Sunday, 11 May 2014


Finding a bird's nest in your rural mailbox is exciting, especially when you open up the box and see a little bird sitting in the nest, on her eggs...and then the excitement ends and you realize she's the reason the mail has been strewn around the highway lately and she will have to go.  Or, should she get to stay?  I felt like a cruel human plowing over the natural world as I gently took the nest out and set it in the ditch a few feet away (this was after the bird had gone out for the day).  This poor family has been displaced, the eggs may well have gone untended, and the bird comes back, finds her way into the mail box and rebuilds.  With the sun out and the fields dry, it has been a busy couple of weeks and I haven't been able to make time for making the mailbox more nest-proof.  And so, I have this on my conscience.

The pig was evicted around the same time - and with good cause.  He destroyed the place.  He lifted the concrete tiles and dug several feet in the ground.  But he is a pig and he has his reasons.  He has been relocated to a much nicer, greener pasture, with a run-in shed instead of a barn.  He will be with us for another couple of weeks and then we will take him for slaughter.

The greenhouse is up, the fields are mostly dug up and covered or planted, though the digging is ongoing.  Each day starts around 6:30 in the morning and wraps up around 8:00 at night.  Meals are hearty:  three eggs some days for breakfast, toast, granola, a hefty lunch, a full cooked supper.  A salad and smoothie won't cut it.  And the time that goes into making proper meals cuts into TV time and internet browsing.  That's the positive side.  It also means that lying in a hammock on an afternoon off and reading a good book doesn't happen much.  This is, after all, not a hobby farm and making a farm functional requires a least a little austerity.  Every morning my fingers feel locked.  And then they loosen up and I manage to get them around the hoe or the shovel or the fork.  The paddy hat and flimsy scarf around my neck have kept me from getting seriously burnt without using glob after glob of sunscreen, but some days the angle of the hat is a bit off, the scarf gets loose and I end up a bit pinker than I hoped.   The grass is back and it's lush.  The trees are budding, and the wind has been a real pain, but the airflow is good out here.