Firsty day farming = tired

*Note to past self: If you plan to quit your desk job and exchange long days in a chair for long days in a field, be sure to use your otherwise neglected gym membership. Your back needs to be stronger.

I think the above thought with a smile because I'm tired tonight-- really, really tired. But it's a kind of minor exhaustion that feels good inside this body, a minor ache that signals my muscles are waking and will soon be strong again. The farm owner jokingly asked "you don't have a weak back do you?" to which I laughingly responded "not anymore." Or at least once those fields are cleared I wont. ;)

The day started with what will be a normal routine: feed the chickens their scratch & peck food and gather eggs while they are distracted. Excitingly, I only battled two broody hens this morning to get to their eggs (~100!). While hen number two was docile and agreeable (plus a bit squawky at the injustice being done), hen number one didn't want to put up with my shit and tried hard to draw blood. Loser! My gloves thwarted her attempt. I learned that the obnoxious rooster and an older hen will likely be "dispatched" soon, and I look forward to learning to humanely slaughter chickens. Shortly after chicken breakfast time we changed the placement of the hens' run and open area. The carrot field from last year is clear and it's time for chickens  to eat up the bugs before crops are planted there again. Interestingly, the hen pen is dotted with upright lengths of rebar at various intervals to dissuade the bald eagles swooping in for dinner. While we were out working we saw one circling overhead with a keen eye on what was happening and the farm dog (good boy!) went crazy, running and barking and clearly trying to do his part at preventing the predation (while moving the pen we found one hen, or rather parts of a hen, which meant some eagle had filled his belly recently). The dog is also a great bird dog-- earlier, when one of the chickens flew the coop and was outside the fenced area the dog immediately started chasing the chicken and trying to catch it. I was very worried, but I learned that he can be used to corner the bird so the human can catch it more easily or sometimes the dog himself will catch the bird in his mouth and hold it, not causing harm to her but just trying to hold it and help the humans get her back inside. Funny.

We cleared the debris (mostly seeding flats and row markers) from the greenhouse with the peas, and sadly they'll likely be replaced by new seedlings because wild rabbits worked their way into the greenhouse while the farm owners were out of town, leveling the entire crop. Bummer, but don't think we missed the chance to discuss trapping those rabbits for dinner. Next we filled a few seedling trays to prepare for lettuce seeding this week, transplanted some onion seedlings into the freshly prepared field (thanks sunshine and relatively dry weather the last couple days!), and then we spent a good portion of the day clearing a field-- move bricks and rocks, pull and move drip line, moving the black mats that line the walking paths between the rows, etc.

I'm too tired to write much more. I'm really happy. Typing hurts my sore fingertips. My bed has two comforters and a quilt and I'm wearing two sweaters to bed. I'm finally warm. Tomorrow I will buy rubber boots because my little brother is wearing my old ones back home (funny that I'm the same shoe size as a 12 year old boy) and these gore-tex lined hiking boots seem water tight only on the right foot but that's expected after a few years use. My left foot was wet and cold.

Did I mention I'll be at the Poulsbo Farmers Market this weekend? Wahoo! Kale and lettuce, maybe some beets. Not sure yet what else there will be. Eggs will be in the CSA. Yum, eggs. I ate one for breakfast!

PS. I hate chickweed.



  1. Just remember to bend with your knees, not your back. That was something that really got to me too. Okay, I'll stop comparing ;-) But I do highly recommend some quick yoga back moves/stretches before you start your days. You'll thank me later.

  2. I'll be in the Kitsap area this weekend, if I can lure my Mom and Sis to the farmers market we will surely say Hello to you!

  3. fresh eggs! yay! I am so glad that you will be updating us on farm life.


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