The Farm Report: Finally Back To A Bit Of Farm Work

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Daytime temperatures have mostly been in the 50s and 60s, but it’s cold enough at night to send the ticks and chiggers into hibernation. And of course, there’s the scenery. Man, I love autumn in Tennessee.

I haven’t done any farm work in months. Chareva has been tending her garden and taking care of the chickens, of course, but the two big projects we started last spring – fencing in the back of the property and re-netting/re-securing one of the old chicken yards – have gone nowhere since June. I was busy with the programming job, and neither of lobbied to spend the weekends doing hard outdoor work once the hot, humid weather kicked in.

And truth be told, I think we lost our enthusiasm for the fencing project when our dog Coco was killed. She and Misha used to escape together and go exploring (which led to Coco’s demise). We thought they’d enjoy chasing each other around a much larger area than the current fenced-in yard. But since Coco died, Misha seems to have lost the run-around-and-explore urge. We’ll finish fencing in the property someday, but the urgency is gone.

Now that pleasant days have arrived, I finally eased myself back into farm work by getting out the chainsaw and tackling this big ol’ tree, which fell down months ago.

We need more firewood stacked on the front porch, and as far as I’m concerned, the tree is basically a seasoned-firewood store at this point. I spent a good chunk of last weekend cutting it apart.

Nature provided even more firewood by snapping more branches off a dead tree near the creek. I’ll get to those soon as well.

The big ol’ tree happens to sit across the approach to a disc-golf basket that serves as the target for the first, ninth, tenth and eighteenth holes. Jimmy Moore arrived this week for our (almost) annual disc-golf grudge match, so I was especially motivated to open up the fairway a bit. Neither of us needs to have a disc whack a branch and go flying off in some random direction.

I barely played any disc golf this summer and my game has slipped, so it’s looking like a good year for Jimmy to take the crown. Five rounds in, I’ve yet to break par and managed to eke out two ties. He kicked my tail in the other three.  I only have two more days to redeem myself.

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19 thoughts on “The Farm Report: Finally Back To A Bit Of Farm Work

  1. June

    So sorry about Coco. Have you thought about getting Misha a new friend? I’m sure there are some shelter dogs who would love to run around in your farm.

  2. Andrew

    It’s almost Summer here. Our garden is in bloom and my wife and I are chomping at the bit to plant out the new garden beds in our back yard. One of our dogs passed away suddenly, late last year. We still miss her every day.

  3. Deb

    Fall is gorgeous! Thanks for your farm report! Have you seen the documentary “The Biggest Little Farm”? Watching that is my other vicarious way (other than reading your farm notes, that is) of engaging in farming, LOL! Or any YouTube videos by Gabe Brown, a “regenerative farmer” (whose book “Dirt to Soil” is being picked up as a textbook in colleges in their ag programs).

      1. Deb

        It has it all: rescue dogs, guardian dogs, fertile pigs, chickens being killed by mystery varmints, animation, humor, starting over, bonding with the land….

        (In other words, sort of a Fathead Farm feeling, LOL!)

    1. Ula

      That’s great news about Gabe Brown’s book beeing picked up as a textbook! I hope it starts spreading all over the world.

  4. chris c

    And In Other News, Norwich University in the UK has now joined Cambridge in banning beef from their canteens (Cambridge also banned lamb). My thoughts – all the more for me then.

    Meanwhile Moby, that well known expert in canine physiology, is pushing for all dog shelters in LA to feed them vegan food

    Finny, I thought these people were against animal abuse. Coming shortly, feeding lions on fruit.

    As Michael Eades would say, the depth of their dumth is astounding.

    1. Walter

      There was a recent NYT article about vegan cats and how some cats prefer a high carb diet. Yes if they get addicted to it.
      Anyways, vegan cats can do fine if they are outdoor cats or there are mice in the basement.


      ]Activists Urge a Vegan Makeover
      PETA suggests renaming the Tenderloin, a storied San Francisco neighborhood, into the Tempeh District.

      By Jesse McKinley

      PRINT EDITIONActivists Urge A Vegan Makeover|March 31, 2011, Page A13
      Activists Urge a Vegan Makeover
      PETA suggests renaming the Tenderloin, a storied San Francisco neighborhood, into the Tempeh District.

      By Jesse McKinley

      PRINT EDITIONActivists Urge A Vegan Makeover|March 31, 2011, Page A13

      1. chris c

        Oh good grief! Next they will be demanding butchers change their name to feminist shops. (Old joke – sign outside the butcher’s shop – EVERYTHING IN THIS SHOP IS WELL HUNG)

        I wonder how long before keeping chickens let alone cows pigs or goats is banned. Hopefully Tennessee will hold out for a while.

        Coming next week and being heavily trailed, a BBC programme on why we should not eat meat. The sodding propaganda is everywhere. On this week’s menu – rump steak, lamb’s liver, herrings, salmon, pheasant and of course bacon, plus a few vegetables, all mostly local and all benefiting the environment.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          I don’t think Tennessee politicians would try to ban keeping chickens. The local population is well armed.

      2. Dianne

        My cat is addicted to carbs. She bites if she doesn’t get them. She weighs 27 lbs. and is in danger of developing diabetes. I’m doing my best to transform her into a meat eater, and I have the scars to prove it.

    1. chris c

      I appear to be blocked from reading that. You will probably be blocked from watching the BBC documentary. Isn’t this Freedom Of Information grand?

    2. chris c

      Well I dug that out on the Wayback Machine.

      The BBC documentary was as expected – meat causes more global warming that transport. You can tell that is true from how hot the world was when there were all those buffalo grazing on the plains. Oh wait . . .

      They did have a point about cutting down and burning huge areas of the Amazon rain forest to graze cattle. They did point out that some of the cleared land was used to grow corn and soy, but apparently that is all for animal feed, not human food. Tell that to the vegans and “vegan meat” manufacturers. How much global warming is caused by vegan farts?

      Curiously most of the meat grown in the UK is grazed on grass, imagine that. A far cry from some of the feedlots they filmed – which just proves that there are bad ways to produce meat, but then there are bad ways to produce grains too.

      There was a small amount of “balance” provided, but not a lot.

      I have been thinking about the recent past. During World War 2 a lot of land, even including some of the London parks, was ploughed up to produce food. (Yes that’s how we spell it). I still have my father’s “Dig For Victory!” leaflet. Like a lot of people we had an allotment – a second rented garden where we grew a lot of vegetables. Some of the neighbours kept chickens – one had bantams which sound like ordinary chickens on helium. Some people even kept rabbits for food.

      During the war and before, people would have shares in a pig which was fed kitchen scraps. There was even a film about it

      We had a “pig bin” for kitchen waste which was collected weekly by a malodorous truck and carted to local pig farms – this stopped when there was an outbreak of disease.

      One of my aunts had a small farm where she mostly kept chickens, turkeys and soft fruit. Like the allotments this was mostly done by the older generation, until the hippies came along in the early seventies. Apart from growing vegetables they kept chickens, rabbits, goats and bees among others.

      We had a chicken shack at the end of the garden but never used it. When my mother sold up fifteen years ago the first thing the young people who bought the place did was get chickens, and so the wheel turns.

      These days it’s next to impossible to keep large animals, what with passports and all. Though vegans are a tiny proportion of the population they make a LOT of noise and I can see chickens being banned too. Well they have to find markets for their vegan bacon somehow

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