Our family has been gearing up for a roadtrip for about a year now and the moment has almost come.
Justin rigged all the animals to have easy feeding and watering so that we could get someone to take care of the farm for us while we were away. The ducks have a pond with a major filtration system which refills as the ducks splash water out of it. They also have an automatic door for the Quack Shack so we don’t have to herd them in every night. The bunnies have an inside palace hutch where they can run around and play as well as an outdoor grassy area where they can hop around, soak up some sunshine and fresh air and nibble on the fresh clover. The piggies have a clean covered area outside, snuggly nooks inside the barn as well as access to the hayfield to graze. Their water bowl self fills as they drink from it. Obviously there are still things a human caretaker has to do including snuggling with all the animals but it is A LOT less work than it used to be.
Justin hand dug a 200ft long trench from the pump-house to the barn so we could have running water down there. This is for convenience for tending to the animals but also for safety reasons. You might be asking yourself why he didn’t rent a machine to dig the trench for him? Well, the leach-field from the sewer is in our hayfield around the area where the trench needed to be so it was too risky to not do it by hand for fear we would hit something. Sadly, Justin didn’t get any of my help in digging this trench since my shoulder has been hurt. He did such a great job fitting digging in before work in the morning, during his lunch breaks, evenings and weekends. The piggies tried to help but they were really better at filing the trench back in! 🙂
The next challenge was to find someone who would be trustworthy, hardworking, able to learn new things and want to take care of our hobby farm. We certainly had a lot of interest in our offer to have someone work on our farm in exchange for a free place to stay. There were a handful of promising candidates. We ended up choosing a young couple who seemed eager to learn, honest and who had previous experience with outdoor work similar to the things we would be asking them. They moved to Crow Farm in May so they have had time to get to know the farm, us and the animals before we left on our trip. They are very sweet and have been doing great.
Prepping for the trip was a lot of hard work and planning but we were able to check off our many To Do lists just in time. Thank goodness for spreadsheets and laminators for all the maps and directions we left behind for folks.
Our trip will bring us up through Washington, into Canada to Banff, Alberta, to Glacier National Park, into northern Idaho and back home. We are both excited and the girls and I are also sad to be leaving the animals for so long.