This month, two new critters joined the family. Shadow, a female German Shepherd, came into the family on April 30th and Robespierre, a gray tiger striped cat, joined us on May 8th. They both integrated so well into the family it feels as if they've been our pets forever. I've never owned a kitten before. My last cat, Baloo, was already an adult when I adopted her out of the town animal shelter. Kittens are amazing. Annoying, fun, delightful and sweet all in one. Shadow tolerates her new companion fairly well, although I'm nervous about how she 'plays' with the tiny gray fluffball. Pierre is pictured here. Who can resist that gaze?
The farm continues to flourish. We added hazelnut bushes to the orchard this week, so if the squirrels, bears and birds don't get them, we'll have bushels of delicious nuts to add to the fruits. I've got the tomato plants going well in pots out back, joined by cucumbers and herbs. Next year we'll plant a huge garden and I'll preserve the harvest, but this year we're still settling in. The stones arrived for the walkways and John was finishing up the mulching and landscape fabric today while I worked.
I don't know what it is that drives me to want to raise most or all of my own food. It's always been a dream of mine, over and above simply owning a hobby farm. The fact that the beef defrosting in my fridge right now grew just up the road at the Hertzler's farm, so I know where it came from and what they fed it, the fact that the basil gracing the top of my eggplant parmiagiana served last night at dinner was growing right outside my back door...there is a feeling of security and safety that I can't explain as I dream of harvesting the fruits of our labors. Adding chickens and dairy goats would be the ultimate dream for me. I imagine creating delicious dinners from food we grew ourselves...fried chicken marinated in buttermilk from the goats, served with a side of green beans and salad grown in our garden, washed down with wine pressed from grapes grown on our land...I dream of all of this and in baby steps we make our dreams come true here at Seven Oaks!