We're back.  I promise!  And although we're a little late, I thought we could relaunch the Early Bird Ranch blog with a posting of things we are thankful for, because right now they are many!

First, we are thankful to live in a farm community that supports each other.  We've been working with a number of other local farms, including Harley Goat Farm, Blue House Farm, Flygirl Farm, 5th Crow Farm, Pie Ranch, Markegard Family Grassfed, and Fat Cabbage, plus, of course, Left Coast Grassfed.  It's a real blessing to feel connected to other farms and to develop a network of interdependence.  Farming is not a lifestyle that thrives on isolation--and we're lucky to have such great neighbors for shared sales opportunities,  "recycled" food streams for our pigs, companionship, inspiration, and baby-loving.  Here's a picture of our hens greatly appreciating some Blue House Farm greens!

Grandma helps Kevi clean a pumpkin!
Second, we are thankful for family, and all the support we've seen in the past several months.  Kevi has had a constant stream of grandparents, uncles, aunties, cousins, great-godmothers, great-aunts, and more visiting and helping out with the ranch (or with the baby, so we can work!).  My mom in particular impressed us with her ability to do a load of laundry, teach Kevi a new skill ("High Five!"), cook dinner, and vacuum our carpet all in the time it took us to do chores.  A special shout-out to Kevin's cousin/godmother Dede and her daughter Megan who joined us for turkey sales!

Third, we are thankful for the chance to raise our son on the farm.  Every day I'm struck by how even at this young age his life is shaped by our choice to be on the farm.  Already he is enamored with the animals and has shown a tremendous amount of patience, curiosity, and enthusiasm for this life.  He loves to simply watch the hens going about their business, and often we can calm his crying by taking him to the window and pointing out a rogue, escaped hen (about the only time I'm thankful for rogue hens, trust me!).  Here he is with possibly his favorite of the farm's animals, Gus--our half Pyrenees, quarter Akbash, quarter Anatolian puppy.  If you're not sure what that means, I feel all I need to say is that in this picture he's only 6 months old...

Last, we are thankful for the sense that the future is bright and open to us.  We look forward to a year of just being farmers--not starting a farm business, moving halfway through the season, or having a baby (although we'll keep the one we have!).  I'm so excited to see how great Early Bird Ranch can be next year when we focus our energy on streamlining and perfecting the business we have now.  Pigs and turkeys, I have plans for you, let me tell you!