Sometimes this farm seems too big. The fields too big to manage, the forest too big to attend to all the sections, the roads too many to maintain, the list goes on. Other times the farm seems too small. The fields not big enough to produce the amount of hay that we use for a rough winter, the barns not big enough to hold all of our equipment, the feed storage and all of our little projects that need to be under cover.
We had barns on the farm when we first moved here in 1978, but they were huge, cumbersome behemoths that were in serious need of repair and//or replacement. They were tall with huge upper lofts to tong loads of loose hay from wagons. The tongs were attached to a track that was manually pulled out an upstairs door and dropped to the wagon, secured to a bunch of hay, pulley-ed back up to the door and into the loft where it could be dropped into the storage area. We called this first barn, “The Falling Through.” It was in sad shape, it was also built raised above the dirt level of the ground because this was a soggy area. The beams that held the floor aloft had rotted over time and one was more likely to fall through some of the flooring, or slip through one of the many holes that we were afraid someone would break an ankle just doing the chores.
We replaced the barn with one that we could drive equipment into, have a solid floor and have a big area for hay bale storage since loose hay was no longer a way to store feed. I was worried the barn that was being built was too big, the storage area seemed massive. We even put up a half-court basketball area in the space. That game only lasted the first year while we were waiting for the cement to cure and the next hay season to start. Now the barn seems too small and there is never enough room in the barn for the critters, the feed and for the projects or stored equipment.
The same goes for the acreage. This time of year the farm seems too small. We are constantly shuffling something, or many things out of the way in order to get one other thing accomplished.
Right now it is the main herd that we have to keep moving around. They have many small fields and areas where they can roam, graze and lounge around, but the areas are not close to each other and the cows are not able to keep the areas pastured evenly. So we have to spend time each day, pushing the herd from one grazing spot to another until we have the first big hay field harvested. Then we can move the herd to the large area and the surrounding forested acreage while we get the rest of the hay fields completed.
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