Wednesday, 3 August 2011

A Typical Day

I had an email today asking me what a typical day for me here on the farm is, so I thought what a brilliant idea for a Blog post.   Then I sat down to try and write it and I realised every single day is different, never do I get up and sail through a planned out day.  Farming and self sufficiency throws you a curved ball virtually everyday, so all I can do is give you an approximation.

So  here for Judy, (and all my other lovely followers), a typical day here on the farm.  The day I am describing is a day that Lovely Hubby is at work and I am at home on the farm all day, (even this is erratic, LH works all different days and all different times, I nip off the farm at the drop of a hat).

A Typical Day
(all timings approximate)

6am  Lovely Hubby brings me a glass of water in bed just before he leaves for work (he's been up since 5.15 and already had his cooked breakfast, let the dogs out, fed the cats and opened all the doors to the henhouses).  Sometimes he even remembers to grab his packed lunch from the fridge on his way out!

6.30am  I come down and leave my breakfast  to soak (Oatbran, something I learned to love whilst on the Dukan Diet last year) and sit at the computer with a huge mug of coffee.  I start off by answering the previous evening emails and queries, helping folk who send me questions on chicken and pig care.  I check the farm diary for the day and make sure it coincides with mine.  I check Facebook to see what my friends and family have been up to the previous day.  If there's time and I have an idea I will pick out the most recent photos for the Blog and leave them downloading while I go out and feed the animals.

7.30am  Go out to feed the pigs, make sure the water troughs are all full of clean water, then clean out the four henhouses and check for early eggs. I usually try to get in the polytunnel for an hour before it gets too hot, I give everything a good water, keeping my eyes open for tasty looking things and then when everything has had a good drink I will go round harvesting anything that is ripe or fully grown and needs picking.  Todays picking are in the picture above.

I trim off the excess leaves in the polytunnel and toss them over the fence to the Kune Kunes, who are always waiting expectantly, and then take the pickings up to the house.

9.00am  I walk the dogs (and Archie the cat) through the fields.  What is about a mile and a half for me is about 3 miles for Sophie (she is slowing down now and stick throwing is a much shorter game) and about 5 miles for Rosie, who spots the Brown Hares sitting in the fields and Red Kites flying and swooping overhead, and gives chase to the edges of the fields before coming back with a grin on her face and a tongue lolling out gasping for breath.  Getting back to the house usually invigorated by the walk, I put my breakfast in the microwave and then wash the picked veggies while it cooks and stands, then I grab another glass of water and get back to the computer, if I've left photos downloading I will complete my Blog and then have a dash around Blog world for half an hour or so, catching up on what folk have been doing and leaving comments (if Blogger will let me!).  Usually I answer the phone a couple of times and chat to my sons or Mum or make arrangements with folk for the Farmers Markets etc while I'm doing this.

11.00 am  After being on the computer and in the house for a while I feel the urge to be back outside so usually I will spend an hour or so at this time gathering chicken food (weeding).  This is saved up until I have a bowl full and then tossed over their fence for them to rummage amongst and eat all the tasty bits.

Noon.  I usually do another round of trough filling at this time as the pigs sometimes tip their water troughs over to make themselves a wallow and I like them to have fresh water available at all times.  I check for more eggs, usually there are lots more by this time, so I gather them in my basket and check all the birds are running around looking okay.

1.00pm  My dinnertime, usually an egg mayo sandwich with lettuce and spring onion, all home grown of course.  I try to make a point of sitting down for this, so I put the tv on and watch one of my Sky+ cooking or gardening programmes for inspiration, and I admit to sometimes falling asleep for 10 minutes (a power nap I think I could call it to make it sound good, usually just exhaustion).

2ish.  Time to get a job done, I usually have at least one 'job' on the list in my head to be done, it could be a pile of ironing, changing beds, getting the spare room ready for visitors,  hoovering or just a general dusting and tidying session, but I do lilke to get one housey thing out of the way each day.

3.30pm  Feed time for the pigs.  We always have fed our animals twice a day so they get human contact and we can check for any problems.  They get their dried pellets split into two portions and in the afternoons I try to take them all a cabbage or two, or some fruit and veg to make meal time more interesting. I spend some time with them all individually at this time and they seem to appreciate a tickle behind the ear or a back rub while they are getting stuck in to their food.  I check the arks are okay and that they all have enough bedding, and after a double check that gates and fences are secure I go off to do the same for the chickens.  In the afternoon the chickens get a few scoops of corn and some more greens, cabbage or spinach is the favourite at the moment.  I gather the last of the days eggs and fill up all the water and feed hoppers.

5ish. I give the dogs a short walk, they don't need much at this time, usually they have been outdoors all day, but it's nice to walk with them through the fields, then I  come in and sit with a cup of coffee, sometimes at the computer checking on emails or sometimes at the kitchen table with the book of the moment, just to give myself a breather.

6.30ish.  LH gets home from work around this time, after getting changed he usually checks the feed bins are full for me and does any heavy lifting jobs that I have been unable to do and then we chat about the day, while he feeds the cats and dogs I make our evening meal using the pickings of the morning and maybe a steak or some of our own sausages for LH and either Quorn or cheesey type things for me.

7.30 ish.  We sit down and eat our tea, usually in front of the tv watching an episode from one of our box sets on dvd.  We are currently working our way through the Dexter series, brilliant stuff.  After tea LH washes up and then gets on with some paperwork at the computer desk and I sit down for a read.

9ish.  We put the tv back on for an hour and watch either a CSI or NCIS or something of that type.  Halfway through as darkness falls one of us will pause the tv and go and close up the chicken houses for the night checking that they are all safely in, sometimes the Kune Kunes will come over to their fence for a last stroke before bedtime and the dogs have a last run around checking everything is to their satisfaction and then we go back in.

10.00pm  We listen to the news headlines, and then it's bath and shower time and bed........the best bit of the day.....

If you're still there  WELL DONE, and are not gently snoozing away in front of your screen I hope you enjoyed this little peek into our day.  Of course some days it all goes haywire....but that's life!!

Sue xx

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