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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Life On A Farm Is Kinda Laid Back"...

and kinda not...

I have to believe John Denver thought he was right when he penned that thought in his song, or maybe he was high ( but only on the Rocky Mountains I'm sure- I kid! I kid!) when he dreamed that line up.

Whichever is the case, I'm scratching my head and trying to remember the last time life on the farm felt even remotely "laid back".

Facts are facts and the facts are,
there is no good ole summer time when the livin is easy on a farm in Florida.

Since I seem to be doing an awful lot of phrase and song quoting today I should probably through in the one that best applies here:

Make Hay While the Sun Shines!
{insert your own sound of whips cracking here}

The problem with using the sunshine to "make hay" is that most other chores are commonly done in the sunshine, or at least the daytime, also. So if the day is now solely devoted to haymaking where do those other things fit in?

Well thank you for asking...

they fit into the pre day and post day you slackers!
(ahem, I mean me, I'm the slacker - not you)

It just makes sense!

or at least it seems to make sense when the grass is growing an inch a day and you know you have at least 600 bales to put up before it quits growing so there is enough to feed all winter.

No one has figured a way to get the horses to understand they dont need attention, or gotten the cows to milk each other, or told all the young stock to worm and vaccinate themselves.


Instead, they all stand around like a bunch of losers waiting for us to do it!

Its probably our fault for not training them better when they were little but they just act like they are on summer vacation lounging around chewing their cud while we race around like crazy people trying to fit all the normal chores into the day.

Actually, now that I read that sentence, I think maybe they are on to something and we really are crazy!

Be that as it may I took my camera with me yesterday to record a day in the life of above mentioned said crazy people....

Day begins:

6:15 throw on clothes, grab a pot of coffee and a box of doughnuts (otherwise known as moral builders) and try not to be the last one to show up in the barnyard ( I wasnt - I was the second one there - hooray!)

6:45 Up before the sun has made much of a dent and I can barely see the cows heads in the mist. I will call this picture

"Cowrillas In the Mist"

These young heifers are not used to seeing humans cavorting in their pasture in the predawn mist and so naturally are a little suspicious but food must be the universal language of come hither (see doughnuts above)because the mere sound of the grain cart rumbling towards their feed trough is enough to win them over and make them through caution to the wind

after a few tasty mouthfuls they are herded into a corral where they are put one by one into a chute. Even though they are young (thus the worming and vaccinating) they still weigh about 400 - 500 hundred pounds so we restrain their heads for our safety. each one gets wormed and vaccinated

along with a reassuring pat that its all gonna be over in a minute...

After the heifers are happily munching the rest of their grain, free of our "interference" with their daily routine, it is time to for tractors to be fueled up and time to hit the hay fields.

This will continue in shifts all the live long day.

Lunch will figure in there somewhere eaten beside tractors idling in wait

on and on, under the sun

8:45PM This picture was taken on my last shift as "water boy" 8:45 PM

8:50 The sun is sinking fast,

the field is done being raked and the baler can go on into the night since it has headlights and the air is hot and dry and wont put any moisture on the ground until after midnight.

9:00 Time to go do the night milking for the final chore of the day.

Only a 14 hour day....

and we got everything scheduled for this day done, not bad!

1 comment:

  1. i have such warm, fuzzy memories of your farm --walking the hot, dusty road to the dairy; rich sweet, raw milk; the smell of cows...hmmm ; but as a kid you have no idea the work that into all that i guess -you guys are amazing!! ...still one of my biggest dreams is to have a sweet little farm of my own :)