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Colonel's Blog, Earthdate 10 Jan 2023...

Hey Y'all!! Happy Tuesday!

Good morning from Air2Ground Farms! Mornings like this one (39 degrees and sunny, on its way to 60 degrees and sunny) make up for the dreadfully cold mornings a month ago. The animals are good today. Yesterday, we made a new paddock for the milk cows and let them out to forage a bit on winter stockpile. They were both quite excited. Happy ran, hopped, and generally kicked up her heels. Massively pregnant Big Betty even kicked up her heels, although not quite as high as Happy! Also yesterday, I began the process of clearing the high-tensile fence line. I have an industrial-size weedeater with a blade attachment that allows me to act as a miniature bush hog. I am able to effectively clear the briars, but it is slow going. I got one gate and about 50' cleared yesterday. We did a bit more tax prep--seems never ending, I would rather clear fences! We also made a gallon of yogurt--now that's making yogurt! Up until yesterday, we were making yogurt in little 4 oz containers. Now that we have our own milk, we are scaling up to a gallon at a time. We also set out some milk to make 'clabber,' something you cannot do with store-bought milk. Today we are going to build some shelves and hang hooks in the milking barn. We have used it enough now to figure out where to add these things to make our life easier. We will also begin building the next paddock for the ewes and rams. We decided to split one of the pastures in half and rotate the sheep halfway through our 'hay-feeding' season. We want them moved by the end of the week. We will also make something with milk, probably more yogurt and cheese. If time allows, tax prep and fence clearing. The top pic is the beef cows enjoying freshly unrolled hay. The bottom one is one of the new calves and her mom.

Yesterday I mentioned that we think 'time' is an unfair advantage for us so I wanted to briefly discuss time. When I decided to retire from the USAF, I was in a position that was very marketable to the defense industry, either as a government civilian or even more so as a defense contractor. I think I could have secured a salary that was double what I was making as a Colonel. As Shelley and I discussed our next moves in life, we obviously discussed this possibility. Our conversation finally got to the heart of the matter when she asked me what I would want to buy with additional income. Without thinking I blurted "Time!" In my mind I was thinking of vacations, weekends, general 'time off.' That led the conversation down the path of introspection that I was working 60-70 hours a week, commuting over 2 hours a day in Washington DC traffic, in order to pay for the ability to have some amount of time off. That gave us pause and we thought a lot. Ultimately, we decided to look at a possibility of a completely different life. What if we reduce our bills as much as we are comfortable with and find a low cost of living area... Can we live off of military retirement and have as much 'Time' together as we want?? The answer was Yes! So in our case, I say I 'bought' time with my family at the cost of whatever potential income awaited me after retirement. We couldn't be happier. This lifestyle in this part of this state is amazing and I wouldn't change it for a second.

Local Farm Report for 9 Jan 2023


28 Chicken eggs

10 Duck eggs

3 1/4 Gallons of milk


25 meat chickens reserved for spring harvest

Cheers! Rich & Shelley

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