June is usually great for growing an excellent crop of weeds. The favorable weather helped to bring the weeds to the surface and now we are trying to stay on top of them. It’s not very easy though with the rest of the chores that need to be done as a priority over weeding. I am comforted knowing the value of the children learning how to work hard early in life, praying that it will help build them into the good souls we want them to be.
So far this week we weed whipped the garden edges, weeded strawberries, fixed a broken gate, cleaned and hauled manure from the steer pens, weaned 8 calves and 19 piglets, culled 9 ewes, purchased 2 new Hampshire sheep bucks, (cost $600)weaned and weighed 23 more lambs, (choosing and marking the heaviest for sale next week bringing in $2.45 per pound) transplanted 50 raspberry plants to the secret garden, hauled a tank of water down there and crawled over fences to hand water all of the transplants. Then we moved a heifer in with the milk cows, burned the Gypsy Moth nests in our fruit trees, fixed and hung new electric fencing, strung electric fence in the road ditches for the horses to graze, weeded the flower beds, weeded the hops again, had one cow bred artificially for $40, up $10 from 3 months prior. Somehow, we even managed to eat well, do a bunch of laundry, babysit the grandbabies a few times, help Jessica and keep the house somewhat tidy! Unfortunately, I am stuck with more of the dishes lately, spring work throwing the dish washing schedule off quite a bit!
Yesterday, while watering the raspberries on the far end of our farm, Rowdy started going crazy and his focus seemed to be somewhere in the hood of an old school bus. Bravely, Maggie crawled up on top of the hood and struggled to open the very heavy hood and managed to do so after several tries. I held my breath in anticipation. Well, would you believe there was something hidden in that hood, only I could not identify it. She slammed the hood down in record time and flew to the ground! Thank goodness for cell phones, I called Clayton (because Fred was at work) who was riding one of his customers horses and told him to bring a gun, which he did, but it seemed to take forever. The hairy critter turned out to be a racoon, the very same coon we believe had been eating our duck eggs. That wasted some of our precious time, but we were all glad to get the culprit.
Just before that bit of excitement, beloved Rowdy, who is really Francesca’s dog that she left behind, was called into the butcher shop to get a garter snake that had slithered in to cool itself. Yuck, snakes and I don’t get along very well and Rowdy keeps the population under control, which is rare for dogs, who don’t really like the taste nor texture of snakes. Who says it is boring on a farm?
Soon we will be checking on the bees but have left them alone for now to build comb in the upper hive boxes. There appears to be plenty of activity and as always, they and the sweet honey we hope they produce in abundance, are in God’s hands! One thing for certain about bees is that they are constantly educating us and we never seem to stop learning new lessons from them. There is a lot more to beekeeping than meets the eye. A good portion of it involves steady observation! Even then, we are at the mercy of so many obstacles, yet hope our efforts in the end, will be fruitful.
Now as I type, the girls have drawn up a new and revised “to do” list which is hanging on the refrigerator door. It looks long, but we will see how much we can accomplish this coming week. We are all looking forward to tomorrow, Sunday, a day of rest and for some of the kids, fishing!