Saturday, November 19, 2011

From the Earth, Back to the Earth

I'm sitting here with a mug of hot cocoa for breakfast, listening to our flannel duvet cover rotating in the dryer.  Winter is on its way.  This weekend is one of our last chances to settle this little farm in for the cold and snowy season ahead.

Yesterday, Joey was off of work because it was the opening day of shotgun deer season.  Yes, this is the country folks, opening day of shotgun season is a holiday around here.  This backcountry was crawling with guys in cammo yesterday.  There is an outfitter down the street from us, and our small town Illinois street is clogged with trucks with Pennsylvania license plates.  I can't imagine driving that far just to shoot something, but at least it brings some extra revenue to our two local drinking establishments and our tiny convenience store.  They are pretty much the only places you can put your out-of-state money in this town.  They're the only places you can put your in-town money, for that matter.  Unless you count buying stamps at the little post office.

With the day off, Joey hunted for a few hours in the morning and then came home to work on our 2 acre cornfield.  He borrowed our neighbor's manure spreader and hooked it up to his 1944 John Deere A.  He also borrowed some of our neighbor's manure, which I am sure he was happy to give away.  He spent the whole day going back and forth from our neighbor's to our field.

Farmer Joe

Since I didn't have work until 2 pm yesterday, I joined Joey outside.  I worked on my garden, putting away tomato cages and picking the rest of the carrots and beets that have been waiting patiently in the earth since spring.  

purple dragon carrots

chioggia beets

After spreading manure yesterday, Joey woke up this morning and got out in the field to plow with his two-bottom plow.  It's slow-going with vintage equipment but the sound of the old tractor feels like it could transport you back to better times.  When farms were still small, and family-run.  The John Deere A looks like a toy compared to the tractors Joey runs at work.  

Next on our list of weekend to-do's is to check all of our windows, make sure they are ready for cold weather and insulate some with plastic if necessary.  Owning a house and 4 acres is a lot of work, but I am glad to have the work.  We are learning so much with every season that we own this house.  

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