A Typical, Head Spinning, Crazed Day Spent Learning to Be a Farmer

20 Jul

A Speckled Sussex Rooster Like the Free One I Picked Up This Morning as Part of a Typically Busy Day Learning to Be a Farmer

If it’s not the kids, it’s work. If it’s not work, it’s the farmhouse project. If it’s not the farmhouse, it’s someone from church with a need. If it’s not someone from church, it’s a friend or family member in crisis. If it’s not a crisis, it’s an emergency trip to the vet. If it’s not the vet, it’s the horses knocking over more fence. If it’s not the horses, it’s trying to get the 22 chickens and five turkeys out of the backyard before animal control shows up. If it’s not the poultry, it’s the seeds for the winter garden that just arrived…and a lack of garden to plant them in. If it’s not seeds, it’s the woodstove folks needing photos so they can plan for installation. And if it’s not the woodstove, trust me, it is something. It is always something.

Here’s a typical day as we try to tackle allllll of this at once: This morning I was out the door at 8:00 a.m. to get a free rooster from the next town over. Someone posted a Sussex rooster on Freecycle, and I was considering the Sussex breed for our meat chickens we want to breed, so I jumped at the chance to get him. Then to the farmhouse to check all the horses and chickens, getting everyone fed and watered for the day. Wanted to ride, but the weather was crummy.

Then it was back to the house in town to get the rooster into the chicken tractor (while keeping the rest of the chickens locked out…yes, we currently have chickens both at the farmhouse and in town, don’t ask) then sat down for some billable hours at the computer, then off to the livestock auction to think through beef cattle. Eventually we want to have a heritage breed–probably the Devon–but for now, needing meat for the freezer and needing to show an income from our land so the county doesn’t take away our agricultural tax status, I’m thinking some Angus steers are going to be the way to go. As for the milk cow, that is really on the back burner at this point, sigh. After that, headed to the post office to pick up my Avon package because I refuse to give up my lipstick, no matter how much farming we do or how dirty I get. Then the feedstore for more fence posts and gadgets for dividing our huge pastures into smaller chunks so we can manage our grass better.

While doing all of that, I was texting with a friend about getting free goats to help with the grass in the orchard and what will someday be the yard. And pondering last night’s conversation with the neighbor about getting pigs on the garden for now, so they can prep the land for next year and all the tractor work he did won’t be in vain. We also discussed haying the upper field, which means all the junk still in the barn that came with our rundown property is going to have to be moved…again…to make room for the hay.

And now? Now it is 3:15 and I need to clean up because we are headed to “the city” tonight to see our daughter in a play, and on the way we are going to stop at the department store to see if we can use any of our wedding gift cards, seeing as how we don’t have a home to buy for yet! While we are driving, I will be giving the hubby the rundown of the prices at the auction today, and discussing what to do about getting some cattle…because then next time I’m at the auction, it will be as a bidder!

I predict that later will be driving back home tonight to crash, then getting up early tomorrow morning to head to the farmhouse and start all over again.

My head is spinning, my to-do lists are out of control, I have at least four different notepads going with thoughts and learnings, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. :-)

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