Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Good Life?


Sometimes I feel like I am telling you all one giant lie. Today I'm coming clean and honest. I know many of you come here to see the sweet little lambs, pretty colors, and beautiful grazing sheep. 

 

Yes, it is my fault. I totally do it. I take the photos and post them here. 

 

Maybe you are in a cubicle - dreaming of the good life on a farm. 

 

Today I am here to give you all a reality check. 

 

It's mud season in western Massachusetts. Do you see The Farmer's insulated overalls? He only has one pair and he wears them all day. There is no time to wash them and besides - in a day, they will be recovered with mud, manure, and lambing bodily liquids. And yes, they come in the house and hang over the wing chair in the living room every evening giving an incredible odor. 


It doesn't matter that it rains and pours. The sheep and lambs need to eat they have to fed twice a day.


And yes, we have checked into how the mud can be dealt with for thousands and thousands of dollars spent on drainage, excavating, fill and gravel. There is no possible way we can afford such improvements. The humans and animals go with the flow. It will be over very soon.


Besides, with the mud comes sugaring season. Through the hills of western Massachusetts maple farmers are boiling sap making delicious syrup. 


Check out CISA's website if you would like to visit a local sugarhouse. Our favorite is Gould's on the Mohawk Trail. Bring your camera - it is a classic. There is even a museum in the back of it.

So do you still want to be a farmer?

29 comments:

Patti said...

You always tell it like it is, Kristin! I appreciate your truthfulness regarding your farm - good and bad. Thank you

Savannagal said...

Seeing your photos makes it absolutely clear to me that your life is still so much more rich and enjoyable than mine sitting in a cooped up office day in and day out. No fresh air, no birds chirping, no trees and sky, no mud. Yes, you do have a fabulous "job".

Bonnie said...

I've never, ever wanted to be a farmer. My mother grew up on a farm, and I know it's very hard work, long days, very little if any "free" time. Wishing you all the best during mud season and beyond.

Sharon themadknitter said...

Now that you put it in that manner, no thanks. Please continue to post the lovely picturres and let us dream..

Rae said...

People think I'm crazy because I love it when the temps are below freezing. Why? No mud!

Karen said...

I didn't tell my daughter the whole truth about motherhood, either. I wanted to be a grandmother! I think I'd get a big ole hook by the door for those pants, though...lol

Jeana said...

Lol! I grew up on a farm. I remember chasing hogs as a youngster wearing the black buckle galoshes that fit over your shoes. How many times the mud would suck the boot off along with your shoe and you would be standing with your foot wearing only the sock wondering, now what?!

Auntie Shan said...

Well. Now we ALL know "WHAT" to get THE FARMER for his next Birthday!

So. Let me guess... If you were to stuff those pants with roving and stuck in some batteries, then They'd walk out on Their own..??
;-D

You know, when the time ever comes to "recycling" Them, you could probably go with turning Them into "Peat"-Strips or pop'em in a kiln and make Pottery-Pants for your plants! Or, even BOTH!!

BTW, does that mud have a high enough clay-content for Pottery? And all of that sheep manure... I'm thinking "fertilizer" for those Weekend-Warrior-"Gardener"-Types who like to go all "Organic"... And, maybe toss in a *sample* Bottle of that Marvelous-"moisturizing"-Massachusetts-MUD!!

-- It's all in the "Marketing", Sweetie!

:-D

Frances said...

Kristin, I'd thought that all the recent precipitation, and warming temperatures that have passed through New York City, would surely have added to your liquid assets, putting it delicately.

What those of us who regularly visit your site and like to see what is going on in your area ought to appreciate is ... the sun is not always shining. Nature is a powerful force that we mere human folks ought to appreciate, and ...spring will come. Of course, more mud might be produced.

xo

Loretta said...

My mom calls this time of year in PA mud season too. You put on the barn boots and get out there and deal with it. You tell it like it is Kristin, and that is the most important thing! Keep bringing those beautiful photos, even if there is mud!!

Lindsay said...

Thanks Kristin, that mud looks awful- but my cubicle isn't awesome either! Maybe life on a tropical island is the way to go;)

MicheleinMaine said...

I'll bet if you put a button on your site for "Farmer's New Coveralls" and we could all contribute (even $1!), he'd have a spare pair in no time flat! Then he could rotate them, hose off a pair at night and give them 24 hours to dry! Maybe not on the wing chair, though.

Or, you could rent out a space for mud wrestling? That used to be a big sport in North Conway, NH when I lived there!

The sun's coming out tomorrow! Hang in there!

shabby girl said...

Your post is reality. Yes, I would love to just see the sweet baby and mamma lamb photos, but then anything could be happening out there; terrible, wicked, mean-spirited. I would much rather see your reality than fool myself with things that are totally not true.God bless you and Farmer!
Thank you!

gaia said...

My grand-parents used to be farmers and my mom keeps telling us what a tough job it is...I think you are doing a great job. Wishing you the very best. GAia.

janna said...

We are still stuck in the winter-that-will-not-end here. (More freezing rain and snow due today) but it will be mud season here in a few weeks. Thank goodness it is usually only a few weeks long-so hard to do chores when your boots are sucked down into the mud with each step.

Frances said...

Thank you for your visit and kind comment over at my place.

It is so interesting to see your true, close up views of March in the countryside. Best wishes to you and yours, including all those sheep and new little lambs. Your post really does bring home what "going with the flow" can actually mean.

Joan Busby said...

Thanks for sharing. Shame on me for whining about all the rainy days here in Portland. A few puddles don't compare.

Jen said...

I spent most of my childhood on our family's 'farm-ish' home with cows and sheep and chickens on the top of a windy hill. I work in an office and live in an apartment in a city. Sometimes I wish my daughter had more space to run free and spend more time with animals, but then I just take her out to my parents on weekends. I'm almost always thankful not to have the responsibilities to care for animals day in and day out, but never more so than in the winter. Bless your hearts. I hope spring comes to you soon!

Corina Sahlin said...

Ahem. Yes, mud season is not as pretty as people think... I live in the Pacific Northwest wilderness, where it rains 100 inches a year. That is one hundred inches. That's a lot. I am a farmer as well, although I raise goats instead of sheep, and I tell ya, the goats are very grumpy just about now. So am I. If we don't get sunshine soon, I will drown myself in a puddle.
Hang in there, mud season and all!

bookagent said...

While I love living in the fantasy of what farming is in an ideal world your dose of reality is refreshing and I have to say today at least I appreciate being dry and mud free!

Pam

Anonymous said...

OH no, we are poultry farmers so your reality of crap, mud and foul weather is also part of our every day, 7 days a week work life!! I sympathize and don't have romantic notions of the farming life AT ALL! I would enjoy some snow though~which we hardly ever have!

Dianne said...

Well I do admit I love the pics you post, but have never thought you had it easy. My parents grew up on a farm and life is very hard, especially now thing are much tougher. I know you love it and I appreciate all the great pics you share with us, wishing you dryer days ahead. I worked at a sugar farm on spring, it was wonderful lots of work but wonderful.I'll never forget the sound in the woods with the pails dripping and the yummy smell 24 hrs a day. Have a great weekend..

Kathy said...

YES, unequivocably YES, we would still like to be Farmers. DH worked on a farm for years, and I used to help out. YES, if we could, we'd have a farm. But, they aren't cheap, and stock or seed or machines aren't cheap...or insulated work clothes.... God isn't making land anymore, and people are buying it all for houses and shopping malls. NO DOUBT IN MY MIND...we WOULD be FARMERS!

LannieK said...

I 'come from' a long line of farmers/animal lovers/miners/animal caretakers/spinners/animal lovers/knitters. and yes, I have no thoughts that it's an easy life, and yes, I'd be there to help you every day :-) green, mud or snow :-)
Thanks for all you do, and the inspiration you share! Stay warm and dry! :-)

Ann said...

Kristin, I love your blog--I just looked at another one where everything was daffodils and pretty things and farmer's markets and artisan latte...but as I live in central maine (not even mud season yet but getting there)I was getting depressed. Everything is bron white and grey. It's true farming is hard--you just have to know what you're getting into. I admire your courage and honesty. for me, it's sort of like the Maine fantasy people have--but it's a hard place to live as well as a beautiful one. Just heating with wood is labor and you always have so much to do. The air is soft though! We'll get through it!

gale (she shoots sheep shots) said...

Nope--I just want to keep up my vicarious farmlife through your blog--and then come up and visit in person on a nice grassy sunny day in May again :-)
I love that you show all sides of things.Mud, manure, lambing bodily fluids and all XO

Anonymous said...

If there was no mud there wouldn't be green and color in the spring. I live in Southwestern PA and we have more gray days than sunny, but that's why we have our beautiful green hills. (even if it's for only 6 months!)

katiegirl said...

I hate mud season! Do you have a local USDA/NRCS or Soil Conservation office? They have programs like EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentive Program) that cost-share on practices like heavy use areas (areas that get traveled frequently and need something like stone dust to make them more durable). Your state may also have cost-share programs through the Department of Ag.

Louise Cady-Fernandes said...

I love the reality of this one. You made me laugh.