When does it slow down?

I was asked a very interesting question yesterday – which is the slowest season on the farm? It took me a few seconds to think about it, and the answer is, there really isn’t a “slow” season, at least on our farm. Because we raise animals, every season is focused on their care and well-being.

Right now (fall), we are making sure things are ready for winter – hay in the barn, waterers ready to go, moving manure out of buildings, as well as putting up the garden items and machinery. Beef sides will be ready for processing in December, so there is the paperwork side of things to maintain.

Winter – keep the animals fed and watered, watch for new calves, work on outdoor projects as weather allows, mostly focus on indoor projects (indoor veg growing, household maintenance, etc), check the beehives every week or so and add food patties as needed. I’m hoping to experiment with dyeing my hand-spun yarn, and will spend more time in the pottery studio.

Spring – watch the ground to see when the grass starts growing and we can stop feeding hay, plan and plant the garden,  shear the sheep, plant the new hay field, make the list of things that need fixed/maintained this year, order meat chickens.

Summer – watch the weather and watch the grass grow, mow and bale hay, get the hay into the barn for winter, work on all those projects (they never end – finish one, find two more that need done), tend the garden, harvest honey as needed, process the meat chickens, mow  the few areas that need it (mostly clearing paths – the sheep and goats do the majority of the mowing around here!)

This is by no means a complete list – some things happen every season, like moving the sheep and goats around the farm for them to eat the grass and brush, or putting up/repairing fences (now that is a never-ending job…), checking the beehives, tending the animals, etc. Add in the daily household tasks (cooking, dishes, laundry, sweeping, etc.), and the hours fill up quickly.

Is it easy? No. Do we always *want* to go out in the heat/cold/rain/snow and do the job? No. I’m pretty sure just about everything on a farm is heavy or difficult, but it’s always interesting, and it always is engaging (physically, mentally, or both!).

I don’t know who originally said it, but the quote “Build a life you don’t need a vacation from” fits. I don’t think I could enjoy a “vacation” away from the farm – I’d be thinking about how everything is going. Did the old cow die, do the sheep have enough grass, on and on.

There you have it – there is no “slow” season on our farm, and every season focuses around caring for the grass, so we can care for the animals.123

Day 310 – it’s Minnie weather

Being the big, fuzzy bear that she is, we are getting to Minnie’s favorite part of the year. With the heavy winter coat she grows, cooler days are just the thing for the puppy in her to come out. To be fair, she’s not even 18 months old yet, so there’s still a lot of puppy there (of course, the puppy weighs over 100 pounds!) who loves to play.

After our post-feeding wrestling/play time, it was time to wiggle! She can be a very serious dog when she’s working, but play time is hardcore play time.

Day 231 – I am the champion

Finally!  I beat Denny at putt-putt at the Darke County Fair – although he tried to cheat my score. This has never happened before, so I’m going to make a fuss about it. He thinks he’s funny by calling me “Evil”.  har har har  

2013-08-19 20.45.24Finally!  I beat Denny at putt-putt at the Darke County Fair – although he tried to cheat my score. This has never happened before, so I’m going to make a fuss about it.

He thinks he’s funny by calling me “Evil”.  har har har


Day 203 – sister’s night out

2013-07-22 19.00.26Worked (in the drizzle) this morning to get the new area for the goats set up – not finished yet, but they can last a while longer in the chicken yard.  Although to hear them tell it, they will be falling over d-e-a-d within the hour if they don’t get some fresh grass.  All this while their mouths are bulging with grass.

Spent the evening at the Dayton Dragons game with my sister(-in-law) Rebekah.  We demolished 2 hot dogs each, split a chicken fingers & fries, and finished it up with a bag of kettle corn.

And the Dragons won 10-9 – it was a fun evening.