Tuesday, March 3, 2009


March brings on new trials to this homestead. These are the days when I think I will never make it as a farmer. My brother down the road has no problem "dispatching" his steers when they are ready, even tho he has raised them from birth....but for me it is a problem. In my working days, dispatching meant sending out the trucks to deliver our product to the five state area...but here on the hill it means an entirely different thing. It is time to cull out all the extra roosters from last years hatch, as they are now full grown, and feathered out like Indian headdresses, ready to catch every hen in sight, not once but many times. The poor hens are losing feathers from the spurs of the roosters, and are thoroughly hassled by the male population. Therefore, I must "dispatch" at least 8-10 of the beautiful proud strutting romantics to the end of their destiny. My mother never had a problem with her feathered flock, every Sunday or Saturday she would stride out with ax in hand, for Sunday dinner. We as children never had a problem with it, living on the farm, it meant food for the table...so what happened as I grew older and retreated to the city? I became accustomed to just picking up table ready chicken out of the grocery freezers with nary a thought of where they came from. Now, raising them from fluffy little chicks, to full blown rainbow colored walking suitors, shielding them from the huge black turkey buzzards swooping down for a quick meal in the summer, or the quiet stealth of the red tailed hawk watching high in the trees calling out to their mates that there is dinner waiting down below. Months of careful feeding, watering, and making sure they were in their coop at night, makes this homesteader queasy at the thought taking them out of circulation. But, its part of the logic of the earth, so with heart in hand, into the coop I venture, handing them out to hubby, who has no problem with this fact of life, to do the dirty deed. These are times when I think its time to become a vegetarian, but as the days turn into weeks, the idea fades, and life returns to normal....which brings me to the fact...I wonder how the pioneers made it through the long winters, and cold, cold days, in tiny homes out on their own prairies. Our tiny house, seems to start to cave in at the walls about this time, cant start the plants in the green house yet, cant go walking out on the icy covered road, too cold to even hang the clothes out on the line....March is my nemesis, lets hope I make it thru with at least part of my sanity.

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