James is in the kitchen, making dinner and Kim is upstairs taking a well deserved shower. It was one of those farm marathon days. We were up at 5 trying to beat the heat. After a quick cup of coffee and breakfast, we all headed out to work. Usually, we start with livestock chores around 5:30 and then at about 7 we all break for food and drink before starting the proper work day. But today, with temperatures climbing, we just set right to work.
Our farm is a balancing act, keeping the animals and plants happy. And it's been a little easier as of late with an extra set of hands. I can say for sure that in comparison with last year, where I was solo full time- it's a huge change to have so many hands. Which means we get to do things like- mow the lawn and weed whack and keep the place looking nice and not just productive. It makes a world of difference, especially with farm visits coming up.
We moved 150 little chickens out into their field pen this morning, now that it's emptied of their compatriots who are now occupying the freezer. They were less than pleased at going for a truck ride, but once they realized that grass was at the end of the trip- they settled right in!
James then started working to clean out the baby chick brooder in the barn before we put another batch in there, an unpleasant chore but arguably one of the most important. Kim was on plant dutywatering the greenhouse and spending long hours tending rows of beans and onions and brassicas in need of weeding. I spent the entire day behind a regular lawn mower and then our neighbor's brush hog getting the field in touring shape. Last summer, I couldn't have dreamed of getting those things done with any kind of regularity- so despite the humidity, and the hard work, and the very long day- I'm chipper about what got done.
One days with this kind of heat (88 and drenched with humidity) we break for lunch around 12 and then wait out the mid day sun until 3 or so before heading back to work. We also make a trip to Agway for some bedding (wood shavings) and some seedlings that are a bit behind in our greenhouse (or got hammered by hail). Luckily, our local Agway has amazing seedlings from local farms much bigger than ours, so we won't get behind in the season.
After putting ice packs in all of the bunny cages to keep nursing mama rabbits cooler, we set about afternoon chores. Then it was back out to the field until close to 7. The little world here is shaping up quite nicely, and they're calling for an even hotter day tomorrow. Long hours are expected this time of year, but we try to work smart and not kill ourselves. A good sweat is one thing, but heat exhaustion is not to be played with.
We're hosting farm tours this Sunday from 10-1! If you'd like to come, and aren't a CSA member, we would greatly appreciate an email and a $3 donation. (CSA members are free) But do come along if you'd like to see the workings! There are 6 litters of baby rabbits to see, some overly friendly goats and 8 fat pigs. And that's just the start!