Working Hard

Sometimes writing this blog is one of those farm chores I could do without. It needs done though. Just know my heart isn’t totally into it this week.

Garden news first. The cattle panel hoop house is up. We weren’t able to put the greenhouse addition up this year because of money. Hopefully by fall it does get up. The cattle panel hoop house works just fine though. Right now there are tons of little seedlings and bigger plants in there. Jack and Mac went to a greenhouse and picked up lots of little seedlings. Oh such high hopes we have. The plastic never was put on the low tunnels in the garden. It might happen one day. Though we have had two cold nights, we have not frosted so maybe just putting hoops in the ground works. There has been lots of seeding, transplanting and overall craziness with the garden. Hopefully soon I will be able to write about how things are producing and not just all the work to get things started.

Animal news is that Chev lambed. I was out milking Saturday morning and heard Chev make some noise. I turned to watch her and saw her cleaning baby lambs and slightly pushing. I watched her from time to time while I was milking. At one point I noticed that she had just one foot sticking out of her. Knowing that isn’t the best position I had the girls call Jack down. My theory was, if I called him now, Chev would birth just fine. If I didn’t call him there would be some emergency. It turned out just like that. A little while after he got down there Chev birthed. Jack went back up to the house. Before I was done milking there was another little baby. We had a work party to go to that morning. So before we left I went to check on everyone. It was really really windy. Chev had lambed out on the top of a hill. I went up to her to see if I could talk her into going to a shelter when one of her babies ran right to me. It was the oddest thing. I took it for a sign though and kind of scooted him into a shelter where a frantic Chev and other lamb followed. The only problem was that the wind was from the SE and the shelter faced SE. Still, it was something. At the work party I was totally oblivious that the wind had kept up. I was down in a slight ditch. I didn’t realize it until one of the girls asked me to come help find their water. After I got out of the ditch I realized how cold and windy it was I could not stop thinking about Chev. I ended up going home early. I crossed the creek and decided to walk up through our bottoms to see if I could find the ash tree that Jacob had cut down for us. We were worried that it had been washed away with the flood. Sure enough, it wasn’t where it was. I didn’t take the time to find it, my main concern was Chev. Gwendy had come home with me to help if needed. Sometimes an extra pair of hands makes all the difference. We went and saw that Chev was still in the shelter and her two lambs looked alright. They were shivering a little but at least they were mostly dry. Gwendy went and got Chev a few armfuls of hay while I got her some water. Then we just sat quietly and watched. Maybe one of my favorite things to do ever. We saw that they were both boys and that they both were nursing just fine. The odd thing maybe is that both of them have some dark spots on them. Chev is all white. We are wondering if these might be North Country Cheviot crossed with shetland. Joscelin is white. Imriel is brown. Those might be his spots showing up. Interesting…

No other births have happened though. We now have eight lambs running amok on the farm. It is quite amusing to watch them all. They are all almost like a gang. The goats almost all stay close to their mothers. Sheep I guess not so much. So far we really only have plans to keep one of the sheep. That would be Alais’s girl. The others will be sold or eaten.

Back to garden news? I forgot. Our potatoes did get washed out in the flood. They are all still in the ground and sending down crazy roots but there isn’t much dirt around them. They are on a top of a hill also. So we need to go back up there and lay some hay down. Totally not cool. The wheat is looking good though. Our peas are coming up. I am really excited about this. We not only have snap peas but storage peas also. I want PEAS!!! We also got our Missouri trees a few days ago. And our sweet potato slips. This will probably be a busy weekend again. There is so much hard work before you see anything when it comes to farming. It is really easy to get down and think that this work will never pay off. But we are getting eggs and milk and meat. The garden will follow soon enough I think. Of course as we were driving by a nice wooded hill yesterday and I mentioned that that is how I wanted our back hill and bottoms to look Jack said that it would only take about fifty years. Maybe as an old 80 something woman I will be walking down our hill remembering about all the trees I planted on it. And hopefully I will be walking in the shade of those trees. I can look forward to that.

P.S. by the way, we did go looking through the bottoms and found the two HUGE pieces of ash that had been washed away in the flood. It is amazing the strength of water. So the good news is, we still have the tree. Bad news, it might be even more interesting getting the pieces of tree up the hill. Oh well. I like the good news enough.

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