Intent to Inscribe.
Like any skill, the efforts of observation, calculation, reaction, and recording, which combine into the whole of writing, are best practiced every day to become proficient. With that in mind, I’m setting out to create a daily journal of my happenings around the farm. Presented with the hopes that you will enjoy this place as much as I do, here is day one.
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
The past two days have been glorious; cool and crisp in the morning, but sunny and inviting nonetheless. Early sunrise makes it tough to sit inside sipping coffee and poring over articles, responding to emails, and creating relevant Facebook posts for our followers. Gina and Henry typically roll out of bed after I’ve been at it an hour or so, and I like to spend a little peripheral time with the duo before each day.
This time of year is my favorite. Nice days are something to be coveted; it’s not yet scorching hot and I know the cows revel in the mornings. They greeted me when I headed into the pasture to move them onto their first paddock, a routine I completed twice more before dark. The wild strawberries are ripe, but as of yet I’ve only discovered them in the wake of the grazing herd, squashed into the soil like a million red dots. Sooner or later I’ll find a fresh patch, and then my schedule will be pushed back for the day.
It’s our publicized re-stock day in the Beef Barn. I spent some time getting pictures of the fresh beef inventory and sorting out the orders that have already started to trickle in. Inventory, friends, is a glorious thing.
Dad and I strategized for a brief stint on the upcoming business that will accompany Kate’s wedding on the 22nd. There is much to be done, on top of all of the usual things that need accomplished.
My little orchards around the farm have fallen into significant neglect; the young trees have been annihilated by deer, a most infuriating pest. One would think, in all the verdure of the June landscape, that the creatures could eat something other than my fruit trees. I spent some time building fences around four stunted trees near our Event Barn to alleviate the pressure. While there I noted that, though my heritage sweet corn is coming along nicely, the black variety of flour corn has failed to germinate successfully. Disappointment is often the case when trying new things.
After shifting the herd into their second paddock and making a few phone calls, I started hauling manure in the spreader to a piece of pasture in much need of remediation. Toting manure, to the uninitiated, may seem like a backwards hick thing to do, but it is such a precious resource on our farm and we treat it like gold. I’ll submit that our fertility stockpile is worth far more than a sophisticate’s ongoing infatuation with Netflix Originals. My task was cut short when a chain broke on the manure spreader. It will need repaired tomorrow.
Water is hauled to the pasture cattle daily, and, upon leaving the wreck of a manure cart in the lower pasture, I used the tractor to haul a tank up for the animals. I have two water carriers; when one is hauled full to the grazing front lines, the other is returned home empty to be refilled. The calves, now mostly approaching one month of age, have realized the existence of their legs and have taken to romping around the fields with no regard for fencing or boundaries. They’re terrorists. Their mommas pay barely a lick of attention when ten or twelve bounding offspring rip past on their way from nowhere in particular to nowhere in particular. These next few weeks will be filled with broken fences and frustration, but it’s hard not to smile as I watch them.
Tomorrow is calling for rain.I’ll be burdened with my rain suit, but it sure is easier grazing when shade is not an issue and the grass is lush and well watered.