Best Laid Plans

It’s true of life, everywhere, but on the farm sometimes the adage that “Life is what happens while you’re making plans” is so, so very accurate.

Let’s use this past weekend as an example. We had a couple of social events not-to-be-missed: our goddaughter’s 5th birthday party, good friends having an open house, and our monthly standing Brunch on Sunday, but with bonus May Birthday goodness for a few family members. So that’s a pretty busy schedule… but also, the rains are coming back, and we had several things on the To Do list that were starting to get REALLY pressing. Like mowing.  Why does the pasture grow so much better where the ruminants aren’t, like in the orchard, and the chicken yard??  But even more pressing, PLANTING.  We are so far behind on putting seeds in the garden it isn’t even funny.

So the To-Do list started out something like:

  1. Mow All The Things
  2. Plant All The Things
  3. Test the well water quality (we just unpacked the pumphouse for the summer season during the hot weather last week)

Things started to get fun on Saturday morning.  I had an unexpected run into town to do, so I planned to head off with a sleeping baby leaving Thaddeus and Talina to work on the chore list.  But then I had to go and count turkey chicks while doing chores in the morning… and we were two short.  No sign of the little bodies at all, just two chicks gone.  And a rat tunnel under the brooder walls we had set up directly on the ground in the barn.  So!  Diversion the first: new to-do list looks like this:

  1. Build a floor for the turkey brooder
  2. Mow All The Things
  3. Plant All The Things
  4. Test the well water

So Talina worked on the brooder while Thaddeus picked up the sickle bar mower and attacked the back pasture fencelines. We spend midday Saturday running about with various beloved individuals, and returned home about 4pm, with a few hours of sun remaining.  Great, time to mow… but wait!  I walked into the barn to check out the turkey brooder solution (working great: no additional losses), and discovered one of our goat mamas bleeding rather profusely from a wound on her udder.  So now the to-do list looks like this:

  1. Heal a wounded goat
  2. Build a floor for the turkey brooder
  3. Mow All The Things Everything but the back fencelines
  4. Plant All The Things
  5. Test the well water

An hour later, it’s approaching toddler bedtime, but we are satisfied that the goat is stable.  By the time we got the mower hooked to the tractor, dusk is approaching.  In between mower attachment steps and entertaining a sleepy baby, I was able to get enough water samples from the well to run through the water test (good news, it’s clean and very likely potable!).

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No Lead or Pesticides here!

We managed to mow the orchard and the barn pastures before pitch blackness set in.  Thankfully the fridge was full of leftovers to be cleared out before Brunch!  At the end of the day, the to-do list looked like this:

  1. Heal a wounded goat
  2. Build a floor for the turkey brooder
  3. Mow All The Things Everything but the back fencelines The Neutral Zone Pastures
  4. Plant All The Things
  5. Test the well water

Looking back, it’s certainly the farm animals who cause the most unexpected schedule adjustments… sometimes it’s tempting to downsize the herds, but then… c’mon, they’re so cute!  And delicious!

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