Okay, so people ask me “What do you do all day on the
Farm and Ranch Living Magazine invites a farm
family to keep a diary every month so you can get a taste of farm
life through their experiences. There are also a plethora of
blogs out there chronicling life on the farm – if you look off to
the right side of the page you can see our blogroll and check out
what we read! I have decided to give it a shot as well
because then when people ask I can just sent them to Farm to
We have a small farm with chickens, hogs and a couple of cows.
The cows (mainly Ellie Belle) dictate much of the chore schedule
because milking is a twice a day, EVERY day activity! This morning
went something like this:
7:45 ish – Assemble the milk bucket from bits washed last night
in the dishwasher and grab the extra milk for the hogs, fill the
wash bucket and head out. Hubby is already outside fixing the pull
cord on the mower. It came off last night when I was mowing the
lawn to feed clippings to the cows.
8:00 – Radio on, cow in the stanction eating grain, milking
machine chuffing away nicely, getting grain ready for the hogs and
Ellie kicks of the milker. Investigate a bit and find a sort spot
on the end of one teat. I guess I would kick a bit too!
8:15 – Toss hay to the cows and head back inside to strain the
milk and make more yogurt. Think a gallon will be enough?
Hay customer was here early, thinking that we started at 8:00
rather than 9:00. We are early risers but there is lots to do
before opening the doors! Arnold had started on breakfast but
went out to load hay so I finished making it. We do a big
farm breakfast on Saturdays because we typically don’t get done
with hay until 2:00 or later. On the menu this morning:
Fried red potatoes, fried eggs, toast with a choice of peach
or strawberry jam, and milk.
8:45 – Doors to the shop open, lawnmower bits assembled and put
away, kids feeding the hogs, I move the chicken tractors and fill
the feeders and waterers. Cindy comes for hay, visit for a
minute, she offers to come and help butcher chickens on Tuesday!
Awesome! We can use the help, she knows what she is
doing and she will bring her knives!
9:00 – Go back inside and start a batch of bread.
9:15 – Outside, cows see the lawn mower and start bawling.
Mow for half an hour in the orchard and around the berries to
make them happy. Memo to self – pick rocks more
Quick story here – we always give
grass clippings to the cattle. They have a small pasture but
it never has enough grass to keep them happy. We have set up
electric fence to give them more pasture (see the “Lawn Moo-ers” post) in the past but I have a
“disrespectful” member of the herd right now that makes that a
challenge. He seems to think that fence posts are for
scratching on so rather than staying inside the electric fence he
requires something a bit sturdier. Once he goes on to
“greener pastures” we will be able to do that.
One day I could hear the cows bawling and wondered what was
the matter. In the past, if one was out or something was
wrong the other cow would usually bawl and fret so I was concerned
that we had a breach of security or similar. I looked out and
there was nothing the matter – they were just standing at the
corner of the pasture looking expectant. I couldn’t figure
what was the matter until the neighbor’s lawn mower started back
up! I realized they could hear the mower from next door –
behind the trees you couldn’t see it! – and figured it was dinner
time! I had to laugh.
10:30 – Run one of the kids into Silverdale. I need to go
to town today but I am not ready so I will have to make another
trip! So much for doubling up to save gas! Before I
leave I think – ooohh. I needed to take care of the bread
11:30 – Home – bread has risen nicely but it got left a bit too
long and when I put the loaves in the oven they deflate a bit.
Bummer! It will taste fine but it isn’t a picture
perfect loaf. Visit with Alice and Lori about raising
chickens, the price of feed, protein content of broiler feed,
chicken tractors, butchering chickens, 4-H projects, and trying to
share the road with the Kitsap Tri-Babes during the summer! They
train at the local lake and bike on Holly Road most weekends
beginning now. Prepare for some slow downs on Saturday
mornings by leaving a bit early!
12:00 – Bread out, and yes, it deflated.
1:00 – Hay crew in for lunch. Leftover pesto chicken and
pasta with green salad and deflated bread. They don’t seem to
care that it is ugly and eat half a loaf while it is still warm.
Need to bring up more jam from the downstairs canning pantry
2:00 – Post the blog, check the chicken water since it is so
warm, move the tractors (too many chickens, not enough tractors,
problem solved on Tuesday!) Then, run errands in town, get a few
more bulb onions to finish the row, run to the church to photocopy
something for tomorrow.
Tonight finds me doing chores again, prepping a Sunday School
lesson, and maybe going on a date with hubby!
Don’t know about you but just thinking about all this has me
worn out! See you on Tuesday for a recap of the chicken
processing and more of the Farm Diary!