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On the Farm - September 28, 2016

We are drying out from all the rain of the last weeks. The vegetable fields sport new ruts in the drive paths, and Byrds Creek, which flows through our pastures, overflowed its banks for the second time this summer. Recently seeded beds of spinach were washed out. And even though I woke the morning of the rain certain the broiler chicken pen was too close to the waterrun, and the chicks had all drowned, they were fine. Whew!

We are lucky. The farm is on the southern edge of Richland County, and most of our land is high ground so we didn’t experience the flooding the northern part of the county did. The Richland School District, among others in the area, had several cancelled days as roads were closed and some homes flooded.

Being dependant on the weather for our livelihood, and with an important election looming, it brings home to this farmer how important it is to have leaders who not only realize climate change is happening, but that actions are needed to prevent irreversible consequences. Of course, the weather always presents challenges for those working in it, day in and day out, season to season. However, we are experiencing more challenges. This summer there have been more insects, more fungal problems, and a long season of wet weather that doesn’t seem to be letting up. I don’t know what it means for the future of our farm, but it is concerns us and behooves us to vote accordingly.

Sunday saw us in the pasture behind the barn clearing out several patches of burdock that had taken hold the last years when it wasn’t used regularly. Now with the acquisitions of a cow and calf, Aidan’s three sheep, as well as our goats, we need it. Bill fenced it a month or so ago, and the animals ate the green vegetation so we could go in and pull out the offending stalks. At the end of the day, we surveyed our work with a few aching muscles and lots of satisfaction. The pasture, in our opinion, was beautiful. We, on the other hand, were a bit of a mess. Cockle burrs adorned our hats and heads as well as the back of our shirts, gathering them in weird bunches. But the job was done. We tried to pull most of them off each other as we headed in for supper and a relaxing evening. It felt like a good day and it hadn’t rained – a perfect reward!

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