know they need to go to make more room for new pedigrees. Our chickens, despite the crow issues, are doing great and laying beautiful, rich eggs. The Delaware and Jersey Giant chicks are growing fast and will be ready in a few more months for processing.
I know that we have to take the good with the bad so I am trying to look at the bright end of thing and I also know we always get through trying times. I hope that by sharing my trials I encourage others that are having hard times to keep trucking through. I know it is easier to throw in the towel and run back to the city but we are determined to make a better world for our children, to provide healthy, real food for our community and teach our children that hard work is good.