And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker." So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board." So God made a farmer.
"I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife's done feeding visiting ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon -- and mean it." So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, 'Maybe next year.' I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain'n from 'tractor back,' put in another seventy-two hours." So God made a farmer.
God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor's place. So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bails, yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadow lark. It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week's work with a five-mile drive to church.
"Somebody who'd bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life 'doing what dad does.'" So God made a farmer.--
To be sure, I don't do the plowing around here, but Dave does. Two gardens and probably a small field of oats for the poultry to chew on will be going up in the spring. Dave planted some seeds in the grow box downstairs in anticipation of spring, and I'm working on ideas for movable shelters for the poultry. I'll post a picture of one of them as soon as I am sure that it will work. It's made from recycled plastic bags and bamboo garden stakes. If it doesn't work, Dave gets more garden stakes!
We finally ended up putting the geese in with the ducks +chickens in the coop. It was a mounting struggle to pen them up in the garage every freezing day; there's still 2" of straw/poop/ice that needs to be taken out of the garage, but it ain't moving with it being frozen. There was some struggles that first night. All 4 of the ducks were head-first into one nesting box, blood showing on their wings. I'm guessing one of the geese tried to pull them out of there.
The outside faucet is also frozen shut, so I get to schlep 10 - 20 gallons from the house to the coop and the garage every day. I'm getting some strong shoulders!
The ducks in the coop before the addition of the gate.
We also took out that roost on the right as Sissy's
blind in one eye and will bump into it a lot.
So Dave took the front gate off the old pen and put it across the coop. Now they are segregated and doing much better. The geese didn't want to go in the first few nights, and Buddy gave me no end of grief running all over the yard. Now, they go right in with little coaxing. It's warm in there, and the water doesn't freeze in their heated buckets (yes, that's when you know it's BUTT-COLD out there!)
But the day ain't done when the animals are inside. Slippers are knitted along with more mittens, cowls and blankets. The ladies at church are discussing another round of 'dresses for Africa' next month during lent. I'll need to dust off my sewing machine and check my supplies before then.
A look northward from the coop. Ducks in the middle, the pump-house (now a garden shed) on the far right and the big pool up to the left. We were worried that the animals might find the pool and get stuck in there, but they don't seem to care. I think one of the reasons is the steps. They hate steps.
This is a small-scale farm, but we experience that kind of life every day. I sometimes feel bad for those who are so disconnected from ...oh nature, the earth, seasons, the cycle of things....there's that rhythm that ties you to the earth. You cannot live above it, because it smacks you in the face constantly. So instead, you live with it and giggle at those who insist you do otherwise. Yeah, dude...try living that kind of life out here!