Monday, June 1, 2009
Moovin' Into June
Welcome, June, sweet month of green-growing!
June is a month of movements: folk flex muscles and venture outdoors, seeds open and stretch, leaves unfurl, vines extend, snowbirds return from Parts South and the highways of Maine burgeon with migratory herds of RVs.
The first movement of our own June symphony involved some challenging orchestration. The instruments at hand were spools of electric fence-wire, unwieldy armfuls of step-ins (portable fenceposts), hoses and water-tubs, several hungry animals and a clamjamfry of forage areas.
To begin with, we made an overture...a perambulation of all areas with enough mollifying mouthfuls to appease our hungry cattle. They've eaten their way through everything in their permanent pasture, and--as we wait for the recently-seeded auxiliary pastures to become established--we view all grass-growing areas as bovine buffets. No need to pull the gas mower out of the barn yet this year-- all our mowing has been done not with a sputter and a roar, but with a munch and a moo.
I'm sure we'll need that mower towards the end of the week. Earlier this Spring, in a fit of temporary insanity, I offered our farm as the host site for a church picnic. Wouldn't it be fun to share our sweet baby animals, tidy little gardens, and the farm's fine, green expense--er, expanse--with the rest of the congregation? The offer was made--and accepted--in April, that cruelest of months when all gardens exist merely as figments of the imagination rather than rank, bug-bitten, weed-choked realities. April, when the pasture is just starting to emerge from the snow, and one imagines it perpetually lush and grassy...well, I'm sure you can figure out how this played out! Here we are at the start of June, struggling to rotate our livestock around the yard while we rush to beautify the (manure-strewn) landscape and try to make the house look like a quaint little cottage instead of a construction site.
Yesterday we moved the cows (out of the side yard into the orchard)
so that today we could move the piglets (out of the barn into the side yard)
so that tomorrow we can move the chicks (out of their box upstairs into the barn)
so that we can start a new batch of chicks in the incubator.
ADD TO THIS WEEK'S TO-DO LIST:
Finish all interior house trim. (Mmm-hmm. Right.)
Move the tablesaw out of the dining room. Replace with actual table.
Tile the bathroom floor so we can finally hook up the bathroom sink.
Clean out the pig stall, power-wash & spray down with bleach.
Clean out the chickens' stall & add used shavings to compost pile.
Weed raised beds; plant succession crops, beans, tomato seedlings.
Make signage for farm hazards & mark safe areas for picnic guests.
Haul all debris, tree-prunings, & construction waste to burn pile.
Have everything looking nice by Friday morning.
Work at Farmers' Market Friday afternoon.
Work off-farm job all day Saturday.
Mow whatever remains of lawn (Saturday night?)
Yep, June: month of growth and movement. Right now, I'd better get mySELF moving, because I'm growing a nice big crop of STRESS!