Our first farm critter, Colonel Sanders was a rooster we picked up from a couple who listed him in the local paper, as "free to good home, friend and rooster." The kids and I drove up the mountain and spent time with the older couple who were parting with a dear friend. We were certain we could raise this guy, and on the drive down to the canyon where we live I thought to myself, yep, I am a farmer's wife now!
Since Colonel Sanders (who is still thriving with all the harems we have provided), we have built up quite a population for a desert farm. We raise Lamancha goats, Navajo Churro sheep, geese, ducks, chickens, turkeys, and a passel of cats that look like the craziest mix you would ever believe. Somewhere along the way in the past three or so years we have become what we only imagined. We came into this farm with little money, lots of ambition, and a tremendous amount of faith in the Lord. We still have little money, even more ambition and a solid unwavering faith so all has been well.
Last summer we realized that folks began seeing us as the ones to ask farm questions to. We trim all the hooves for the animals, have sheered the sheep together as a family, and when we butcher it is an assembly line process that is quick and efficient.
Yet with our experience growing, I would never have believed that this simple life could be so fulfilling. Last night we ran into a pastor that works as a counselor for a half-way recovery house for men who have been incarcerated. He needed a goat for his recovery house- he said to keep the weeds down. Amos our year old buck was perfect so off Amos went from farm to city dwelling goat. Amos became more that a goat for the men staying at the recovery house. Amos became hope for men that may have never had any real hope before. He was patient with them, and loved attention which seemed to be overflowing. The men built Amos an incredible barn, far better than he had ever lived in while on the Double Nickel. Amos became more than a goat for the men. He became their friend, their confidant, and the reason for going forward.
With Amos we on the Double Nickel have realized something so incredible! This farm isn't just a place to raise animals or produce...no, it is a place to raise animals that build up others in a way that I could never have imagined. I am so thankful to be part of a world that really offers change in troubled times.
As Amos continues his mission, so shall we on the farm.
*I did not list Deep Freeze among the critters we raise as my daughter and I remain distant to her- as her whole purpose is to fill the freezer (in the next week or two).