Best Time of the Night
January 25, 2018, 7:56 pm
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January 25, 2018

I like the time of evening when the chores are all done. The animals all have clean dry beds and full mangers. I sweep the floor one last time, then I just pause to listen to the animals chew their supper. The cows are all starting to bed down and are quiet too. The kitties climb up to the hay mow to find a place to sleep. My dog waits patiently, to follow me to the house.

I walk slowly as I head towards the house. My supper is waiting, but I like to look at everything one more time. The sheep are where they are supposed to be. The lights have been turned off. The gentle thump of the pig feeder doors disturb the evening just enough for me to know that all is well in the pig barn too. Nothing but quiet comes from the hen house as I walk by. The ladies inside have all gone to roost for the night.

I look out across the fields and a contentment fills my heart. The day’s work is done. Soon spring will come. First with maple syrup season, followed promptly by spring field work. Baby lambs will be born as I am plowing for the crops. Then the long days of summer will fill our days, followed by harvest. For now, however, the work is mostly done. Just daily chores, a list of repairs to make and rest. All of us get to relax. My new knees appreciate these days of leisure.

As I reach for the doorknob to go in for the evening. I say a prayer of thanksgiving, for what we have been blessed with. It is for sure the best time of the night and all of us farm critters will enjoy our evening meal and a peaceful slumber.

A Job Worth Doing…
November 5, 2017, 8:05 pm
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November 5, 2017

How many times have you heard that a job worth doing, is worth doing right.? It always makes me laugh as I clean the barn…that is one job that just won’t stay done! I find it almost therapeutic. Cleaning the barn daily, makes it look and smell nice. I am sue the animals appreciate it too. In fact, I think they pay me with manure for keeping their beds clean.

I like the feeling of satisfaction I get as I apply fresh bedding and sweep the barn. It pleases me to know that all is well. The animals are in their stalls eating or have just been turned out to pasture as I clean. In any case, the clean, neat barn, gives me a sense of pride.

This wheelbarrow load of sawdust, old hay and manure is headed for the compost pile. It won’t get spread on the fields until next spring. This is the beginning of next years fertilizer. The pit is now empty waiting for the animals and I to fill it up again. The repetitive barn cleanings, just like daily chores, make up a farmers life. I love this life and wouldn’t change a thing!

Waves of Grain
June 15, 2015, 5:35 pm
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one of our speltz fields

one of our speltz fields

June 15, 2015

They are not amber yet, but the waves on the field are neat to watch. The wind moves through the ripening seed heads. The plants sway and move with the ease of a dancer. This is just one of the wonderful things I get to witness daily. The speltz will be ripe by next month. Now, if the wind doesn’t flatten them, there will be plenty of horse feed to get us through the next year.

We are experiencing some very hot, sticky , wet days. The humidity is above eighty percent. The air is heavy and a man sweats by just walking about. The weeds and bugs are flourishing, but so are the plants in the newly planted gardens. The race is on, as the weeds try to get a foot hold and I try to eradicate them before they become a big problem. The current weather and growing conditions make this contest an even match. I am winning, but there is no rest in sight!

All the farm animals are seeking shade and cool spots to spend their days. I too have found plenty of time to come inside for hydration and conversation. I am getting a few things done, but a nap sure does sound good. It’s no wonder the native people of Mexico rested in the heat of the day. Those people were in no way lazy… they were smart!

The Line Up
December 6, 2014, 8:42 am
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Soup is on!

Soup is on!

December 6, 2014

Chore time for me is a great time of day. Morning chores signify the beginning of a new day. I am greeted by my animal charges as if I am an old friend. They are very happy to see me. The dogs act as if it has been weeks since we last met. The rest of the animals make a ruckus too. I used to think it was because they were happy to see me, but then I realized they were just impatient waiting for breakfast.

In the evening, the last job of the day is usually chores too. The animals all get fed again. Stalls are cleaned and general order comes to the barn. Then, after everyone has been fed and watered, a quiet peace settles over the barnyard. The cattle start looking for a place to bed down for the night. The piglets push straw into a pile with their noses and settle in under it. The hens are sitting on their roost waiting for sleep to overtake them.

In the horse barn, the horses stand quietly munching on their hay. I like to sit on a hay bale, pet the dogs and reflect on the day’s work. The dog’s eyes are almost closed as I pet their heads. They enjoy this quiet time too. The soft music that is the horses chewing, fills the air signaling that all is well. The day is done.

How many of us rush about? Jump out of bed hurrying because we got up late. Speed off to work. Spend the day jammed with work and other people’s problems. We skip lunch so we can leave on time to fly home to work on a project or attend a meeting. Finally, an hour later than we wanted. We flop down in front of a television and watch other folks having fun. We sleep fitfully fearing that we won’t hear the alarm clock…and sure enough we don’t…or we hit the snooze too many times! So tell me… why do they say that “animals are dumb”?

Lambing Time
April 19, 2014, 6:13 pm
Filed under: April 2014 | Tags: , , ,
April Babies

April Babies

April 19, 2014

It’s time for the 2014 lamb crop. The weather is beautiful. We lost three little ones born the night of the winter storm. So far, these babies are doing great. We have several more moms to lamb yet. Soon, the pasture will be jumping with cute little fluffy lambs.

The sugarhouse clean-up continues. I am very slow I guess. It seems that I have been working for a week, but it looks like I have only been a couple of hours. Maybe, I’m just too picky, but I want it clean, not sticky and neat…even the woodpile 😮

A walk through the woods revealed a whole list of things that I would like to do. I had a great walk. The ramps, wild onion, trillium and other small wild flowers were blooming. It warms my heart to see the signals of spring and the beginning of another life cycle.

The sun has been warm these last few days. The soil is drying out some. I can’t plow yet, but it won’t be long. I will keep working on my clean-up job while I plan for manure spreading and plowing. In the meantime, the lambs will play, racing and chasing one another around the pasture…. I will watch, laugh and remember my grandpa Rice.

4-19-14 007

The Last Straw
August 27, 2013, 11:18 am
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Overhang snug for winter

Overhang snug for winter

August 27, 2013

Each year, I plug this end of the barns overhang. Behaind the wall of straw makes a very snug place to spend the winter. We have had many different types of farm animals there and each one was very content.

The baby pigs burrow in the deep bedding, cuddle up against each other and momma. They are warm as can be. The wall of straw breaks the wind, staves off the wet snow and rain making for a good place to be.

I use the straw above the door. I use what is stored in front of this outside wall. I leave this wall until late spring. The warm sun takes the place of the wall. There is an occasional storm that blows into the animal bedroom at that time of year, but the sun warms and dries it pretty quickly.

In summer, the overhang is left open. A breeze usually blows under there making it a cool shady place to be. That overhang was a cheap addition that is very versatile. I can store equipment, harvested crops and even animals under there. This one measures 16 x 32, for my small farm it is the perfect size.

All of my straw is currently stored under there. I will put a gate in front of it to keep the animals from knocking it down. It works out well for me and the animals benefit too  😮