Gain & Loss

Healthy Eco Lifestyle


I have been taking note of how this last year of 2023 has played out in my life.
If I was keeping score of what I gained and what I lost the verdict would be…


David Proctor

 Urban Farmer/Rancher

My Bucket List

by David Proctor

January 4, 2024

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly 

When I have looked back over on past years, I looked at how much was made, how well everyone was doing, and was ready to move on to what the new year would bring.

This year has been different for me.

I had met a lady the previous year that I thought was a good friend and might even spend more time with.

As it turned out I learned what the term narcissistic behavior meant.

I will leave it at that but needles to say that the friendship ended and I’m happy about that.

I was still trying to figure out my direction since I have been living in my Airstream in North Carolina since Covid hit the news.

As much as I love being with family, especially with a new grandson,  I thought I should check out some other areas that were more conducive to having a small farm or homestead.

I had seen an ad in one of my agriculture trade magazines that talked about learning to graze cattle by moving them between paddocks on a daily basis.

This was not new information but what was different was the emphasis on the soil and the relationship to the plants and to the animals grazing the plants and then back to the soil.

I sensed that this person was one that I needed to talk to and learn from.

I made an appointment going into the first of July of 2023 to go visit the farm and check out the operation.

The farm is located about three hundred miles from where I’m at so this was going to be a quick look then drive back to NC.

I got up there and the farm is nestled amongst the mountains on just under 500 acres of open and timber acreage, with the James River flowing around it.

I met and talked with the owner and by strange coincidence, someone was desperately needed (me) to watch the farm for a short duration while needed matters were taken care of out west.

Let’s just say that I work and live on the farm now.

A big checkmark on the bucket list for working and living on a farm.

Another big checkmark on the bucket list for meeting someone who spoke the same language and had the same feelings about agriculture.

This is an organic, permaculture, biodynamic farm!

That probably says enough right there.

So yes; I feel very blessed.

I have been learning to garden and grow plants that I have never grown before.

At this time I’m not working with cattle but I am learning grazing with horses.

The owner is a very accomplished horse rider and has been teaching me how to be around horses and to handle horses, in ways I have never heard of before.

I have grown a deep attachment to the horses I have been caring for and to some extent even the chickens I take care of.

But that leads me to the loss…

While I was staying in a campground, not too far from where I’m now, I started researching farms and rescue farms for animals in this area.

I came across HOPE: Horses of Pamlico, Etc. Animal Rescue

I filled out some paperwork and have volunteered there ever since.

I have had a really good time and experience working on their farms and helping to do what they need help with.

Of course, what comes with that is getting to know the horses.

It wasn’t long before I had a horse that I loved to be around, his name was Saunders.


He was an older gilding, with not very good conformation, and was blind!

That horse taught me so much about having connections with another animal that I had not really experienced like that before.

Plus what I have learned about with being on the other farm around other horses, it just strengthened that connection.

Saunders had a good soul and you could feel it.

He was always happy to “see” me and would follow me around the pasture.

Saunders and me
Saunders and I

I found out this morning that Saunders had gone down three times yesterday and the third he couldn’t get up.

They had to put him down.

I have been devastated.

I don’t know why, I have seen animals put down, and I have buried family pets, but somehow this was different.

I have lost a dear best friend.

Life is not easy but you can not grow when it is.

It takes the good times and the not-so-good times to form and keep the proper attitude and perspective, to know when you are down to stop and count your blessings.

So how do I rate this last year?


Check It Out!


Donations toward future or current veterinarian bills please contact:

Eastern Equine Associates



Donations toward the horses’ food bill please contact:

Free Spirit Ranch

Tammy Dail

PO Box 133

Stonewall NC, 28583



For the horses

– Wormers (Quest plus, Ivermcetin, Safe Guard, Panacur)

– ANY Senior Feed

– Alfalfa/Timothy pellets or cubes

– Salt blocks (big or small)

– Treats

–  Vet Wrap

–  Triple antibiotic ointment

–  Vetracin

–  Equine probiotics

–  Equine electrolytes

–  Lead ropes

–  Rope halters

–  Breakaway halters

–  Fly spray

–  Swat fly ointment

–  Horse liniment

–  Hoof picks w brush

–  Horse brushes and combs

–  U/V rated fly masks

–  Horse shampoo


For the barns

–  Scotch guard (anything that will safely weather proof horse blankets etc.)

–  Horse bedding

–  Manure forks

–  Manure shovels

–  Rakes (leaf and metal)

–  Whisk Brooms

–  Wheel barrow (New or used)

–  5 gallon flat backed buckets

–  1 gallon flat back buckets(for mixing feed)

–  60 ft round pen new or used

*We have a barn that needs a new roof. If you would like to donate to that project, please reach out to Sharon


For the pastures

–  No climb horse fence

–  Field (cow) fence

–  12 gauge Electric fence

–  6ft green T posts

–  High joule fence charger (solar or electric)
 –  Grass seed (Rye for winter seeding and endophyte free fescue for over seeding in the spring)

Quick Tip

Words of “Wisdom”:

You will always get what you settle for

Life, Good or Bad is based on Attitude and Perspective

Don’t spit into the wind, flow with nature

If it’s easy it’s probably wrong

Don’t believe anything you hear on TV and even less on the internet

Learn to forgive and forget, happiness will grow

When you think you are down and out, count your blessings one by one

You will know your true friends in life when you have nothing

Money will always buy more “needs”, love will always fill your needs

Love is the most powerful thing in the universe, handle with care!



Posted in Animal Husbandry, Chickens, Homesteading, Magazine Issues Tagged with:

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