If I Ran the Farm: In Which I Hand It Back Over - Southern Ridge Farm

If I Ran the Farm: In Which I Hand It Back Over


Sunday, The Lord’s Day. It is an easy chore day, weather is holding clear, the muddy pastures continue to dry up. I called out as I poured the steers’ grain into their trough, and they answered back as they came trotting up. The sheep answered too, but from the confines of the pasture they’d gotten themselves locked into. Still praying that lasts for two more days for easy loading!

Further proof Keith needs to relieve me of my duties: On the way home from church we caught up with a hay trailer slowly lumbering along. I inched closer to count those huge bales—10!—and started calculating the enormous weight on that trailer and what kind of truck does it take to haul that. Just. Stop.

A good day of worship and time with neighbors and friends. All on the farm are safe, healthy, and fed.


“Today’s the day! The sun is shining! The tank is clean!”

OK, that’s from Finding Nemo, and my oldest daughter texted it to me one day last summer when she boarded a plane for the US after she’d been abroad for five weeks. And that’s how I feel today—my family is coming home!

My commute on this sunny day.
My commute on this sunny day.

Today is the coldest of all my chore days so far. I give the steers their grain, and as much as I don’t want to do it, I need to drop a couple of bales to the main herd so they can make it through tomorrow. That way the travelers won’t have to rush to feed cows on their first day home. Let them ease into it.I drop the bales in their rings and nobody rushes me, no twine is left on, and no hay rings flip over. The water in the waterer is low. But now I know what to do and I take the four wheeler up to the spring to refill that big tank. Everything goes smoothly and the chores are done in no time. Of course, it being my last day and all.

Let them come!


Everyone made it back safely and we are out at first light to load up the sheep into the trailer. Yes, they were still in that field with the gate at one end, and we were able to move a flatbed trailer out of the way and just back the livestock trailer up and herd them in. Although it did not go absolutely smoothly—the sheep take the phrase free range seriously—it was not complicated and went much quicker because they were already in that field. Indeed, we were overdue for getting sheep to the processor because previous attempts to herd them in had failed.

I can’t feel smug about that though, because it was not any of my doing that made it easy, but rather a gift from my Father. And while I did babysit the farm while the real farmers were away, let me tell you that I did only a fraction of what it takes to keep it going. I had time to think about that while I watched my son drag the flatbed trailer away. Using the tractor. He had a hauling chain attached to the trailer hitch at one end and onto the bale spear at the other end. The trailer gently swayed like a swing as he gingerly dragged it out of the barn yard, across the creek, down the driveway, and thru the gate. In reverse. My, but that was impressive.


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