I am so thankful that my children choose to spend their vacations (and their money) moving a family from under piles of cardboard (or if they’re lucky, a couple of ping pong tables) and into a new 12×20 home they build together over a week.  I know that every year they come back from Tijuana changed and all the more determined to keep materialism at bay and practice compassion and sacrifice more diligently in their own lives.  

This year I thought about keeping a journal of my days on the farm alone but I’ve just been too busy to do it until the rain came in this morning.  With all my morning chores finished I ran through the first bursts of thundershowers to close up the baby chicks and get in to dry off and send this newsletter out.  So, here is the overview of the first two days on the farm without Brayden and Rhayna.

Got up at 4:00am and prepared coffee and a makeshift breakfast for 5
Took Brayden, Rhayna and friends to the airport for a mission trip
At 7:30 am received a phone call that 300 chicks arrived at the post office – 10 days early!
brought home the chicks and got them situated.
Walking to the shop to get milk jugs and found a swarm of bees
put on my bee suit and moved the swarm into a hive around the corner of the shop
Got one fleece in the tank for washing
Ground wheat for bread and started first batch of loaves
Moved two steers and sheep from Narnia to the lush back pasture
All the sheep went straight to the back but one ornery ewe stayed up front and went into the pig pasture.
Two steers got into the dairy herd which took 30 minutes to sort out
Headed to the pig area to get the ewe and found she had broken down the line and the pigs were out
20 minutes to move the ewe and her lamb to the back pasture
Rounded up the pigs and fixed the line
Punched down bread dough panned the loaves and started a second batch
Jumped on the ATV to work with the broilers but it wouldn’t start
Grabbed the Explorer and headed out to the broilers – it barely ran and died several times but it did the job in the end
Along with Salty we moved fed and tried to water the broilers – 45 minutes
Hose wasn’t long enough so I had to repair hoses to make the trek from the spigot
Wash #2 for the fleece in the tank
Fed and watered all the dogs
Fed and watered the pigs
Fed and watered the chicks again
Rinsed the fleece and set it out in the sun to dry
Headed out to layers and fed, watered and collected eggs
Put straw into nests and hunted the new pasture for egg laying hiding places
Put first batch of bread into the oven and started the second batch to rise
Decided to check on the Highlands and steers and make sure they were behaving and couldn’t find the bull – searched and found him in the creek cooling off – brought him back
Answered phone messages
Pulled first batch of bread out of the oven and panned second batch
Started to pack for the markets
Remember that I haven’t eaten since 4:30am so I pick some carrots, beets and asparagus, toss with spices and olive oil and toss into the oven
Baked second batch of bread
Ate supper
Collected orders and answered emails for orders
Pulled bread out of the oven
Washed 50 dz eggs and put into cartons
Put all bread into bags ready for the market
Went to bed – 11:15pm

3:30am woke up
Started to pack up the orders and refrigerated items
Realized that my last working cooler shut down in the night – temp was still 43F (whew!)
Called serviceman, left message ,and moved everything into coolers with ice
Fed and watered chicks
5:00am Daughter in law, Christina and friend Barrett arrive to go to the market – help load them up
5:30 head out to pasture to get the cows for milking
Find water running and a new pond in the pasture where a pond was not planned
Bring the cows up
See that the pigs are learning from the ewe how to get over the line succeeded in emulating her so they are running around at will but that will have to wait until the water issue is contained
Open water meter to find the dial spinning out of control
Spend 20 minutes trying to shut off the water with every tool imaginable
Call lifesaving neighbors Mike and Kevin
Mike shuts off the water and we walk out to assess the damage – it’s bad  – broken pipe underground
Mike goes to get the excavator
Get a call from the serviceman and he walks me through fixing the problem – 30 minutes
Pack up for my market and contact my stall neighbor to explain that I’ll be late and could she help while I’m fixing the broken line – sure!
Wash coolers
Hear my wonderful milking buddy yelling my name – the head gate spring broke and I need to hold the head gate closed until milking is finished
Pack up the car with bacon, eggs, milk and meat and head to the market and drop off product and cash box
Head to plumbing supply store to pick up parts
Field several calls from Christina at Franklin Farmers market – credit card squN
Come home to find Mike has already dug up the pipe – bad break and I don’t have enough parts so we temporarily repair the line
Have to try and figure out how to get water to everyone and move some animals around
11:30am head to the farmers market to finish the market
1:00 pack up the market and head back to the plumbing supply store for a key to shut off the meter and more supplies
Head home and unpack the coolers
RUN straight out to the pasture to move a group of animals I forgot that didn’t have access to water and move them into another pasture (everyone is in the shade and just fine!)
Feed and water broilers
Feed and water dogs
Feed and water pigs
Feed and water chicks
Realize that I have the camera in the Explorer and the sun is JUST RIGHT so I click a few photos
Check on the bull, he’s gone back to the creek but I leave him – he’s just trying to stay cool
Check on the sheep
Realize I haven’t eaten yet so I make a sandwich
Fall asleep eating said sandwich
Wake up at 7:30pm and head out to collect eggs and nab 25 rogue hens that have taken up in the greenhouse
Back in the house at 9:30pm and head to bed.

The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” 

I read this quote by Masanobu Fukuoka the other day and I thought about it throughout all the trials of the past few days and I have realized that possibly never a truer statement has ever been uttered. So throughout this “vacation week” whether in Mexico or Rockfield we all find ourselves being changed and learning how to be better human beings.