December is going to be another quiet month in our farm and garden while the people in charge are busy picking up the bits and pieces to restore it as close as possible to its pre-storm state. This would also mean that there would be not much to write about either. Right!
I guess I spoke too soon.
I received an early Christmas present in the form of a text message from back home. A great news!
Brief flashback: Several months ago our farm applied for another shot at the government's starter sheep dispersal program. They are giving out a limited set of five ewes and one ram of the St. Croix breed to every qualified applicant. This new batch of sheep were all imported from the U.S.A. After the required inspection, our farm was again selected to receive this grant. But we had to wait for several more months until the the sheep arrive from the U.S.
Fast forward to today: The good news I received from my mother says that the sheep are now in the regional breeding station and are getting acclimatized to our local climate. The target release date is early 2011. We were advised to prepare our farm and the payment for insurance.
Insurance? Well, this is another requirement before we can take the animals out of the breeding station. Just like the case with our previous livestock grants, we need to have them insured just in case something goes wrong. But unlike before where the insurance was relatively cheap because the animals were already bred locally, this time it will cost us a hefty sum since they are coming from another country. I guess its time to tighten my belt even more, which unfortunately is already very tight. Ouch!
And why is it a great news? Considering that the amount required to insure all six sheep costs almost the same as buying a single pure-bred mature St. Croix from a local breeder, then that's quite a bargain. Still, the initial cash I have to come up with for the six sheep would be around PH₱54,000.00 (± US$1,260.00). Some may say that that is cheap, but to an ordinary folk (like me) that is a LOT of money. And it must be paid in full, not installment.
So why is it a great news again? Because not everyone who applies for the grant gets approved. In fact, because of the limited number of livestock the government can give out, very very few applicants are chosen. It would be unwise not to accept a rare privilege such as this.
So while my belt is already too tight due to the recent setbacks (read this and that), I have to tighten it more by one notch. Financially I'm already hurting, so I might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb.