We had a to-do list this weekend that was at least a mile long, if not two. We did get a bunch done, including getting the rabbitry set up in a better spot and finishing a hallway floor. But I think we also did a better job this weekend of balancing tasks with the stress relief of visiting with family and cooking a big Sunday dinner. On an errand run yesterday we stopped at the last farm I worked at to pick up some ham and chat with a rabbit breeder friend on increasing our current breeder population. Hopefully we will have some new residents before too long.
We also started work in the barn, and had big dreams to use recycled materials to get the sheep and chicken pens done yesterday. While we did manage to reclaim an old door and some fine wooden posts, we need to purchase some additional materials to get the job done. I'm anxious to get the sheep and layers over here, I feel like the barn has waited long enough for some life.
I'm still kind of in awe of our good fortune finding land to lease for this season. My entire life, I've wanted to be a farmer. A few years ago, I set out on that journey, dabbling in chickens and growing produce. Before the last of my first tomatoes were picked, I was enthralled. Then the process of learning all I could, reading books, following blogs, scouring the internet kicked into high gear, but I couldn't be sated. It wasn't until I started working on a farm full time that my passions started to look like realistic career goals. We've been careful, planning our first season around what we know best. We've tried to keep our expectations at a manageable level, and our goals clear. I can't wait to bring delicious food to our shareholders. I can't wait to share my love of this work with others. There are so many things that must be done, and many of them back breaking. I have a tendency to avoid big machines (though I know how to operate them) in favor of a slower methodical approach. I don't mind a shovel in my hands for several days in a row. There is something peaceful about perfecting the way you muck out a stall. Maybe it's the simplicity, or the calm that comes with tired muscles.
It's January, but the weather is like a coy spring tease, and the seed and chick catalogs scattered about aren't helping my patience. So we have to focus on the tasks at hand, let the winter do as she will, and not fool ourselves into rushing. The world rushes enough, but farming will not be rushed. The work we get done daily just has to be enough, otherwise it feels overwhelming. We have to stop for dinner, because otherwise why work so hard to grow food? This life, it's not easily managed by a chore list, because the chore list is constant. That, I think is both the hardest and most rewarding part.