Night Farming

| 12/11/2017 9:22:00 AM

Tags: livestock care, Wisconsin, Laura Berlage, night farming, winter,

Bringing in sheep at dusk

 Bringing in the sheep from pasture at dusk.   

This shortening daylight routine is a real problem on the farm.  It’s a problem especially since the to-do list is only growing longer as we hurry with late autumn tasks before the ground freezes.  Now there is less and less time to accomplish those mounting tasks in the daylight hours.

This is coupled with the dilemma of Farmstead Creamery being open most days from 9 am to 5 pm.  This means getting up in early half-light, doing all the chores, then cramming in at least something in the late afternoon before nigh-fall descends like a dusky curtain.  On cloudy days, evening seems to come even earlier.

“I think I’ve been doomed to night farming,” I sighed, strapping on the head lamp once again (this time to dig the last of the onions to store in the root cellar).  “I’m doing inside jobs during the day and outside jobs during the night.” 

It feels funny to call it night, though, when it’s dark before 7:00 pm.  In peak summer, there would be three to four hours of light left to go!  Now it feels like midnight by eight or nine pm.  It really seems like a racket—giving us so much daylight for part of the year then taking it away and withholding it for the rest.  Is there some kind of seasonal ransom happening I don’t know about?

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