A couple of the kids (a.k.a. interns) will be staying around for the upcoming holidays, so we decided to get a Christmas tree.
Alice, Zoe and I traipsed around the woods surrounding the house looking for a suitable Charlie Brown tree. They finally settled upon one and I gave Alice the saw to do the honors. Being a Brooklyn girl, this was her first time felling a Christmas tree! They took turns dragging it back. After a bit of pruning, the tree is now up and trimmed, if leaning slightly. The cats keep looking at it with suspicion.
Lisa and the girls also made giant paper snowflakes to hang in the farm store as well as ornaments representing each of the cows. Lisa got little elf ornaments with the kid’s names on them to add to our collection.
I keep thinking of the people in our lives during Christmas’ past. Some of them we still keep in touch with. Others, where are they now? What are they doing with their lives? Are they content? What remorse, pain, amazing and ordinary events make up their lives now? Whether our paths intersect again or not, they remain a part of my life. And this holiday season is about life, new beginnings, and hope.
We cannot even grow house plants, so becoming vegetable farmers was not in the cards.
That’s why we have animals. (Besides, you can hug a cow, but you can’t hug a cabbage).
So vegetable farms--and farmers--are a bit mysterious to me. I know several and like most. But they all have this annoying habit of not letting you know that they are about to run out of an item. For example, last week, we unexpectedly couldn’t get any lettuce mix or spinach from our regular, local farmer. I asked about it and she said “Oh, we won’t have any more until next spring.”
Or sometimes there is a gap as the farmer shifts from, say, the greenhouse to the field. I understand the logistics, but am amazed that it never occurs to them to give their buyers a heads up. Or a vegetable is listed as available, but doesn't show up -like microgreens last week.
Of course, it’s possible that I do the same. We are, after all, endlessly overworked, tired and stressed. So what may seem obvious to me may come as a surprise to someone else. Perhaps my real issue with veggie farmers is envy. They get 4-5 months off every year!
This unseasonably warm weather is a blessing. Not only to sit on top of the wrapped round bales or on the ground leaning against a toasty cow soaking up the sunshine and warmth, but also to finish up those last few tasks to get ready for winter.
Okay, maybe more than a few tasks…. But we’ve made more progress.
The poultry processing buckets, tubs, and cages have been cleaned and put away.
The golf cart is in its shed and up on blocks.
The last three hoses have been drained, rolled up and hung in the barn.
The bale grabbers have been removed from the tractor and the bucket put back on (for snow removal).
The remaining plastic wrap from last winter’s round bales is gone.
The new round bale feeder is put together and the old one is repaired.
The barn windows are back in their frames.
We have most of the sawdust we’ll need for cow bedding to get through the next few months.
Numerous trips to the dump have reduced the accumulated cardboard, chicken grain bags and recyclables.
The haying equipment is tucked in for the winter.
The manure is spread.
The automatic float has been taken off the water tank and the water heater is again plugged in.
Only a few dozen tasks to go!