Sunday, July 10, 2011
Summertime, When the Living is Easy...?
I would love to know…just WHO makes up these sayings? Are they all just a very vivid figment of Hollywood’s imagination or a part of Madison Avenue’s skewed view of American life?
The living is never easy on a farm. I am not complaining, nor am I bragging. It is a simple statement of fact. While today’s farmers have it much easier than our forebears, we still face life and death struggles on a daily basis. In our case, it is a matter of choice…a choice that we made with some cognizance of the difficulties that we would face. Personally, there is nothing else I would rather do. I also readily acknowledge that other folks work much harder and longer than we do.
In the past week, we…
-took the spent layers to the zoo to become tiger food
-pulled out the spent lettuce and greens from the hoophouse to become chicken food
-spent at least 4 hours making the fallen corn crop stand again
-fed our own flocks 14 times
-collected, sorted and washed eggs 7 times
-moved the broiler chicks onto pasture
-picked up day-old chicks from post office, put them in the brooder
-picked hundreds of pounds of produce
-cleaned those hundreds of pounds of produce
-re-organized the cooler to hold more veggies
-did the feed store/bank/grocery run
-took a load of farm trash to the dump
-planted 200 pounds of potatoes
-hauled a load of hay
-stacked the hay in the barn
-made numerous odd repair jobs around the farm
-started more lettuce/greens/squash and cucumbers
-did battle with the bugs
-planted more cucumbers and squash
-mulched in those cucurbit crops
-checked the peach crop, picked peaches, found a pest issue
-made plans to freeze the rest of the peaches for winter sales
-mowed the garden paths and other grass around the place
-rose at 4am,
packed for Market, attended the Market, finished #1 in sales
I am sure I forgot something.
On a personal note, I did laundry, made a stab out housekeeping, baked bread, worked on the books for the farm, paid bills, made pickles and relish and baked a dessert for the weekend. I even found time to buy a birthday present AND treat myself to a milkshake. It has been a good week!
This week was not unusually busy. Next week, we will be pulling onions instead of planting potatoes and planting broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower instead of hauling hay. The following week we will be hauling lambs to the processor again. And so it goes.
Farm life is a lot of hard work, especially in the summer. You know the saying “make hay while the sun shines”? There is a reason for that one. In order for all of us to eat, farmers need to know how to utilize the somewhat short summer season to its best advantage to produce abundant food.
So, call living in the summertime productive, challenging, inspiring, taxing, hot, amazing, sometimes fun, tiring, rewarding… …anything…ANYTHING… just not EASY.