Farm Work, Farm Love

March 4th, 2010

I love to do the morning chores.   There is something so satisfying about being the first person the animals see in the morning.  As I trudge through the crusty snow to open the greenhouse door, I can’t wait to greet the chickens and to feel them pecking at the snow still clinging to my rubber boots (my favorite:  The water is sometimes frozen, occasionally I get soaked trying to fill the water buckets, there is often poop to clean out of the nesting boxes, but the work is honest and I feel so connected to the earth and to my food.


As I leave the greenhouse after replenishing the water I head to the grain room to mix the grain with the minerals.  The smell of corn, kelp and minerals  is in the air (we use minerals from Fertrell which is a great company  I load the buckets into the sled and head back to the chickens.  Oh are they happy to see me again!  I leave my basket by the door so that I can collect a few eggs on my way back through.


I take an egg with me for the cat and get my daily dose of cute as I watch him lap the golden yolk.  I head into the barn to fill the water trough for the cows and to check on the goats.  I hook up the hose to the pump and listen as the water begins to fill the hose.  Sometimes I sweep while the trough is filling up and other times I just watch the animals.  I watch the steam rising from their backs, their breath slowly puffing out like smoke, and their black marble eyes watching me watching them.   The trough is full and I disconnect the hose.  I pull the end out of the trough and hold  it high above my head, rhythmically walking hand over hand toward the other end, draining the water so it won’t freeze.  I breathe in the fragrant aroma of fermenting hay and I say thank you to the cows on my way out of the barn.


I breathe deeply and enjoy being outside for the few minutes a day that I have alone without the kids.  I walk slowly and carefully through the barnyard and down the hill back to the greenhouse.  I wonder how many eggs the hens have laid?



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