When people ask what a normal day looks like on the farm, the answer is pretty simple. I get up before the Sun, drink my weight in liquid caffeine, check the weather, work like mad until the sunset, check the weather, eat again, and collapse into bed. But, what a day actually looks like is a lot more complicated. A good friend of mine once said, “Farming is doing a thousand little things right, so that no one big thing goes wrong”. I have yet to find a better way to describe farming.
I do get up before the sun year round. That means a little later in the winter and a little earlier in the summer. I then shuffle off to the kitchen, turn the kettle on, stumble to the living room and turn the heat up, then I go collapse back into bed. By the time the kettle whistles, the house is warm. After a large breakfast and a pot of black tea, I am ready to face the day. Clothing is a funny thing. I probably should not admit to my terrible laundry habits. I put on a clean pair of pants on Monday, and unless I get covered in mud, or oil I wear the same pair everyday until Friday.* In the summer I wear a clean shirt everyday, but in the winter I treat my shirts the same way I do my pants. So unless it is a Monday, I pull on my dirty pants, put my boots on and go to work.
Now the fun part. You almost never do what you are planning to do when you woke up. I pick one thing (sometimes two) to be sure to get done. After that it is a matter of what comes up during the day. Sometimes, you walk out and spend the day covering everything is frost cloth cause two days from now it is going to rain, and the day after that it is going to be cold for the crops. Sometimes the field is flooded cause it rained 10 inches overnight, and you can’t get on the tractor. Sometimes, everything comes together, and you get your whole list done and find time to wash an extra load of laundry. But most days, I get up and the one or two things I have planned get started than I walk by something that needs doing, and I do it. Than I get back to what I was doing before. A real life example: The main project for the day was getting everything mowed, I had just switched from the brush hog attachment on the tractor to the riding lawn mower when I noticed that the tomatoes needed tying up, I stopped to tie up the tomatoes, than go back to the mowing.**
I typically eat lunch on the go. I have found that if I stop, I have a hard time getting back to work. Mostly I get distracted, but I can also be very lazy and once I sit down, I don’t want to get back up. I find that it is better not to have to fight that battle with myself. I have also learned that skipping lunch is not an option. If I don’t eat lunch, I run out of energy around 2 pm and get nothing done the whole rest of the day. Which is also not an option.
The rest of the day goes on like this. Working on a big project, getting sidetracked along the way, but getting the main tasks done each day. I work until sundown most days. I have seen many sunsets. I should take more pictures but I never quite around to it. Here is one I did manage to get:
Dinner and the end of the day are mostly an afterthought. I get myself fed with whatever is in the fridge, feed the dogs, and feed the horses***. If I am filthy I take a shower, but most evenings I bum around. I go to my parent’s house, I read, I watch a movie and crochet. Yes, I crochet, not well, but with enthusiasm. I typically save all my house work for the weekends, and do a real clean on the 1st and 15th of every month. After dinner, I turn the heat down and fill the kettle. When it gets cold in the house I go to bed, get my 8 hours (cause seriously I need 8 hours). Than I get up and do it all over again the next day. I have days when I wonder how could I be so blessed to get to play in the dirt all day and make a living do it. Other days I think I could have a nice office job, where my hands stay clean, I can wear something other then muddy jeans, and I get to sit in the A/C in the summer and the heat in the winter. I think this is normal for any job, sometimes you wonder where you went wrong to end up here, but if you’re lucky, most days you’ll love what you do.
So now you know what a day (roughly) looks like at my little farm in the middle of the city,
Until next time,
*This is probably why I wear out my pants so fast.
**I am pretty sure this method of farming is not the most efficient, and would not work for most people.
*** I have two horses, they are a huge money suck, but complete my life in a way nothing else does. More on them some other time.