Monday, November 14, 2016

Dhul Qi'dah 1437/ September 2016

Near the beginning of the month, at the end of August, we received a welcome basket from the Roy Chamber of Commerce. This is something we have never received before, in all the various places we have lived masha'Allah. The basket had a letter from the Chamber, a beautiful New Mexican blanket, artwork from a local artist, a $25 voucher for the gas station in Roy, and a $50 voucher for Mahoney Construction, who we use for our fencing. It was a blessed gift from Allah and hugely appreciated.

Shariyf traveled to Cherry Hill, New Jersey from 1-5 September to do teacher training for GCLEA's Islamic weekend school. This drove home the need for us to return to simpler homesteading. The preparations that needed to be made to ensure the animals had water and hay, and milk was delivered on alternate days to make things manageable for us during his absence, made us realize that running the farm without him (the only man) was very difficult.

One day before his return, on September 4th, Freesia calved – a beautiful brown Simmental/Jersey bull calf that the girls promptly named Barbecue. This was yet another huge blessing for us, as we need a bull to breed Azalea in about a year's time, and also to breed the other cows. Being a mix, he will have the hardiness, meat, and foraging abilities of the Simmental and pass on the easy calving and creamy milk of the Jersey insha'Allah. He may also be used by local ranchers to breed their first time heifers. Once he has served his purpose, after 1.5 – 2 years, he will, insha'Allah, be meat for our freezer...and make great barbecue, LOL.

September 7th, we bought 100 organic laying hens at a great price, masha'Allah. Within two days we had twelve dozen eggs and needed to move quickly with our plans for them. We added some to our existing flock to make 25 hens. We slaughtered 32 of them, taking our neighbors up on their offer to use their plucking machine, and filling our freezer with a good supply of chicken. We sold the remainder – which recouped the cost of the full 100. Al hamdulillahi Rabbil al Ameen!

We went to Santa Fe for Eid prayers and lunch, grateful to be hearing an Arabic khutbah and catching up with familiar brothers and sisters. The day afterwards, Mahoney Construction came to move our shipping container, making a large open yard area in front of our mobile home. We moved three 1,650 gallon water tanks near the mobile home and shipping container, so we have plenty of water stored over the winter. We also moved our 200 gallon mushroom tank beside the door so we have a convenient source of water for daily needs.

The complete month was spent painting during every available daylight hour, and great progress was made masha'Allah. We first did the kitchen, after which we moved the stove, solar freezer, fridge, and solar power system in. We then did the children's' bedrooms, the bathroom, and our bedroom, after which we moved in. As the living area needed the most work, we left it for last.

The wood stove being stolen was an amazing blessing. As we began our search for a new one, we learned that the one that was in the mobile home only heated up to 800 square feet and did not meet code for mobile home installation. Al hamdulillah, we were saved from settling for what was there and not being warm enough or safe! We found a wood stove that was mobile home approved, heated up to 1,200 square feet, and planned to get it by early October, insha'Allah before the cold weather hits

While September started out quite stormy, for the second half of the month it was much drier and temperatures dropped notably to 40 - 50s at night and 60-75 during the day. We continued to harvest vegetables, but by the end of the month we had to pick what was left of the tomatoes so that they weren't ruined by the cold. They have since ripened nicely indoors, al hamdulillah.

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