Nov 4, 2010

"Keeping It All in Shape"

One of the surest signs of summer on the farm is the emergence of the
Volvo Duett from it's winter hibernation in the 'Duett garage' down by the new haybarn.
Manufactured in the year 1968, this sturdy work vehicle just goes and goes and goes and goes.
When it's time for repairing the fences or trimming the ditches on our property around the village, the Duett, with it's no-nonsense roof rack and open cavity back, is indispensable for both transportation and hauling tools and  implements.

Mowing and trimming, mowing and trimming, mowing and trimming, mowing and trimming, mowing and trimming, mowing and trimming, mowing and trimming, mowing and trimming, mowing and trimming, mowing and trimming, mowing and trimming, mowing and trimming.
No wonder one of the girls told me once that she even dreamed about more effective ways of trimming!
We kept track last year and just those two activities in the month of July and into the first week of August ate up over 260 man hours!

But it has to be done.

In this climate if the ditches and other areas aren't kept clear, before you know it small saplings shoot up and the forest has encroached. 
You can see vast areas, once open fields,  that in just a few years have become studded with full-sized birch trees.

And since everything grows so fast, the grass has to be mowed twice as often.
The boys were busy every day keeping it up!

For both the land and the equipment,
Maintenance is a must.

With the hay season over, the big vacuum had to be dismantled and taken down.  We were so appreciative when the missionaries volunteered to give us yet another service day and help us get it done.

Elder McRorie and Elder Rice were up the ladder in no time.

Because the pipes are heavy as well as cumbersome, they must be stabilized first.  Elder McRorie was the 'man of the hour' with his great height as an asset.  He had the prop up fast, then the sections could be taken apart.

Pappa provided the tractor and loader and Gustav provided the directions as each piece came down.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5...


 And next on the maintenance list....

While the elders attacked the strawberries, Gustav and Maxie addressed a problem with the Betesputs machine that is used for topping off the grazing fields if the grass gets too high.  The protection plates needed some "de-gunking"  so while Gustav assessed and did the initial scraping, Maxie built a stand out of woodchunks to put it up on.
Between the two of them they got it cleared and functioning again.

And finally....before food time:

The two older rows of strawberries within the kitchen garden had to be flanked with a barrier of thick straw to protect the new berries from molding on the wet ground.

Like most days in the summer,
It was a FULL day.

To end it, we had prepared a wonderful dinner for the missionaries so they could eat before they had to head back to Örnsköldsvik.
They had been so kind and had worked so hard, we wanted it to be especially nice for them. 

 We had roast beef and gravy, and mashed potatoes and peas - all produced here on the farm.  We had homemade bread and fresh creamery butter made in our own dairy and formed  in a special wooden antique mold.
We went the extra mile with pleasure to show them how much we appreciated their service and help.

For the salad we were in great shape!
Our radishes were terrific and we even had early carrots. 
I ran out and picked a bunch of all the fun lettuces I had planted at the start of the season.  The colors were so bright and our green onions gave  the plate a final little zip.

We were ready to eat.

Not too long ago someone asked us if our life on the farm could possibly be as perfect as it seems?

Here is proof positive that we are living with the foibles of mortality, just like everyone else.  
We had had an unusually rainy summer.  Because of that when I brought in the lettuces that day, as well as the other garden produce, I took special care to wash all of it very thoroughly.  I didn't want any grit or dirt to spoil our eating experience.

I may as well have saved myself the trouble.
As we sat around the table after a good day of work,  feeling so satisfied at what had been accomplished...feeling like we were "on top of it", that we really had it all "snapped together"..... riding the crest of the wave against all odds and really "keeping up" with the demands of the farm.....

To my complete horror:

crawled off a lettuce leaf on Elder McRorie's salad, across the edge of the plate and down onto the table.
Gustav could only point at it, speechless.
Hans and Elder Rice just stared. 
Elder McRorie said, "Oh no, no, it's fine, I can still eat it"
(the salad, not the worm,)
And when I snapped out of my shock, I jumped up quickly 
to take the salad away.

 Before I could,
that intrepid WORM stopped,
looked around,
and headed back for the salad.

Lithe, slippery, slinky and green,
perhaps HE was in the

Best Shape of All!

No comments: