Several years ago, I started taking off about two weeks at Christmas time, and every year since I look forward to that time and seek to make the most of it. Last year, I finished clearing an overgrown fence line down the dirt road past my parent’s house to have more pasture for our cows. After clearing it, I installed a new barbed-wire fence (I usually try to save major fence work and brush clearing for winter months). This year I added a 14 by 30 foot shed roof to the rear of the barn. This additional shed will allow more hay storage, and I plan to park the hay bailer under it. After adding the shed, I also installed a new door in the barn to have easier access to this new covered area. I already had the door; a friend gave it to me years ago. I knew it would eventually come in handy (remember, don’t throw anything usable away).
As stated in an earlier post, we plan to add more laying hens this year so I also started on the new mobile chicken coop using an old boat trailer for the frame (based on Joel Salatin’s eggmobile). Ours will not be as large as his, but it will be a start. The eggmobile will get moved around behind the cows, and they help spread the manure.
So there you go, what a productive week. It was not all work though, the kids and I managed to hang a new rope swing down by the pond. They spent a lot of time playing at the “lunk of trees.” The “lunk of trees” is a group of hardwoods down by the pond that we used to play under as children. During the summer months, it was always ten degrees cooler under there, and I think we were trying to say “clump of trees” but it came out “lunk.” Every family member knows that phrase, and it is great to see our kids playing there now. A tree house is next on the building schedule.
This time off gives me a preview of what life might look like in the future. One day I plan to retire from the “regular job” and spend every week like this past week. The down side is the kids will be grown. There is something very special about being on the farm everyday with kids working and playing right along side you. Farm work can be fun you know, so I try to involve them as much as possible. Our kids will not remember all the stuff we bought them, but they will remember the time we spend with them.
Everyone should farm something. – Jason