Honestly, we can’t imagine a different life. Every day we wake to the thrill and optimism of a new day, as life on the farm is always keeping us up, excited and on our toes. There isn’t one day that’s the same. And, every day offers something where we can get our hands engaged and ‘see’ substantial progress towards some goal that’s truly visible in a marked way. That sense of accomplishment and reward paired with the beauty of the many moments throughout the day where nature just takes our breath away, makes farming truly awesome in the truest sense of the word. When one mixes in the joy of engaging and connecting with the animals of ones’ farm and the harmonious dance with nature farmers like us who are organic enjoy — well, it’s hard to top a day in the life of a farmer.
First, we wake up to a breakfast delivered to us by our own farm: goats milk, eggs from our chickens, sausage from our deer/goats and often homemade bread with wheat from our own grains. Then, we dress and head outside to the beautiful sunrise kissing our home and land.
We bundle up, head outside and get greeted by our dogs: two labs and our working livestock guardian dog (Great Pyrenees) whom we proceed to feed. Upon feeding they follow us throughout the rest of our morning chores.
My husband and I do all our chores together, in concert with our dogs, often dividing and conquering in the same location simultaneously. Thus, my husband does the dogs while I feed and water the chickens; collecting the eggs and setting them inside the house for further processing later.
Once we are done at the top of the hill, we drive in our UTV with grain followed along by three loping dogs, to the barn. We love the drive to the barn as the mountain morning is truly kissed by the sun as it breaks the mountain skyline. This part of our day is always special.
The Mountains Surrounding Our Farm Kissed By The Rising Sun
We always pause to watch the sun rise; as light beams turn frost into sparkling diamonds for a time. In these moments the valley awakens and we pause in appreciation to watch the spectacle. It’s truly lovely. We then keep driving to the barn, it’s frosty roof glistening in the sun sending light beams into the barn. The animals begin to stir for their morning breakfast.
We check on the lambs first and see if our other ewe Patches has delivered her lamb. No new lambs this morning but the week old twin lambs are thriving and actively hopping around.
We divide and conquer together in the barn with my husband doing the horses (grain them) then dispersing their hay out in the pasture and then re-filling their stall water buckets and hay mangers to be ready for the eve. I grain the female (doe) goats who are all pregnant and due in Feb-Mar. and grain the female (ewes) sheep. I then grain the alpacas and meat rabbits. Together, Mike and I hay the male goats and sheep (bucks and rams) and then refill the remaining water buckets.
This is also a special time in the morning for us when all the critters are munching away and we get to sit and watch/bond with them all before all head outside for a day in the fields. We scratch, love, brush, check for health and simply ‘commune’ with our anfam (our family word for our animal family). We usually do this for about 15 minutes, while bonding with Maggie (our LGD) who also is inside and patroling, sniffing, loving, bonding with all our different species of livestock.
This time of bonding is really a ‘stop and take notice’ sort of time, when we really pause to watch, engage and truly enjoy our life. There’s nothing like sitting on hay bales, loving on your dog and watching and communing with such amazing animals. It’s about as intimate as the human – animal connection can get, particularly with babies everywhere hopping and jumping around.
After saying our thanks to the big guy for this amazing farm life, we head back up to the shop and house via UTV and begin our often divide and conquer day. Mike is usually fixing fence, building things in his woodshop for the farm, out preparing the garden beds or tending to the fruit orchard. I tend to clean the house, cook, clean the fiber/wool for spinning, do canning, drying vegetables or medicinals for storage, or making soap. Today I’ll head to town and pick up some feed for the alpacas and get my day planner for 2016. I will spend the rest of the day planning my seed starts for indoors which will begin next week and continue through March as we now shift to garden planning for our 2016 vegetable garden.
A day in the life of a farmer (our farm family) sheds light into the daily routines (we do this routine twice a day) of farm life at our farm. We hope, through pictures, you can see the glorious moments such a life can bring. We encourage everyone to go meet their local farmers and join a CSA (community supported agriculture) where you can get your family on a farm to engage with your farmer community, take more control of the food you and your family eat (healthier, grown locally) and enjoy the benefits of spending time with your family close to the land and close to animals. These experiences are so profound for adults and kids alike and we pray that you will find blessings along the way.
Below, is the wonderful 1978 words of Paul Harvey.
“WHEN GOD MADE A FARMER”
And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So God made a farmer.
God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.” So God made a farmer.
“I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife’s done feeding visiting ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon — and mean it.” So God made a farmer.
God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, ‘Maybe next year.’ I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, during planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain’n from ‘tractor back,’ put in another seventy-two hours.” So God made a farmer.
God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor’s place. So God made a farmer.
God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bails, yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadow lark. It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week’s work with a five-mile drive to church.
“Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life ‘doing what dad does.'” So God made a farmer.
God Bless ! L. Davis