Monday, September 25, 2006

Confessions of the Farm Kind

When I came back from my big trip to L.A. in August, I noticed some things around the farm that had escalated to the boiling point. Sometimes it takes getting away to clear away the clutter when I come home. Kristin Re-entry is always a shock for all of us.

Number 1: Hotels are squeaky clean (it’s their business); our old famhouse is not. It is full of dirt – as in the kind that used to reside on the ground outside. After a day, I stop noticing and realize that it is just a fact of life around here. You can’t have all these animals, live on a dirt road, bring in vegetables and flowers and have The Farmer for a husband without a little dirt (well maybe a lot of it, but so it goes).

Number 2: After much coaxing, two of the bottle lambs that were born last February just didn’t want to join the flock of big guys. They were not going to be sheep, no matter how we tried to fence them in. I would be busy working away in my studio and hear an odd noise upstairs. Upon inspection, there would be a 100 pound grown up sheep in the house nosing around the dog food bowls. Or I would arrive home, arms loaded with groceries, enter the mudroom and be greeted by a grown sheep nosing amongst the grain bags looking for something MORE to eat.

Perhaps the FoodieFarmGirl is more patient than moi.

Number 3: The “great goat experiment” was not faring well. The goats were unpennable – at least with our system of electric fences and hog paneling. No matter where we put them, they would escape. They would also figure out how to get into the fenced vegetable garden. They discovered that all those annuals I bought back in June to fill in the bloom holes of the perennial garden in August were pretty tasty. You guessed it -- everything was pruned and most beyond regrowth and bloom. And they were noisy. Everytime I opened the door, it sounded like there were four crying babies in the yard.

You can probably guess where this is going, can’t you? Since Mark is always used to a shaky Kristin re-entry to farm life, he was prepared. Without asking, he loaded the offending creatures onto his trailer and they all disappeared. We all are much happier, even Mark. He has decided he is out of the goat business for awhile. If he does go back into it, he knows he has to be better prepared and a little richer so he can build proper fences.

Now it’s not that were creatureless. We’ve still got 160 sheep, one llama, two pigs, two dogs, nine cats, and about 30 chickens. There’s still plenty of bedlam around here to keep us all busy. Escapes from fencing continues – that’s just what happens with farm animals in fences. But now it’s only the dogs and cats and an occassional rooster or hen who meander inside the house. Relative peace.

1 comment:

Siri said...

Catching up on your blog, and this one made me laugh.
Thank goodness somebody else feels the same way about the dirt as I do. It makes me crazy after being in the paved, city world where people can have white carpets, but who wnats to live in a suburban tract house on a cul-de-sac just for that? Let other people do that. Usually I get back home and say, "Well. I didn't miss the dog hair." and then after a day or two, I'm over it and stop noticing again.