Last week I waxed poetic about being ready for winter. Ha! It’s so easy to delude yourself. And even quicker to discover the truth. The snow and cold weather that arrived a couple days ago reminded us that we’d forgotten to do a few things. So we’ve been busy.
Lisa used her tractor to remove the pile of manure from under the ramp. We should now have enough space for all the manure coming out of the barn this winter. I dug a shallow drainage ditch to divert water, which bubbles out of a small spring every winter, from flooding the driveway. It seems to be working so maybe this winter we won’t have a sheet of ice covering the parking area. I also put the barn windows back in, which will keep the snow and blustery wind out of the barn (next time). And we hooked up the small heater in the walk-in cooler. This time of year, the challenge is not to keep products cool, but to keep them from freezing. The walk-in was 32 degrees one morning when I went to fetch some broccoli, which is too cold. And while not really a get-ready-for-winter task, we also finished remodeling a section of stanchions in the barn. We now have room for an additional six cows -which we need.
So I’m not going to say that we’re now ready for winter, only that we are more ready.
The cows are off pasture. They are back in the barnyard eating hay. Inhaling the stuff it seems. Slow down girls! Ya’ll got another 191 days before you go back out on fresh grass. (That’s just over six long, dark, cold months, btw).
The summer toys are put away. Last year’s plastic bale wrap has left the farm. The automatic waterers have been replaced with water heaters so the water tanks don’t freeze. The temporary fencing has been taken down. The posts are in little piles on the floor of the old Horse Barn. The reels on their pitchforks are lined up against a wall. I even remembered to take in the forgotten reel and posts from the large pasture way out back.
Chains are on the tractor. One chain took over an hour to get hooked on. The other one took six minutes. No, I don’t know why. There are a lot of things I don’t understand. Sometimes it’s best not to disturb the equilibrium of the universe. Better to accept your ignorance and get on with the day.
Randy Robar, co-owner of Kiss the Cow Farm