"Farm Day" here at Lil Bitty Farm on June 17. It was designed to be a day of helping empower those who have an interest in gardening, back-yard farming/ homesteading. Most plans do not turn out "as planned" and neither did this one. There were some folks who expressed some casual interest but in the end the "as planned" Farm Day did not happen. But that's okay - God knows what he is doing and I am undeterred in my passion for God-glorifying agriculture and backyard farming.
Instead of the "as planned" Farm Day we had an "impromptu" Farm Day. A very good friend called last week and asked if she could bring her grandchildren over to Lil Bitty Farm on Saturday morning for a little tour. Because I was already committed to a church deacon project that morning Marla served as the tour guide (and was assisted by the ex-marine). At 10:00 am Lil Bitty Farm welcomed it's first Farm Day visitors - 12 grandchildren and 5 adults came cascading out of three vehicles. (Someone was heard to be asking about the whereabouts of the elephants and had to be informed that this was a farm tour, not a zoo.)
Once inside the gate everyone was soon greeted by the two goats - Carmel and Thor. C & T love to entertain visitors because they know that treats (Honey Nut Cherrios being their favorite) usually accompany the visitors. I didn't take long for C & T to wipe out all the treats. Once they did the group moved inside the barn to take a look at the pigs. Everyone always wants to know the names of the pigs and these visitors were no different. I usually have three pigs and every year I name them the same thing - Bacon, Pork Chop and Ham Bone. But this year I decided to buy the 4th pig so I needed to come up with a new name. I opted for Droopy since his one ear is just that. Just looking at the pigs is not terribly exciting so the tour guide asked everyone if they wanted to feed the pigs. I have two antique corn shellers (only one is in working condition at this time) so Marla got the kids involved in hand-cranking the corn sheller. Everybody took their turn at helping to prepare a little snack for the piggies.
laying hens and the cow. Here they would "feed" the chickens and Maybell the beef heifer. But I think the highlight of the farm tour for the kids was when they were given the opportunity to help gather the eggs from the laying hens. The highlight of the farm tour for the adults was the door prizes - a dozen fresh eggs from the hen house and a fresh lettuce from the garden.
Tonight after church I came home and changed into my farmer clothes. I went down to the barn to do the evening chores and then back up to the garden to give it a little attention. The weeding is pretty well under control but wanted to do another round. It's best to do it once or twice a week instead of letting it go to long and then "paying the piper". My primary weeding tool is the little contraption pictured in the main heading of this blog. I love weeding with this tool. Instead of weeding being slow backbreaking work I can weed at the speed that I walk. Two passes per row is about what it takes. I can weed the whole garden in less than 20 minutes. Another reason I enjoy this weeding operation is that I am weeding with the same piece of equipment that my grandfather and great-grandfather used anywhere from 100 to 150 years ago.
This gives me great satisfaction. After the weeding is done I turn to watering. Watering is another favorite activity especially when it is a lovely, cool evening which it was tonight. What makes it so enjoyable is that I can enjoy the simple pleasures of the farm while I water. I watch Lil Bitty Kitty act as the guardian of the farm and chase a cottontail into the woods. She returns a few minutes later playing with a field mouse. I listen to the tinkle of the goat bells as they play "king of the mountain" on a big rock in the pasture. I watch the first light show of the summer put on by the lightning bugs. And most satisfying of all, I watch Maybell graze contentedly under the big Walnut tree. Yes, the simple pleasures of the farm are what draw me in and keep me coming back for more. After dark I close up the chicken coops and head back to the house. The last thing I do is take off my sweaty tee-shirt and hang it on the fence post close to where the deer come out of the woods at night to attack the garden. This little tactic SEEMS to be working for now - of course that could all change tonight, you never know.
Thanks again for taking the time to read of my rural ramblings.
Agrarian blessings to you my friends.