If there is one thing that is a constant around here it is that things are constantly changing. And so it was with our chore routine just recently. The boys weren’t feeling well last week, but even before that I knew I wanted to be more involved in the animal chores this summer. Their brief illness gave us just the opportunity to make that shift. Instead of just sticking in with the littlest three and making breakfast, we are now venturing out together first thing, Annie, Joshie, and I, while Ruthie inevitably chooses slumber.
The boys do like to milk so I usually take one of them with me to the goats. We’re in an experimental phase of kid separation at night and milking two does in the morning and, so far, it has worked out. So toddler on my hip or by my side, we let a goat out of the barn, tie up any strays going after the feed, and Elijah or Abram grabs a stool at the milking stand. Straight into the kitchen and through the strainer the milk goes before it is tucked away in our solar refrigerator. This is when the boys usually haul water for the goats.
Chickens are next, if they haven’t been let out already. The chickens are completely free-range but we do provide water and minimal feed especially in the harsher summer and colder winter months. One thing we’re trying to get back into a routine of is soaking the feed for a couple of days to ferment it. This is just some milo from a local farmer that we have purchased in bulk. The process is simple in that I fill the bucket about half full with grain and we add enough water to get it all moist but not so much that it is swimming. Then let it sit for 24-48 hours and scoop out as needed. This feed also goes to the hog when the slop pot isn’t too full and I don’t want it to get moldy so we’re going to be prepping this feed about 2-3 times per week.
After breakfast and morning projects and housework comes lunch and school and then free time for the boys. If I can get supper on the table early enough, we usually have another hour or so and that is when I like to head to the garden with my littlest helpers and water. This is also when chicken and goat water gets hauled again and Abram usually cares for the hogs.
That long stretch from sunrise to sunset sure allows for plenty of daylight for the things that need doing on a homestead. But sometimes, when the sun begins to fade and we begin tucking in little ones, I can’t quite discern what occurred this morning from what occurred yesterday.
And so it is in these full days of June, when the sun is high and the days are long and the mornings sweet.