Tag Archives: farm

timbrauhn

April 20, 2011

chickens at the farmMore dispatches from my family back in Illinois. Although this one seems, on the surface, slightly more mundane than the tornados that hit them last year, I think it’s still worth reading:

Such as it is on a farm…  Your father and I were out folding up a tarp from the garden this morning and noticed one of the hens hadn’t gotten inside the coop last night. We went over to let the rest out, opened the door and they were all dead – all 17 of them. A weasel had probably gotten in through a just-large-enough hole in the chicken wire on the door. It had to have climbed up the outside wooden door to a hole in that and then down between the wire door and the wooden one. What a sickening feeling – I know some of you have experienced this grisly scene, too. They were very beautiful birds.

We had ordered 15 chicks from Farm & Fleet and will pick them up the 23rd. So it starts all over again. We aren’t sure the one remaining hen (we should name her Providence) will want to go in the coop tonight. I don’t blame her one bit.

Sorry to share this sad news on a nice spring day.

And so, my family got more chickens. They’ll grow up and make more eggs for them to sell to the local fresh market. Life goes on. I can’t wait to get back to the farm.

A tornado hit my farm – my response

Pictures of the INCREDIBLE DESTRUCTION follow this post. I returned home the other night to find a series of Gchat messages from my mother; she likes Gchat. Here’s an excerpt (names changed for some reason):

MOM: I delivered my stuff just as the rain started and right before it hit dixon. then I got over to co market between rains when DAD called.
he was very glad I wasn’t home when it hit. he said–as afraid of storms as I am–it scared him very much.
we had lots of hail–shredded the peppers, eggplant and beans–hit the south half of the garden the most–wind broke many squash and cuc stems–corn flatter than from friday’s storm.

lost half the poplar tree–it was forked up high–took out three sections of my flower wooden fence.
I feel like giving up. I’ve never seen it this bad.

lost one of the north doors to the corn crib. most of it landed on your brother’s truck
…fun on the farm.
the window in the upstairs bathroom almost fell out/off. the wind yanked it all crooked and open.

I once wrote a poem recounting the family procedure during a tornado: put on shoes, grab a snack and the cordless radio, and run down into the basement. The punchline came when we emerged after the “all clear” to find Dad on the couch reading the newspaper. So for this storm, I knew it was bad when she said that my dad was concerned. If HE’S worried about the weather, you know it’s some pretty serious shit.

My mom has an extensive garden. She’s the chieftess of a CSA (community-supported agriculture), wherein people buy vegetables and chicken eggs from her every season. It’s all organic and biodynamic, and the shareholders get to know my mom and dad pretty well. It’s a sweet system. A storm like this is devastating. When I phoned them up afterwards, I jokingly said, “Well that’s farm life, isn’t it?” My mom’s wry comment was “Fun on the farm.” I know my folks, though, and contrary to what my mom’s message said, they’re not actually going to give up.

I had the unique opportunity to visit my home farm twice in the span of two weeks this summer. Even in that short span, I marveled at the enormous growth of the plants in the garden. I know that if I head home in a few weeks, I’ll have a hard time telling that the garden was beaten down by a storm (ignoring, of course, the destroyed fence, trees, and corn crib doors).

That’s the level of growth that happens “back on the farm”, and it’s one of the reasons that I love returning home. The tornado (more likely high winds) that hit the farm are troublesome, to be sure, but one of the lessons that you learn growing up on a farm is that setbacks occur. You have to persevere and work through them.

FARM POWER!

UPDATE: I spoke with my folks recently and they said that the garden is recovering well ahead of expectations. Like I said, my mom and dad are good at what they do. :)

*** This post is part of the “Blog Every Day Challenge“, which I have undertaken in homage to John Haydon, a captain of social media and inbound marketing for non-profits. A few months back he did the same thing. Granted, all of his posts imparted some kind of value to his readers (and he has many). I’m blogging about the same old stuff. Don’t call it “general interest”, because I think that it goes without saying that humans should generally be interested in what I’m doing. :) ***

PICTURES:

A tornado
A tornado
Beat up beets
Beat up beets
Beat down corn
Beat down corn
Hail damage on squash
Hail damage on squash
Former corn crib door
Former corn crib door
Garlic got beat down, too
Garlic got beat down, too
Tree vs. fence
Tree vs. fence
We never liked that poplar tree anyway
We never liked that poplar tree anyway
Beat down corn
Beat down corn