Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saturday Night on the Farm

We had a great market day today. Not too busy. Just enough customers to sell out almost every loaf of bread with a loaf of baguette left over for Nora.

It was nice and fresh, not too hot. We left the market with a cooler full of goodies: nectarines, explosively ripe, three heads of cauliflower, a bag of eggplant, some more baby beets, and corn on the cob.

I got home late this afternoon and was happy when a not too far down the road neighbor came over to check out our hayfield. On Thursday he bought a loaf of bread from me and we chatted about haymaking. I told of my dilemma and he suggested we take a look. After taking a look he offered to help cut and bale on the halves.

What an answer to prayer. I had been praying about haymaking for weeks. Actually months. Had given up. I know the hay is not the most excellent of hay, but what we need is adequate hay. And if we bale it now, there is quite a bit of green leaf undergrowth that will make adequate hay.

Sometimes it is hard for a former perfectionist to make do with adequate, but farming has been a wonderful therapy for me. I want to make great hay. I read books about making great hay. But life gets in the way and I find that a great deal of life is about letting go of a few expectations so you get some adequate hay in the barn.

The neighbor started cutting this afternoon and will continue tomorrow. This is an occasion where working on Sunday is a good thing as we have some warm weather that should allow the hay to dry quickly. I will take the kids to big church and help with Maggie's 13th birthday party then hope to get home in the afternoon to help rake hay.

Have I ever mentioned that making hay is one of my favorite things?

Of course I would prefer to cut it with a team of a dozen with scythes and rakes and enjoy the machinery of our bodies working sans dependence on oil, diesel, etc, but for now I will be thrilled to turn on the tractor and harvest our organic grass mechanically so we will have food for the animals this winter.

My dad will be so glad. He called to tell me the other day that he was concerned that I was mowing down all our hay and wished we could get it baled. Yeay for neighbors.

By the way, Patrick got home today from Boy Scout Camp. Whew. I am so relieved to have everyone home under the same roof for awhile. He learned to be a mountain man and had a great week, but I think he is happy to be home. I hope he stays that way as I have to get him to help figure out a chicken containment system for our terribly large flock of chickens who have figured out how to find our garden. Egg mobile?

Speaking of chickens, I wondered to Rachel if our hen setting on a clutch of eggs in the barn had any news for us this weekend. She went out to check and the proud mama hatched out a dozen adorable little babies. Another hen came to me earlier this week with her cute little newborn. Chickens everywhere!

PS For dinner we enjoyed corn on the cob, curried cauliflower, sauteed zucchini and sauteed round steak from Moose. After dinner Rose put on funny glasses, stood on a chair and told jokes. We laughed so hard. She was a bit annoyed because occasionally we laughed at the wrong time, but I could see that the girl has a future in comedy and performance. If you ever need a laugh, get Rose to tell you jokes. Some of them are pretty funny. I love to hear her laugh.

Nora made me laugh pretty hard hearing her practice telling knock knock jokes. But then I grew tired and had to retire. Perhaps I will dream of silly knock knock jokes tonight. The girls remembered how Philip would tell them funny jokes and do the silly belly dance for them, one time making Maggie laugh so hard she threw up at the dinner table. Not too many dads can have that claim to fame!

Now all is quiet except for the summer evening noises of whirring bugs and settling down animals. It is still, with the inside noises of a couple of fans blowing. Dark sky with a few faint stars, moist air and cool. The fireflies are out, but not in the droves of late May and June. Even the frogs seem subdued right at the moment.

Maybe I will read for a few moments, or sit outside on the deck and feel still. Hmm. Decisions, decisions. Good night.


Debbie Millman said...

I look forward to hearing some of Rose's jokes (and Nora's knock knocks).

CountryDew said...

Your day sounds so full and yet so peaceful. I hope you're doing well.

Anonymous said...

Knock Knock
Who's there ?
Dismay !
Dismay who ?
Dismay be a joke but it doesn't make me laugh !
Hurrah for the hay! said...

Hi Debbie, Anita and Anonymous!

It will be great to see you soon, Debbie and I am sure if you ask, the girls will be more than pleased to share their jokes with you.

Anita, I didn't think about it that way, but weirdly enough, it was peaceful. I am doing well. Occasionally overwhelmed and tired, but well.

And, yes, hurray for hay!