Tuesday, February 8, 2011
In spite of the weather
I know you hear all the time from so many vocal agriculturalists that farmers work 365 days a year, that they work in the ice and the heat, because time doesn't wait and growing food isn't something people have time to mess up. I can remember many a day where the thunderstorms rolled in and we were still cleaning cages or feeding the animals. It never mattered what the weather was like; we were always there.
Well, now that I'm back in the Columbus area again, I've been able to go out there a little more often. Amanda and I's ewe lambed twins, both healthy, and so I've been out there trying to help as the ewes transition into being mothers and then as the lambs need processed (not quite Mike Rowe style). That's what brought me out to the farm last week on a day which was better than some, but not most.
You can see from the picture the ice that covered the barnyard. Not only is this problematic for getting up the big, slick hill from the road (I made it only 12 feet and had to walk the rest) but this is also hard on the animals' joints if they were to be kept outside during the storm and hard on the people working to care for the animals. Without the extra kids around anymore, my little brother and my mom have so much more work to do on the average day by themselves.
But slipping around on the ice, chipping away at the frozen tanks and running the heat lamps to warm the lambs has its reward in the end; I wouldn't trade this for anything and while this year I'm not out there much, I put in my time, and I will again when this whole school thing is finally over. Leaning on the fence, looking down at all the frolicking lambs in the pens who will soon be turned out to pasture, I wouldn't rather be anywhere else.