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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2008-04-19 15:27:58
Subject: Passive Farming

    I'm not sure where I ever got the idea that a farmer's life is full of so much spare time. I think it must have been various paintings by people such as Norman Rockwell where you see the farmer on his front porch smoking a corn cob pipe, rocking in his chair with a glass of iced tea by his side. I interpret those kinds of pictures to mean farming as a leisurely occupation, mostly waiting for your crops and animals to grow. Then I tried farming.      Two years ago we received our first goats. A few months later we bought some pigs. We had chickens when we arrived as well as a couple dairy cows. Long story short, goats were killed by dogs, chickens were stolen, cows just up and D-I-E-D and pigs were smothered by their mothers. In other words, most of everything we started with we've lost.     We do have plenty of pigs now; population growing steadily. Our chickens are producing eggs like crazy and increasing in number bit by bit. We've not lost a goat since, well, since our .22 started defending against dogs. We're just starting to understand how to handle cattle.     Anyway, there's nothing passive about farming. It is work, constant work. You wouldn't believe how creative livestock becomes in finding new ways to die. It's work just to keep the mothers from killing their young. It's work keeping the baby pigs from dieing of hypothermia and from all the diseases and parasites they pick up. It's work keeping the cows from starving to death even they have grass all around them. It's work keeping the goats alive and keeping your fruit trees safe from your goats. Then there's all those pesky plants, crops and fruit trees that want water even there's no rain. Did I mention fertilizer is not optional?      You may not believe it (I didn't), but farming is work. ;-)

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