How it Began & How it Ended
What a very full year. Overflowing in fact. You must have been busy during Covid lockdowns, telling your neighbors and friends about us. Towards the middle of March we noticed an uptick in orders that grew to an astonishing number by mid April.
Packing hundreds of orders as a family gave us copious amounts of time to talk and we realized that starting projects is fun! Finishing them though….. Once again focused, the battle plans were made and with the help of all of those orders, we started ticking off some long unfinished work.
In perfect timing, a friend Hailey joined us over the summer and fall. The shipping barn interior finally got some love with siding, trim and lighting, areas of the ranch got a good cleaning like never before and Hailey organized….everything. We are still looking for stuff she “put away”.
And, like sunshine after a storm, answers we had had at the beginning of the year started to appear. A cement foundation pad was poured just 4 weeks after quotes were received, and by the time you get this the steel frames for the new barn should have arrived and will be going up ( weather permitting!)
Summer was a dry one and we pulled the herds and flocks from the pastures while praying for rain. Feeding hay during the summer felt like a fail, but rain it did and our pastures bounced back and fed the animals far into the fall. Our chickens loved the dry weather and like the little dinosaurs they act like, went crashing through the high grass at every squawk from their neighbor – sure that the other chicken had found the golden worm.
Our Amish friends the Stutzmans’ have added to their family, 2 new granddaughters. Much laughter, too much good food and lots of chatter as we all caught up with each other during Chicken Harvesting. Discussions range from the weather, to childbirth, building plans, to them trying to figure out the camera on my phone. We swap recipes and stories and sigh at the end of another year – both happy & sad to be done.
Fall came, we re-opened our ranch store ( had to close it as we had no meat to offer until we caught up!) and we were again, overwhelmed by the miraculous blessing of people. Despite the challenges, we met so many of you, heard your stories, swapped a recipe or two, heard about plans to move, gardening tales, heartbreak and new love.
As we sadly said our ‘so longs’ to Hailey as she re-joined her family back in Montana ( we are already devising plans to get her to come back again!) we met a new family exploring their own dreams of a farming life. Jonathan, Mary and 3 year old Nathanial gathered eggs, packed orders, helped clear brush, fed animals and blessed us. Who knew that telling the stories of our past would make us love it all the more?
We wrapped up 2020 by cocooning ourselves between Christmas and New Years, taking extra long naps and you guessed it, talking. Amazed at all that was accomplished, thankful for the friends who helped make it happen and the fellowship we have had with all of you.
While we are not sure how the plans we have will all work out, we hold them loosely finding that the ways He makes are more adventurous and far better than our own.
News from the Lads
Eathon has reached the ripe old age of 18 and is exploring options for working in the medical arena. Currently he is becoming fully trained in the office to receive, fill, ship/deliver all of your orders. He is the perfect prod to move me out of my office seat and let me enjoy more of the outside and I’m blessed by him. His critiques on my music are not welcomed, but offered anyway. As a DJ, he pretty much wins though! Keeping all of us grooving while we pack your orders up.
Cole’s ability to formulate a plan is not fully understood by us, but it sure is a hoot! He purchased a welder, is doing a lot of the maintenance on the ranch ATV’s, vehicles and equipment. His number one job when handling the beef is to work the head chute. A stressful thing for him, but one he does wonderfully. Cole also handles almost every single box, making sure the tape is perfectly placed and tightly on. At last count, we are over 20,000 boxes shipped.
We look forward to serving you in this new year, and our plans are to reach out more often with these type stories. I enjoy sharing them and hopefully you will enjoy reading them. Until next time,
The Barton Family