Life at the farm

garden 7.28.10

Life at the farm has its ups and downs. Yesterday was a perfect example. I have been making an effort to get up around 7 (I go to bed way too late and usually am up with a kid or two a time or two every night) and get outside so I can get a garden/yard task completed before we have to get ready to leave for swimming lessons at 10, and before the weather heats up. The garden is in the shade in the morning and you would definitely choose 60 degrees in the shade over 90 degrees in the sun, no? I went outside around 7:15 with the dog and checked on the goslings. I went back in with the dog, got a bucket, and went back outside to pick raspberries. All the other people in the household were still sleeping so I could pick berries in peace without having to referee fights, change diapers, or fix breakfasts. The berries have slowed down so much that I picked for about 15 minutes and got only about 2 cups of berries. Quite a change from 2 weeks ago when I picked for over 2 hours and picked over a gallon and a half. I also picked 7 small summer squash and then I went back inside where the children were waking one by one, fixed a sack lunch for Frugaldad, and started daily life as a mom. Around 9 we went to the library, and when we got back I went outside to set a sprinkler on the front yard. I was heading to the geese to fill their water when my next door neighbor, also working in his yard, called me over to the fence and asked me if I had seen the fox that morning. He said there were three foxes (maybe the three kits we saw earlier this spring?) in his back yard a couple hours earlier. The foxes were aggressive, growling at him and inflicting a scratch on his dog. He wanted to make sure I knew about it so the kids would be safe. I thanked him, amazed, and went to the hoop house to care for the geese. Imagine my utter surprise when I found a little pile of feathers next to fresh blood on the grass. One of my goslings had been pulled under the door of the hoop house through the very small opening there! Since I had just talked to the neighbor, I knew that it had been foxes. What's amazing is that it had happened after I had picked berries and squash, and most of the windows in the house were open to let in the cool morning air, yet we didn't hear a thing.

But what could I do? While it frustrated me that one my geese was gone, I had ordered 10 but had been shipped 11, so technically it was the free goose that had been killed. I started thinking about fortifications to the hoop house and went on with my day. After we got home from swimming lessons, and I had fed the children, I made myself lunch. I sauteed some summer squash and zucchini in a little olive oil which is one of my favorite summer lunches. But the crowning touch was the piece of cheese toast with sliced tomato on top. Not just any tomato, my friend, but the first tomato of the summer garden. It was delicious.

That's just how life goes around here. You lose some, you win some, you move on with life.