farming, Uncategorized

Plan? What plan?

I had a friend ask me what my “5 year plan” was. But sometimes, I don’t even know what the 5-day plan is. But I think in 5 years, my life will look a lot like it does today. And that doesn’t scare me one bit. There’s no such thing as boredom on the farm – I don’t feel trapped here, or tied down in any way. I mean sure, if I won an Alaskan cruise I would have to parcel out all these chores to different families, so they wouldn’t get overwhelmed or run away screaming..but I haven’t entered any contests lately, so I don’t think that will be a problem.

In 5 years, I hope we have a new chicken coop, and water piped up there so I can have ducks again. I’ve already drawn plans to build movable stalls in the horse barn, and we have the lumber to do it. I’d like to fertilize and sow seed in the pasture, then maybe get a few cows.. I plan on getting new siding for the house, gutters too. We need to replace the windows. We need to fix the bush-hog, and get a utility trailer for the 4-wheeler. Right now I have 2 brush piles waiting to be burned, but I’m sure there will be new ones to light then too.

We did burn some brush today, the enormous pile of limbs and leftover barn from the great Post-Christmas Work Day. A few friends came out to help me stack wood in the shed, and we tended the fire all day. It’s still burning now, low and slow, but I can see bright little flames from the window. My hair and my clothes smell of smoke, and there is black soot under my fingernails. I kept taking off my gloves and laying them down, and eventually gave up on wearing them at all. But it was a great day. I hope in 5 years from now, they will still come out and help me with those random projects that would take me ages to complete on my own. Things like cleaning fence rows, or clearing the creek bed, or finally going through all those boxes in the basement..

That’s part of farming though. I have been here almost 2 years and it’s a community project. There is always, always something that needs doing. Different seasons bring different responsibilities. And that’s part of what I love about it – every day is guaranteed to be different. You’re never really done. You just do what you can for the day with your own two hands, once every one is fed and watered and put up, you can fall into bed and dream about doing it the next day.

I have not ever loved anything as much as I love farming. And I don’t think it’s really something I can explain. It feels like this is what I was born to do. It’s inside of me, somehow, like this dirt and clay I call home runs through my own veins. Today flew by – we worked hard, got a few cuts and splinters, but there was laughter and water breaks too. Then that big sigh when you look at a shed full of wood for next winter, and you know that one more thing is done until then. Sadie made pea salad and spaghetti bake, and we all ate until we were stuffed.

In 5 years, I hope there are more meals and laughter. More gardening, canning, mowing, and feeding. More chickens and eggs, and more hay put up in the barn. More sunrises over the mountains, and watching the sunset from the porch. I want there to be more writing too – I don’t write as often as I should. There are always stories to tell, it’s just finding the time to stop living them, and start telling them. I am looking forward to these next 5 years of life, of farming, and everything in between.

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farming, Uncategorized

Christmas Miracles

I am very thankful it’s Saturday. The dogs are napping by the stove, Sadie is reading the paper, and I hear the birds just outside looking for spilled seeds. It snowed all night, the sun is shining and everything is glittering white. I have already started to dream up when we can plant the garden.

I am thinking of getting Honey Bees this year, not sure how that will play out but it seems like a good idea. And we plan to have several rows of corn we can grind into cornmeal, which I am excited to try. Even though it’s winter on the farm and the land is resting, there is always something exciting in the works.

The pigs have a date with you-know-who on January 24th. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t going to miss them, even though they did get out on Christmas day and had me up to my elbows in mud right when family arrived. Once we got everyone put away, it was a wonderful evening. Sadie had a full feast laid out, we ate and swapped stories into the night.

My Uncle Jack’s first cousin is a sweet lady named Wanda, the who wears rings on every finger. She married a man named Robert who met Jesus right before he got out of prison – now he’s got some stories. Robert is the kind of guy who will just about break your hand every time he shakes it, and will do just about anything to help somebody. He and my Dad got to talking after Christmas dinner, and before you could say “fruit cake” they already deemed the day after Christmas as a farm work day.

The next morning, we woke up to Robert’s arrival in his bucket truck, pulling a trailer with the most beautiful Bobcat machine I have ever seen. We all stood outside, half finished toast and coffee in hand, and watched as he roared up the driveway with a claw-full of brush from a pile by the road.

I don’t think anyone had time to blink that whole day. We removed two old stumps that tree experts told me we couldn’t do anything with. He cut down at least 8 dead trees that were posing a threat to our house, then he started on the remains of my Uncle’s shop that had collapsed years ago. My sister and I took down old fence lines while Robert, my Dad and my Brother reduced entire trees to little piles of firewood. We took two loads to the dump, and I am proud to say that was the day we removed the final, old abandoned toilet on our property.

By 5pm, everything was done. Robert heaped the rotten trees and pieces of the old shop in a big pile to burn. It was, by far, the most productive and satisfying work-day we have had yet. He wore us out, but we got more done in that day than we have since I got here. It was a Christmas Miracle and I won’t ever forget it.

 

 

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