Living on this farm is in a sense like living in a monastery. It’s not that we are perfectly organized, far from it. Everyone has his or her position on this farm and is heavily relied upon to complete certain given tasks. When one person is missing or ill, the others find out quickly how much that person accomplished during any given day. Happiness flows and becomes almost like a gift from Heaven which comes to us from the efforts of our long hours of labor. There are so many blessings that flow from this kind of life, a life of work, prayer and play.
Lest it look as though we are always working, do not be fooled. We make our work fun and play hard whenever we can grab some action. Even as we tackle difficult, hot and monotonous jobs you most likely will find us harmonizing songs, practicing for the barn dance or playing word games and occasionally engaging in scary storytelling. There are also deep conversations and the chit-chat of planning what we are going to do for fun when this particular job is completed. I am always happy when I come upon the kids and find them happily engaged. Sometimes though, I can hear bickering going on as well, and occasionally some dirt throwing, but not very often as it is not supposed to be allowed.
After all of the work is completed and the night has come to an end, we end our day pretty much as we have as long as I can remember, with the family rosary. Our time of thanks and petition, given whether we are tired or not, busy playing or wanting to do anything but sit around, often time with droopy eyes and heads nodding. But as with anything else in life, we need to be dedicated to our God and our prayer life, which puts us in direct contact with Him, otherwise all we do becomes meaningless.
Time flew by rather quickly this week and we accomplished quite a bit. Once again, the rains have come and given us a break. At least an outdoor break since many things can be completed within the walls of our home and many out buildings.
On Friday the Asians came and butchered a beef for a wedding which was held on Saturday. That was interesting to observe methods that to most of us would seem somewhat crude. Then we weaned 57 young lambs from their very relieved mother ewes. The farm instantly became a loud concert of bleating, sad lambs mourning this passing on of comforting nourishment.
The sheep that had been grazing our front farm paddock were moved up to Luke and Jessi’s paddock for some fresh grass, giving the other area time to replenish the rich green grass. Fences had to be moved as well, which was very time-consuming. Then there were the gilts that we moved into new housing with the very friendly boar. Just in time, we moved a large sow, who surprisingly is without a name, into a farrowing box stall barn. Caleb thinks there were around 10 piglets born to her soon after the move.
On one of the days the Twins starting pitching manure out of the barn and that job has to be completed sometime later today. Completed two days ago, was the project that claimed our old greenhouse as a new chicken house, which now houses our spring chickens born in the incubator in March. They grew very well.
Then yesterday, Maggie, Peter, Frenchy and Caleb fixed the horse fencing which is finally in good working condition. Frenchy is on her way over to put up the horse fence in the road ditch which used to be her job in years past. Maggie will be helping her. The horses are also rotational grazed here supplemented with hay. Silvana mowed the yard and orchard and Fred mowed the hops field in the dark one evening after work, with the tractor. Peter weed whipped the hops plant individually as well as the fruit trees and the entire yard after work. We like it to look neat, like a park, so we feel like we actually went somewhere pretty during cook outs and dinners on the front porch.
Yesterday the Twins and I went to check all the bee hives again and found that we had to add hive boxes and Fred went and put the boxes on last night in the dark. Everything looked very good and we are all pleased. We found good brood patterns, honey being made and lots of pollen. I am always amazed at how the bees operate as a colony and never get bored watching them. Marisa also weed whipped the tall grass aroung all the hives. Fred’s cousin has started raising bees this year and came along to observe this activity. Another friend and her young son started raising bees as well and was calling the girls from the field for bee advice. It is so exciting to see so many people taking interest in beekeeping. The more bees the better for everyone. I got the redneck rig stuck in the old farm site that used to belong to Fred’s grandfather. Some of our bees are kept exactly in the same spot that his grandmother kept her bees so many years ago. Somehow we were able to get out of there but the ground was wet beneath the fresh road grass.
Already today the milk cows and some of our young heifers have been put out on pasture. They’re really enjoying all of that fresh green grass and yellow dandelions. Looking forward to what the rest of this day will bring. I know lunch is burritos and the strawberries are being weeded. The kitchen is clean and ready for the next mess. Fresh lilacs have been brought in for their very lovely scent and beauty. Normal chores are finished. May God bless all of you who are reading this.