Dear Farm Journal,

Well, today was supposed to be a celebratory post to the journal…and now I have to report a death. It felt like we turned a corner toward the coming of spring because we broke ground in greenhouse 4. I managed to wrestle the black plastic up from the soil with a good amount of ice chipping with a hammer and a bit more ripping of the plastic than I would have liked. I measured out the beds, hammered in the post markers, and broad forked all but a few sections of the greenhouse. As I turned over the partially frozen soil, I revealed tiny blue crystals that shimmered like bright glitter against the dark soil. When Rufus returned home, we shared our excitement at being one step closer to planting, taking pictures and marveling at another transformation of space. Over the fall and winter, greenhouse 4 had become a hayloft/rabbit haven, but it was finally starting to look like a greenhouse again. We walked to the house feeling quite satisfied with the day’s work and headed to town for a meeting at the Kickapoo Woods Cooperative to learn about managing our woods and milling lumber. When we returned home, I wanted to check on the chickens and see if they had laid any more eggs. I had already found 4 eggs in the morning, but I was curious to find out if they had laid any eggs in the afternoon/evening. Although it was dark, I quickly noticed that there were only six chickens on the roost. I counted again…“1,2,3,4,5,6…Rufus! There are only 6 chickens here!” We searched around the coop and found that one of the windows had been knocked out. Knowing that this was not going to be good, we searched around the outside of the coop with a barely functional flashlight that flickered on and off. We turned the corner to find a murdered chicken, a frozen pile of blood and feathers. Immediately enraged by the break in and loss of one of my sweet hens, I launched into formulating plans of a revenge murder. This foul creature of the night (most likely the raccoon Rufus spotted a few days ago) WILL PAY! The 22 is loaded and ready at the door. To be continued…


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