Never a Dull Moment

| 7/31/2017 12:04:00 PM

rainbow on homestead
A rainbow makes an appearance at the farm just after a recent storm.  Weather is often a farm event provoker (or crasher), but it’s not the only player!  Photo by Kara Berlage.

If you’re one of those folks who has your day planned down to the quarter-hour, keeps a tidy “to-do” list at hand, and likes to plan well in advance (and stick to it), then homestead farming might not be for you.

I do keep a “to-do” list, when I can remember where I put it.  Something (often multiple things) get done every day…they’re just not always what’s on the list.  So I take my que from a Joel Salatin trick and write it on the list and cross it off!  At least it helps me feel better about the day’s accomplishments.  That item should have been on the list anyway, right?

While other fields certainly have their hiccups, farming inherently is full of surprises, last-minute changes, unpredictability, and a large amount of variables that necessitate the need to change your plans at a second’s notice in order to avoid disaster (or do your best at cleaning up after one).  “Never a dull moment!” I often hear from folks after explaining the week’s happenings.  That was even more the case with this week!


Of course, weather is an immense variable in any kind of farming.  Haying cannot be booked in advance—waiting for that perfect three-to-four-day dry stretch often involves giving the green light the morning of.  Storms arise and it’s “drop everything and run” to batten down the hatches, tie down the chicken tractors, and stuff wheel barrows and other small items into sheds to avoid damage or loss.  A mild day that turns baking hot means doubling back to open windows in the brooder coop and turn on the fan, only to return with haste in the evening as the sun sets and the temps plummet.  And oh how many nights by headlamp have I been out in the garden covering sensitive plants because frost wasn’t previously predicted.

The unpredictability of animals is also high on the list of crashing the day’s plans or keeping us up at night.  The ewes give birth at all hours, pigs escape their fencing, the guard donkey refuses to come in from the pasture at night, or a turkey is found sitting on the roof of the coop…just waiting for the next owl.

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