Our year seemed to be off to a smooth start but then last week life just took a very unexpected turn that left us with a broken heart and a huge hole in our midst: Sadly and very suddenly we had to say goodbye to our pig Maple and everyone here is truly feeling his absence and mourning this loss.
The farm has already been closed for 2 months now and fall has finally started to change into winter – with some colder temperatures and even some snow – and looking at the forecast still more snow to come.
We’ve all been very busy getting prepared for the winter and that’s why I have not written an update about this “new winter situation” yet. Many regular visitors to the park who walk along our fence line might have seen a change to other winter seasons at the farm – and to us this is kind of a big and great thing: This winter all our animals are staying right here in town with us – they even got joined by Wasabi, our billy goat and his little crew of male companions. And so, we all (farm residents, their staff and passersby in the park) are experiencing a very different winter – for us it’s a combination of giving them all the daily care they need during the cold season and the joy of being able to see and spend time with them every day. And while the farm is not open to the public for visits, on dry and sunny days you will be able to observe the animals through the fence.
While it is still summer, seasons are changing quickly now and when school is starting back up, the farm will switch to fall hours. We are all hoping for a golden season with warm days and relaxing fun times to share with our animals and visitors.
Summer was a great and busy time and like always when you have a good time it just blew by so fast. We had lots of visitors coming to meet the animals, and we all enjoyed sharing our passion of working and living alongside these wonderful creatures. We witnessed the pure joy on kids faces when meeting our four-legged kids, we observed our adult goat ladies demanding their own special cuddle times (some pushy, others shy and polite, but all unique), we met visitors who would sit for hours with the goats and just connect with them and their gentle, honest and kind nature, we watched our teenage goaties constantly trying to figure out their place and role in the herd (the typical teenage challenge: Are we kids? Are we adults? Who are we?) and we totally enjoyed the laughter and excitement when our four-legged crew jumps on people’s backs and races around their pen – their energy and love of life is just contagious.
Summertime finally seems to have arrived in Victoria – including the first really overly hot days. But especially after this rather cold and wet spring the sunshine and reasonably warmer temperatures feel great for anyone spending the days outside – four legged and two legged. It’s crazy how time just flies and the farm has now already been open for almost four months. During that time we had the pleasure to welcome many friends and regular visitors back to the farm, to meet new animal lovers and we’ve all enjoyed once again to share our life and work around the animals with lots of visitors. Many of you will have seen several new faces among the staff as our team of farm workers has grown considerably this season.
Last week we had to take the heartbreaking step to accompany Peanut Butter on her last journey and as sad and overwhelming as this was for everyone at the farm, we tried to say our final goodbyes, thank her for all the good times she gave us and let her know one last time how truly special she was. For us Peanut Butter will always be a “one of a kind” horse and while she was small for her kind, she leaves an incredibly big hole behind.
It is absolutely remarkable how this little horse lady had such a huge impact on so many lives. We are all very touched and amazed about the many messages we’ve received since her passing and they are all filled with memories of Peanut Butter, lots of sympathy and good wishes for the farm team. And while this is a very dark and sad time at the farm with so many little daily details reminding us of this precious horse lady, we all know that the sorrow and pain of her absence as well as the love and adoration for this beautiful and kind horse is shared by many. Thank you.
I think this might be the longest time you haven’t heard from us since the start of this campaign. During the COVID-19-health-crisis and all its accompanying side effects, time seems to have its own way to float by and then sneak up on us. And now very recently the world truly has taken another “crazy” turn and I don’t really find the right words to express how shocked and saddened we are about the events in other countries. Our sympathy, prayers and good wishes go out to all the people of Ukraine and everyone else who has been affected by this war. Please let there be peace for everyone.
I hope you all got to spend a pleasant and safe holiday season, and kept warm and cozy during the unusually cold weather and now I would like to wish all of you a good start into the new year 2022. Looking back on this past year, I find it difficult to determine what the overall sentiment might be. It was certainly a very full year – filled with challenges, difficulties, loss and a lot of resulting stress, but at the same time also an overabundance of many little and some big moments and experiences filled with happiness, joy, smiles, hope, encouragement, friendship, team spirit and being part of a great community. And all these put together allowed us to balance and overcome any obstacles facing us. Your ongoing, generous and unconditional support along with all your positive and reassuring comments are a very big part of this and always helped us to keep going. Thank you for helping to make this past year a good one!
After my last update we got multiple inquiries about how to donate – for everyone who likes to support the animals and the farm, but prefers not to receive a sponsorship certificate. So after some discussing and planning we decided to go ahead and reactive the fundraiser; we are just happy and grateful for any help we are getting – be it in the form of sponsoring the animals or donations. We’ve upped the goal of the fundraiser to indicate what kind of help we are hoping for.
It’s been several months since my last update, time seems to pass so quickly and lots of things have been happening here and all around us. But for us at the farm our daily lives, our main focus and most of our energy and love go towards the care of the animals – their daily needs and individual care dictate our lives and they certainly keep us busy.