Monday, May 11, 2009

keeps padding along

So it's after eight, and I'm just getting done with the evening chores. Every night after the office is like this. I pulled into my driveway around quarter to six and went through a systematic trance of work outside. May is the busiest time of the year for this small farm.

Tonight pumpkins and sunflowers were planted, sheep fencing repaired, goat formula mixed, dogs walked and fed, the garden watered and sprayed with organic pesticides, the sheep let out to pasture to eat fresh grass, the birds and rabbits had feed bags to deliver and water to resupply... it's just nonstop motion till dark comes. And when it finally does I'm inside with a long shower, a guitar, a simple dinner and then sleep. Life rolls.

Finn is growing up and doing well. He still comes to work with me, and is slowly getting weaned off his bottle. He's got such energy and character. He really brings a new found friskiness to this farm. Before Finn this was a calm and rolling place with the occasional sheep antics and possessed roosters...but now it's a non stop, hoof kicking party.

Bean's litter is down to five. Three kits died of exposure in the night. They were smaller, weaker bunnies, and sadly that is just how things are. It is a somber experience to start your day outside bottle feeding one baby animal and then removing the bodies of others. But farms are nothing if they aren't a constant reminder of how serious the business of life is. Cold Antler just keeps breathing in and out. The farm itself is an animal always on the move—a sheepdog padding through tall grass.

The garden is nearly in. All that's left is the big corn planting day and some sunflowers to line the northern end. So far, I have in the ground: broccoli, green beans, peas, onions, four types of lettuce, brussel sprouts, strawberries, rhubarb, sunflowers, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, butternut squash, pumpkins, basil, mint, and other things I'm sure I'm forgetting (forgive me, I am quite tired). But soon my life will be weeding and mulching and yelling at French geese to get out of the garden's water buckets. Which is exactly how I prefer life in May to be.


Blogger finsandfeathers said...

I really admire your passion and energy. We're planting more this weekend.

Sorry to hear about the baby bunnies.

May 11, 2009 at 9:03 PM  
Blogger Artful Gathering said...

Sorry about your baby bunnies... Your days sounds like mine... I work at my outside job and then come right home and work until I can't hardly lift my feet. I eat,shower and check the blogs and then its off to bed....
Life is good! Dawn

May 11, 2009 at 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Carrie said...

I'm sorry to hear about your kits. I've been slowly trying to get all the seeds planted for the season. I'm curious, what do you use as an organic pesticide?

May 11, 2009 at 9:27 PM  
Blogger Tracy Bruring said...

I am so sorry about the bunnies but you are right. Farm life is very real and very hard. Good work on the garden.

May 11, 2009 at 9:43 PM  
Blogger Little Ant said...

Sorry to hear of your kit loss. So true that this is all part of farm life. And as busy as our chores keep us I think they give us a sense of purpose and peace that so many others could never understand. It is the best kind of tired to end your day knowing you have helped keep life going and gardens growing.

May 11, 2009 at 10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a couple of questions about your garden. I see you have a lot planted- do you directly sew the seeds at this time of year or have you already started seedlings inside? I figured you being further north, it might still be early for planting because of the chance of frost still being around. This is my first year planting and would love to hear more about what you are planting in your garden and any tricks you might have at helping things thrive.

May 12, 2009 at 7:16 AM  
Blogger Leiflet said...

I have over $60 of seeds sitting inside and $50 of 2x4 pine planks sitting outside because i haven't had the time to set up my planters yet. It's making me feel really guilty.

I've only planted carrots, beets, tomatoes, raspberries (from last year!), peppers, mint, peas, lettuce and lavender. And a few flowers.

But i have more peas, peppers, flowers, melon, squash, pumpkin, etc etc waiting. Just waiting!! It's driving me CRAZY knowing i have all this delicious food ready to be planted but not the time or opportunity to do it.

Grad school + baby + thesis show= NO F-ING TIME!

May 12, 2009 at 10:47 AM  
Anonymous Rita said...

Jenna- I just finished making butter using the recipe in your book. It was so easy, thank you for sharing it! I really enjoy reading your blog.I'm so glad you find the time to write it with all your other chores:)

May 12, 2009 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger TheRaspberryChicken said...


Where do you get your cream? I don't find making butter to be difficult, but I can buy butter from Trader Joes for $2.79 and can't get cream anywhere for that price. Do you just like making it? Do you have a local source for the cream? It just hasn't seemed worthwhile for me but I would like it to be...

May 12, 2009 at 12:44 PM  
Blogger fersher said...

Love your blog and plan on picking up your book from the library soon. I love your comment about yelling at the geese - great stuff! Last year for my birthday my husband bought me two white chinese geese. We would fill their wading pool up with fresh water and store the mucky mess in buckets to use later in the garden. Which water do you think the geese prefered to drink?!? Unfortunately we had to give our geese away (thank you CraigsList and guy who had a 1 acre pond on his property) because they were chasing our chickens around the yard pulling on their tail feathers! Bad goose! Cheers to you.

May 12, 2009 at 4:57 PM  

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