Everyone who knows me knows that I tend to involve myself in a wide variety of subjects. At no time has this been more true than since I took up farming. Here is just a few of the trades I had to embody this weekend:
Mechanic. A long series of minor problems with my ancient Troy-Built tiller culminated in a badly worn drive belt. I located one of the few remaining official Troy-Built repair locations a mere 15 miles away and purchased new belts and some replacement parts for worn and/or missing parts of my tiller. Actually replacing those parts ended up involving some fairly major mechanical work.
Metalsmith. Some of those replacement parts were almost, but not quite, as ancient as my tiller. During that time difference, they changed some elements of the cast iron chassis. Using the newer parts involved reshaping parts of that heavy iron. I don’t have a metal shop on the premises, but my trusty Dremel tool was up to the task.
Carpenter. The warm weather and advanced bloom of the many wildflowers has been a boom for our bees. Their two-story hive is already full to the brim with larvae, pollen, and honey, and the blackberries haven’t even begun to bloom. So, I had to add more stories onto the hive. I bought a “second-year bee kit” that contained two more hive boxes and the equipment needed to begin processing raw comb honey. However, unlike last year’s “beginning bee kit”, the hive boxes and frames that hang inside of them did not come assembled. So, after quite a few hours of drilling, nailing, and painting, the bees now have the room they need to make plenty of wonderful honey for us.
Software Developer. We have taken on the task of operating the the farmers’ co-op we belong to. The previous managers did a lot of the accounting using a horribly designed (yet oddly popular) and overly complicated professional accounting software package. I did not want to follow in those particular footsteps, so I wrote into the website’s on-line ordering system the routines necessary to duplicate most of those tasks. Taking the time now to wrote some new software will save untold hours down the road.
Salesman. A couple hours this afternoon were spent manning a both at the kick-off to this year’s “GreenFest”, a public-awareness campaign for “green” organizations around the Athens area. We were invited to attend to increase awareness for the co-op, which we did quite well.
Photographer. With all this work getting done, it’s important that I keep it documented for the farm photo of the day.
Veterinarian. Chickens require constant care. They are really quite fragile creatures, especially when they are young. I spent some quality time with one of our young chicks who is “cross-beaked”. Her top beak and bottom beak don’t line up like bird beaks ought; rather, her top beak curves quite a bit to the right. And it’s gotten worse as she’s been growing. But after careful observation, it appears she can still eat and drink just fine, so it is probably only cosmetic. I’m sure the other chicks tease her terribly. We know how children can be.
Horticulturalist. Somehow, I still found time to begin another coouple hundred seedlings and transplant several hundred more into the fields.
And that was my weekend. How about yours?
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