Monday, January 10, 2011
The Land is asleep but not the Farmer
Life on the farm is relatively quiet at the beginning of the new year. Animals still have to be fed and watered but there is a calm before the lambing and calving season gets under way and land has to be plowed. Now is the time to fix fences and do repair jobs around the farm - and the house if there is time left. Also time for planning what to plant, which seeds to sow shortly when the sun feels a little warmer and "there is a stretch in the evenings", as Pauline would say. You can feel the evenings get that little bit longer by the end of January in spite of cold weather. The first snowdrops may show at the bottom of the orchard, followed by some crocuses, and a month later by early daffodils. This is my favorite time of the year with hope of a new growing season in the air - even if everything may still be frozen and blown to smithereens well into April.Our neighbors were having their first early lambs in the cold and dark of mid winter. A joy to see them frolicking in the fields but a lot of hard work to make them survive. Mac decided he would wait till later into spring so that the lambs had an easier start. You have to check on pregnant ewes at night, especially on first timers who had no more idea of what they were doing than we had.