Monday, October 7, 2013

Laundry Adventures of The Farm Kind

     I have a clothesline on my farm. It is the best way to dry clothes in the summer. I do laundry frequently as farming can be messy and dusty to say the least. Today I have two loads of laundry on the line from a rather typical day.
    It is fall and time to pregnancy test the cows. It has been a really busy day and I seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time a lot.  When I was catching my saddle horse he sneezed and blew horse slobber all down my shirt. Yeuck!  The first bit of laundry.  Then when I was leading him across the small creek in the gully below the barn I realized my gumboots have a hole in them as cold spring water trickled into my left boot. Yes the next laundry. So after I saddled up I went and got dry socks and a less slobbery shirt. It didn't take long to get the cows corralled and sorted. I was ready when the vet arrived and my brother had come to help.  He would work the headgate and I would bring the cattle up the chute. Well the Vet has great clothes for this messy but needed chore, full length coveralls with a  waterproof vest/apron. He is ready for his work and as I move the first cow into position I know it is going to be a long day. She coughs and farts and covers me with cow manure from the chest down! I look up to see The Vet and my brother laughing hysterically...sigh!

   It took several hour to get all the girls preg tested and only one was not in calf, quite a good record. It made up for the fact I was cover in debris from head to toe! Yes more laundry! I changed into clean clothes and finished dealing with the cows. I herded them to  new pasture and watched them a while as they enjoyed fresh grass. Riding back to the yard I  organized my thoughts for the rest of the day.     

   I had to put some posts in along my driveway. The ground is really dry in the fall and I knew I would have to pour water in each picket hole before I could drive the small sharpened posts into the ground.  Well I had a bite to eat and then loaded my tools and the pickets into the truck. I also loaded a 5 gallon pail of water to pour into the holes.  I used a steel bar to make the holes about two feet deep, then I pour water in them until it reaches the top of the hole. Now I let that sit and do the next hole until I am about 5 holes ahead. Then I go back and drive the pickets with a post driver.  The day was right on track as when I hit the first post the first blow it forced the water back up along the post and all over me! I was covered with muddy water from head to to...I am beginning to see a pattern! I sighed again and went on with my work. I finished driving the pickets with only three more blasts of muddy water. I was a filthy mess as I drove home.  More laundry into the wash!

   One more major chore for the day...I have to change the oil in the tractor and take the Front end Loader off to do it. The Front end Loader is run with hydraulics and I always seem to get oily when I am dealing with it. Today is no exception. As I back away from the loader and stop the tractor to disconnect the hoses I get sprayed with hydraulic fluid! Drat, dang nab it and darn it! At that point I knew I was calling it a day. I would finish the engine oil change tomorrow as I now had tons of laundry to do.

   After scraping and presoaking I  filled the washer for the third time and took the second load out to hang on the clothesline. The first load was happily flapping in the breeze and drying nicely.  I hung the wet  clothes up and went into the house.   I poured myself a tall glass of lemonade and grabbed some snacks and went  out  under the Apple trees.  I really didn't think it was safe for me to do anything else, I was running out of clothes!

   Being a Farmer is a joy and there is nothing else I would rather do but it can be trying when it comes to laundry.

Stay clean and stay safe!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Simple Satisfaction of a Garden

I just finished my lunch. I didn't go very far to get it either, just a short walk to the garden. The dogs and cats following me...they think they help a lot. I picked s good amount of Lima beans to shell. I pulled two Golden beets and then got some of the last lettuce. I tried planting lettuce in stages this year and it worked out well. It has been yielding tasty, tender leaves all summer and now into fall. I have a weird mix of Red Sails, Arugala, Black seeded Simpson and Tennis Ball. Add a bit id oil and vinegar dressing and it is so fresh and good. My lunch was simple and vegetarian. Beets, Beans and salad all right from the earth. It wasn't trucked in. It had no chemicals on it. It was not Genetically modified or enhanced. It was basic and unbelievably good!
Now the peels from the beets and shell husks from the beans and the trimming from the lettuce will find their way to the chickens for their treats. I eat the beet tops when they are young but now they go to the pigs who think they are similar to gourmet dining! It s very closed loop of  natural growing things.
I do find the most basic delights in having a garden. It starts in January with the arrival of seed catalogs. They become tattered and worn by the time I  make my selections. I use tried and true varieties but I also enjoy trying new things I have not seen before, they grow in my experimental garden behind the house. The tomato's and Pepper plants get started early in my south facing front window, a dash of new green in winter that cheers my day and makes me anticipate when I get to plant them. I watch my seed potatoes to see how they are doing and decide how they are storing. I make notes on various attributes plants I grow have and I of course take pictures of them.


I love the colors of things and this year I grew all sorts of potatoes. Adirondack Red [with red flesh] All Blue [with of course Blue Flesh] And various traditional red and white skinned "taters"! It was such fun. Tasty too! New potatoes cooked with fresh mint and then served hot with home made butter are hard to beat!

Now I am watching the weather and hoping it does not freeze soon though I know it will...the air has fall in it. But the daily trip to the garden with my entourage keeps summer alive a bit longer and is such a balm to ones spirit. If you don't have a garden you really should try a small one, it will delight you with its bounty and make you wonder about commercial food and how it tastes. Now I am going to feed the scraps to the chickens and gather eggs...

Happy gardening all!