Marcel and I have joined the ranks of homeowners, but we are more adeptly described as loan-owers. We are buying the farmhouse, farm buildings and 5 acres from “the farm” (AKA mom).

I giggled as I watched our new horse Brittany slowly and painstakingly slip and slide her way across the icy barnyard. Then I felt like a bad farmer.

What does it mean when I call up each and every Irish Grove owner (AKA Mom, Matt, and Laura), ask them to come over on Sunday to help with the organic certification record keeping, and no one shows up?

Farmer Bill sold the last of his cattle herd. He is officially, completely, 100% retired. It’s the end of an era for the Donald Flynn family. Which makes me sad. And worried about the future of their farm.

I wish one of the cousins would get the farming itch. (Hint, hint.)

We are getting nearly 4 dozen eggs a day. Holy Cannoli.

My grant-writing partner, Andrea, and I have written up evil plans to take over the agricultural world. Bwa-ha-ha. OK, not really. But we are pitching ourselves to the local U of I-Extension Director as the up-and-coming, most perfect alternative-agriculture-education-team she’s ever laid her eyes on. Think she’ll buy into our load of (composted) cow manure?
Correction: The all important Madam Secretary Laura did come to my Sunday meeting, and helped me get started on the all-encompassing, extremely frustrating job of organic certification record keeping. Kudos to you, Madam Secretary.
Can you believe that on the very eve of our new status as homeowners the furnace broke? We fixed it, to the tune of a few hundred bucks, only to have it break again 4 days later. Would this be karma, or a coincidence, or just plain bad luck?
Did you know that the cows and horses both grow a winter coat of fur to protect them from the cold? They’re pretty charming this way, all woolly and fuzzy. Olivia the Border Collie also grew a second layer of fur. On top of a layer of fat, the lazy thing.

Marcel and I bought a new point and shoot digital camera. Which means I’ll be able to take more (and better) photos of the goings-ons around here. Stay tuned.

I didn’t get around to mailing Christmas cards this year. But everyone here at Irish Grove Farms, animals and all, wishes you all a wonderful 2009.