a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rudee's Question, Still Have Snow

The view before we drop into the valley.
The view from my porch.
You can see the snow is hanging on for another one.
Hangover from the porch.
Warning:  Beware of falling slabs of icy snow!

Rudee has asked, "How in the world do you juggle both a farm and your outside job?  I imagine it's quite hard to find balance."

Yes, it is Rudee, that is why I am unbalanced! 

I usually post about me but there is a team here and we all share the work.  One person could never do this.  We, sometimes, call in extras.

Fencing is a group project, as is harvesting the hay for the winter but many things can be tackled by one.  My sister, Marcy, has her retirement home here and she does all the plucking and perserving.  Marcy feeds her chickens, goat and cats.  So unless she needs assistance with a big job, like cleaning the chicken house, she pretty much takes care of all that.

My other sister, Beverly who has a house in town, is the floater.  She goes where she is needed.  Right now she is working on a back yard project for Marcy making raised beds and clearing brush.  Beverly's object is to get all of Marcy's gardening close to her house.  Earlier this year, Beverly was helping me organize my house.

Feeding of livestock goes to Hubby.  He uses the tractor so it is just a matter of transferring feed and taking it to the right spot.

Andrew does the dog feeding and I do the house work.  These are all just daily chores. 

Hubby and I each work a regular day and come home to chores.  Extra chores, like cleaning the springs, mowing the grass, tagging, giving shots, worming and general working of stock is all done on weekends.  I mustn't forget cutting firewood, fence posts, clearing dead timber, repairing washed roads, repairing fences...gosh, the list goes on.  All these are weekend jobs.

So I guess we balance this by not having a social life and not much down time.  We are hoping to finish cross fencing in the spring, then it will only be a matter of moving stock from one pasture to another with the help of the Border Collies.  All pastures have live water so that is nice and makes our job easier.

We also call in the troops, (children, etc) when we are doing a big project like tearing down Dad's old bull pen and replacing it with a round pen.  The spring cleaning(cleaning our water source and the branch below it) is also a troop activity along with  taking the composted manures from the lot, barn and chicken house to the garden.

I guess this is why farmers always had a big family, to help with all the chores.  The main way a farm works is when someone sees something that needs done, you do it.

There is a saying,  Farmers work from sun to sun, a woman's work is never done.

Things are far from perfect, Rudee, but we love our life.  There is always a pair of muddy boots by the door, something waiting to be done, but life is good At The Farm.

I hope I answered your question Rudee. Thanks for playing along.


Journaling Woman said...

It may take a village to raise a child but it also takes the village to keep the farm going. You are right farmers have always known they needed help with big jobs on the farm -big families, extended families, and community bartering.

Great post. This question thing is a great idea helps us to see inside your world. I may steal the idea sometime.

The Funny Farm said...

Wow I can't imagine doing all you do and working full time. That is so awesome that you have your sisters that help out with all the farm stuff.

My question is, you here all these people talk about sustainable farming. Which I am not a sustainable farmer. Yes I have a garden and we started raising turkeys and I hope to start milking my goats when they kids next month but the rest of the animals I have are for fun and do not bring me any money. In fact quite the opposite animals are expensive to feed. We have 15 acres and they are farmed but not by us though we get a small amount of money for it. But my husband works a full time job and makes pretty good money and aside from that we would not have this farm nor all the animals. We could not afford it. AAAAllll that so ask, do you really think sustainable farming is a reality in the 21st century? I ask because you obviously still work but still do the farm. Also do you have any goals for farming to ever be your main support?

ellen abbott said...

And this is why farmers all had big families. I love the last photo.

Joanna said...

Gail, it makes me tired just reading about it! I remember talking to my first husband's grandmother, who spent her life on a farm on the prairies. She told me about finishing the "inside work" and then heading out to to the "outside work." I have nothing but admiration for you and your family.

Rudee said...

I can see this is an amazing amount of work you must all do, but somehow, your love for this land and your lifestyle shines through, Thanks for posting an answer to my question.

An English Shepherd said...

I like snow :-)


Nezzy said...

....and the beat goes on! Hubby and I ofter joke while dreaming about free time. What most people do not realize it that we farm for the love of the land and work outside the farm to sustain the farm because most farms are not profit ventures!

God bless and have a great evening!!!

Pat said...

So, what you are saying is, living on a farm isn't all fun and games! I would love to live on a spread big enough to share with my sisters and brothers, too!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Now go back and reread that post, Gail, my friend. Doesn't it make your eyes pop out when you see all the jobs and chores that need to be done all the time on your farm? It did for me. Wow! Thank goodness you do have help and a great big family to cover many of those jobs.
I think it's always quite eye opening to write down everything that you do on a daily or weekly basis.


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