Farming is Forever

We put in an honest 12 hour day today, and it feels like we did nothing.

We were still indulging in coffee at 7 when Aaron showed up. I got dressed and told him what to do. Mostly that was bring in as much as possible of the cut firewood the loggers left before it froze down again.

Sheepies in the frozen swamp I spent the day working through our third harvest, to extend a metaphor. The sheep are tired of broccoli, and we’re again pushing them to clean their hay plate. I passed out 80 lbs of shredded iceberg lettuce, but that wasn’t enough for our leader sheep. They took the flock out into the swamp looking for food. (A four foot fence is a lot less effective when there’s two feet of snow.) Fortunately they also brought the flock back. I wish I’d had the camera when I saw Minx holding the fence down so the lambs could climb it.

After Aaron brought in all the firewood that would budge, he fixed the sheep shed that Gellert broke, and the chicken coop door. There were three eggs!!! Thank Ghu, or maybe Roscoe. I wasn’t ready to process twenty hens, but critters need to pull their weight or else.

Meanwhile, I brought grandma over and put her to work on green beans. At 2:30 Lisa took off for another load from town and I took grandma and Aaron home. By the time she got back, with a full truck, I had the pigs’ dinner ready to go. We spent the next three hours finishing with the green beans. At 7pm I decided that the remaining beans were sheep food.

Veggie Stock So after working 7 to 7, we have three days of firewood stacked, veggie stock cooking, 24 artichokes steamed and awaiting further processing, two pecks of green beans and a peck of asparagus ready to can and a net plus of probably 500 lbs of random food that we need to store somewhere before we get tomorrow’s truckload. There’s ground ginger in the freezer, ginger seeping in sugar water. The dehydrator is loaded up with pineapple.

It was way more fun than the day job. We stacked up hundreds of dollars in avoided expenses. We are eating gourmet food for the price of mac and cheese with hot dogs. But there was no actual income, no sheep breeding and nothing done that will make next year easier than this year.

But it sure beat working behind a computer.

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