Tuesday, November 10, 2009


The rain is raining all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here
And on the ships at sea.
RL Stevenson 1885

We waited days for the rain to come. It was so weirdly warm yesterday. Heavy. It was a relief when the drops began to fall this afternoon, even if the laundry was not completely dry.

Yesterday we moved the chicks out to a little room in the barn. They have their heat lamp, food and water. Chicks can only live in the living room so many days. They stink. They peep. They poop a lot. We only had 50 this go around and it was easier to just set up the brooder in the house so I didn't have to go check on them so often. Laziness, I guess. Plus it is kind of fun to watch little fluff balls for a day or two.

They are happy in the barn. I am happier too. So is Maggie since she is in charge of living room maintenance this week.

The turkeys got out and ate every last bit of the broccoli, cabbage and brussels sprouts. They also trimmed off the tops of all the onions and turnips. For some reason they didn't like the lolla rossa lettuce or the tom thumb butterhead.

So glad we could grow them such lovely organic food!

Patrick was very frustrated and sad because he was the one who planted those things for our fall garden. The vegetables were big and lovely and now they are gone.

We seem to have a problem with fall garden maintenance. One year the cattle ate the broccoli and other brassicas. The next two years it was the goats. This year we were so proud for keeping the four-legged creatures out of the garden. We were so excited to have wonderful veggies for the fall.

Thank goodness we are not like the folks who lived during the Little House on the Prairie days. We will not go hungry. We have lots of other foods stored up.

But I am sad for Patrick. That type of loss is a sad one. I am afraid it is the kind of loss that often happens in life and as he gets a chance to deal with his frustration and get over it, I am thankful for the training he is getting for adulthood. Things occasionally go wrong, people make mistakes, and sometimes they cost more than we wish. So we growl, put the silly birds back in their place, (or goats, or cattle or whatever else happens to destroy our hard work) and come up with a plan for next time. And give thanks for those other people who were able to successfully grow broccoli so we don't have to go without!

At least we have salad!


Leonora said...

I'm sorry for Patrick! One of the biggest lessons a gardener learns is how difficult it is to keep one step ahead of the animals, bugs, disease, drought, flood, etc, etc. It is a most humbling experience.

Beth said...

Oh dear...I really do feel for Patrick. As an amateur gardener myself, I am so familiar with the experience of putting in hours of work planting and tending only to have it undone in a single night of animal feasting! I guess that's why gardening is such an act of faith and optimism---when something doesn't work out, you have to carry on with Plan B. But it is a very difficult and frustrating experience. My heart goes out to Patrick.

Chris said...

I second what Lenora and Beth said; gardening can be so frustrating! My fall garden was coming along when a bear went through the fence which let in a deer. The only thing the deer left was turnips. Wishing Patrick better luck next time.

CountryDew said...

My father would say Patrick is having a character-building exercise. I am sorry he is learning such hard lessons, though, I must say it is one of the great things about living on a farm. You have a true appreciation for the circle of life.

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

Aw, poor Patrick. We don't grow things like you do but Kelly gets many lessons on the farm and I always remind myself it's preparing her for life.

We are reading the Little House on the Prairie books right now. I am amazed at what people used to endure.

Ingrid said...

I love reading your blog, Ginger, and keeping up with the intimate things that happen in your daily life on the farm. Thank you for sharing them. I miss being on the farm!