Twenty years from now when we look back, most of us will remember 2009 as the year milk prices collapsed. Some probably don't want to remember 2009 at all. Here's my list of what we'd like to remember when we think about 2009:
- The safe arrival of our beautiful daughter, Monika, and the calmness she offers to counteract her brother's intensity.
- My grandfather's passing. The shock of his sudden departure was softened by the knowledge that his passing was the way he wanted it to be – quiet, at home, and un-fussed over.
- We finally met our goals of filling the barn, filling the tank and achieving a pregnancy rate of 25%.
- Heifer calves! During our first three years farming, we averaged a heifer calf birth rate of 30%. Last year we finally crept up to 50% heifer calves. This year it felt like we had heifer calves coming out of our ears. When the numbers were tallied at the close of the year, we ended up with 66% heifer calves.
- Despite the summer's odd weather, we were able to harvest enough forages to meet our needs for the coming year (and then some!), which will make 2009/2010 the first year we won't have to buy hay.
- A brighter view and a warmer house: we took advantage of the Project Reenergize grant program to replace about half of the windows in our house. The day after the new windows were installed we turned the thermostat down six degrees. We weren't exaggerating when we used to tell people heating our house was like heating a corn crib. Besides improving our heating efficiency, the new trim on the windows gives our house a whole new look.
- We finished the pit project. Finally.
- We took our first get-away together since we started farming.
I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but Dan's nap timer is going off, so it's time for me to wrap this up.
What will you remember about 2009?