Friday, August 26, 2016

One More Illinois Dairy, Shuts its Barn Doors




Yesterday the last two milk cows from our Chatsworth farm, went to the sale barn, marking the end of over 80 years of dairying on that property.  The evidence of that history remains in the rebuilt barn which Keith constructed using the century old beams from the property's first barn, which had to be torn down the year we moved there.

We took the old and turned it into something new again.

Now, the milk stanchions are empty, the last of the milk sits in buckets waiting to be brought home to our pigs, and the hay mow is completely empty of all bales. The house is cleaned out and listed with a realtor. We held the first of several garage sales in, get this, the garage, because it too was emptied out enough to fill with tables showcasing all the stuff we thought we needed, once upon a time.

Turns out, we don't need so much stuff anymore. Also turns out, we're very ready to get back to our life here on The Poor Farm and as sad as it is to see our history go down the road in a livestock trailer, we are also at this point feeling great relief.

We'll still be running back and forth to care for the four remaining heifers we'll keep down here for the pasture benefits (more grass equals increased weight equals a better price at the sale barn) but we're no longer tied into a twice a day milking schedule.

Today we held the first of several planned garage sales, piecing out the farm one toolbox, one basket hay feeder, one farm store counter, at a time. It was fun to see people excited about their new treasures and even more fun to see the farm become neater and cleaner and more attractive to a new buyer every day.

Even with all the cows gone, there is still a chance some young family will appear who wants to bring our dairy back to life, but we  know that possibility is unlikely. Perhaps it's time for the farm to evolve the way Keith and I have, into something really quirky, like a training and education center for farmer-want-to be's. Or maybe a medical marijuana test greenhouse facility? How about a writers retreat for all those Annie Dillard nature type authors? A Paint Ball Competition Center? A school for Red Wattle Hog Breeders complete with bacon making facilities in the basement? A Chicago Chef run Bed and Breakfast for city folk who need some peacock bonding time?

The list of possibilities goes on and on, but I don't. I'm tired and going to bed. Garage sales resumes in the am at 0900.

For You Local Followers:

     BIG GARAGE AND FARM SALE !  AUGUST 27, SEPTEMBER 9&10
     From 9 am until 5 pm      32796 E. 750 N. Rd  Chatsworth, Il.


11 comments:

  1. I've obviously missed out on a lot; you mean you didn't sell the farm? I thought it went ages ago.

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    1. Sold it , farm, land, livestock and equipment) "on-Contract" 15 months ago. The party defaulted and left tons of damage owing money to us and many others in our county. A huge mess. But (farm) life goes on and this time we've liquidated the animals and started selling off the equipment. The house and land being sold separately. One day, our life will be simple again.

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    2. I'm sorry to hear all that. I'd imagined your lives to now be stress free (or as stress free as possible).

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  2. I really hope you manage to recoup some money in the garage sales. I'm also happy to here, some of your stuff is finding new homes. It's interesting what you note about change. It's the one constant we can rely on. Things always change. So we must. :)

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    1. I've metamorphed so many times I've forgotten my name. Just call me Chamelia.

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  3. This post has made me feel really sad, but life goes on, and I'm sure you and Keith are longing to get back to your new, uncomplicated life.

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    1. We are, absolutely. Today we mulched our walkway up here on The Poor Farm. The first task of many we had hoped to accomplish this summer. A tiny but mighty thing.

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  4. It must be good in a way to see all your stuff going to folks who will make good use of it and who will benefit greatly from it. It's hard work selling it piece by piece but that's the way to get the most for each individual item I guess, and it's nice to chat to it's future owners.

    Hope your next sale day goes well. xx

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    1. One oldster and his wife FILLED their pickup with our old stuff. He thought he was getting great deals and I thought I was!

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  5. Could you imagine? My Aspie son is determined that before my big op we shall all have a little holiday on a farm, including the dog. He has researched on line and come up with a house on a big property with a stream in its backyard. They want AUD $310 a night!!!!!!! Argh.....

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