When we started out at the farm , every where we turned there was a lot of work to do. Not that we are any where close to being done, but things are starting to look good .
We know that we are to be ready to take those in need of a fresh start, or those leaving the care of the orphanage system. June is the dead line to be up and running and ready to receive kids as they graduate from their first year of college or University. This is when they are no longer under the care of the orphanage or the ministry of Social services. This is a very stress full time for the kids and the workers who have cared for them. It is not uncommon to find these kids in the hospital from the stress of what the future will hold.
We want to receive these kids, They will live and work with us on the farm. Here they will have there expenses paid, they will receive a small income ( paid through the food shares). They will learn basic life skills , gardening skills and learn how to work with animals and bees. All the wile we will help them find the best fit for them with further education. then at the end of the summer as a bonus we will provide a scholarship for them to go back to school. Weekends and holidays they will be able to return to the farm as a place to call home.
To get from where we started to being ready to be in full opertion has been a lot of work in a short period of time.
first we needed to get a couple rooms livable and the heater fixed for the winter for Acelbek who has been living and caring for the farm. A clean outhouse and hand washing station was also a must. Next we fixed up the small barn so we could begin growing our flocks and herds. then the front fence went up so that we could bring things to the farm with out being stolen. The next project was to fix the foundations on the back half of the house so it would still be here in the spring. With the coming of spring we started the barn so that we could have room for expanding the herds and flocks . Next was the fences and the stalls , so we could keep a good separation between the animals and the Gardens. Once we had the fences up, it was time to get the gardens planted. This has been basically done. tomatoes, onions carrots, beats, beans, egg plant , swiss chard, broccoli, lettuce swinish, cucumbers , spaghetti squash, butternut squash, corn, zucchini, watermelon, cantaloupe, cabbages. radishes, grapes, strawberries and raspberries. all in and starting to sprout.
The fields have been planted with barley and Alfalfa. and five hives of bees will be brought to the farm in the next couple weeks
An unexpected blessing was the purchase of a second farm that will be used as a guest house and a training center where we will teach how to make preserves, make goat cheese and tend to the honey.
the gardens there will be planted Monday with Tomatoes, peppers and onions .. to make salsa , salad and spaghetti sauce.
Now we have about three weeks left before we will have the workers come to the farm. We are working hard on the last two rooms. The foundation was fixed in the fall, but now we needed to repair the crumbling walls so that they will be clean and safe. Rebar, and cables, along with mesh helped to secure the walls, then fresh cement inside and out to secure everything in place. This week we will put up the ceiling, and put down the floors, and hopefully paint. This will give us a bunk room and a living room.
and that's where the money runs out. We will need to get some furniture for these rooms. carpet, couch, beds and sheets blankets and towels . We are so close to being done on scheduled . I think we are about $1000 away from having everything ready to receive kids. I would love to have everything ready for them and looking nice when they start to arrive. If you would like to help with this, you can donate now, any amount to "furnishings" and we can start putting the final touches on.
In a couple weeks we will be meeting with the orphanage staff again, as well as all the kids that are timing out of the orphanage. We will discuss with them what we are able to do and how we can help them. By that time I will have a better idea as to how many we can support for the summer based on food shares sold, and beds and space available. right now it looks like we will be able to have about 6 student / workers there this summer. but a lot will depend on you. last minute donations for food shares and furniture will go a long way towards bringing on extra kids.
|repairing the foundation|
|new foundation and reinforced walls|
|inside walls ready to paint as soon as the concrete dries . this week the ceiling and the floors will be finished|
|stopping at one of the orphanages to talk to staff about future plans for the kids.|