Farm Chores Friday

High five! You made it to Friday!

High five! You made it to Friday!

Tomorrow night is prom night (roaring 20s themed) so all of my students were wild to be in the cafeteria “helping” to set up. It didn’t help that the weather was perfect for languor at a picnic table, and all I could think about was napping in the sun. During my 8th period prep, I had several students just wander in and start chatting. Their classes were doing prom prep or their teachers had given up on accomplishing anything and let them roam free. I have a page-a-day bananagrams puzzle calendar, and A challenged me to a race to see who could finish a puzzle first. I took him up on it, since I have a considerable backlog of puzzles. I love seeing kids focused on hard problems just for fun, so A made my day. We tied. After the race, I showed him my post about Freckles and the chicks, and we talked about blogging.

“What is a blog?”
“Well, you write stuff, and other people can read it”
“Do you only see stuff that your friends post, like facebook?”
“kinda, but it’s more about writing than reading, like a cross between facebook and a journal”
“could I have a blog?”
“anybody can have one. It’s easy.”
“What do you write about?”
“I write about school and my garden and critters”
“You write about school?”
“You would too! You spend all your time here! You’d probably write about your horse, too, snap a picture and be like ‘check out my horse'”

Meanwhile, a couple of other kids came into my room and walked out with the pizza boxes that were sitting on my desk from the reward party earlier. They walked out again with the big stack, marched over to the gym and announced “hey y’all, we got the refreshments.”  They retreated at a dead run when their deception was discovered.

A, if you’re reading this, because you totally heard me tell Erwin the name of my blog, you should totally start your own.  You are an awesome guy, and I’d like to read about whatever it is that you think about life and school in Palestine, Arkansas.

When we got home, Sean and I decided to move the pigs. This involved taking down and setting up the electric fence, carrying the heavy and bulky shelter, and chasing a rolling metal water container down the driveway. When it was all ready, we had to catch the pigs. The first one, Daisy, was easy. We corned them just outside of the chicken house, and Sean was able to grab her as the other two ran away.

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Daisy screamed bloody murder for what felt like hours as I tried in vain to corner one or both of the other two, who were becoming more and more agitated and wary as the screaming continued. Sean was afraid to leave Daisy in the new pasture because of Raccoon-Eyes’ escape attempt last spring. I chased the pigs around and around the chicken yard, lamenting the use of piggy calories for galloping instead of bacon. Sean finally had to trust Daisy to stay put and come help me: Levi and Sizzle refused to be cornered.

I had tried the flying tackle and the sneaky step. I had tried soothing talk and herding them into the enclosed chicken vestibule. Nothing was working. Finally, Sean thought of a hog panel, and I grabbed one of the metal gates that was left in our carport when we moved in. We were able to use that in conjunction with our cunning and speed to capture the other two. I ate some dirt.

I am not nearly as serene in this victory photo as Sean is above, but that’s because I probably ran a mile chasing those critters while he was babytalking Daisy down in the pasture. Humph! At least poor Sizzle isn’t screaming her head off in my arms.IMG_1749

All three pigs are now happily snurfling in a fresh green pasture, and the chickens are grateful to have their yard back. So far, they seem to be doing fine with the electric fence.

We watered the garden today, and I can’t believe how big everything is already. The brassicas (left) have grown enormous almost overnight, and it won’t be long before we’re eating garlic scapes.

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Check it out! Strawberry shortcake, here we come.

Check it out! Strawberry shortcake, here we come.

We decided to leave the chicks in the nestbox tonight to give Freckles one more day with the fourth egg. Chicks can survive a day or two without food or water on just their yolk juice, so they’ll be okay until morning. We’ll move them down tomorrow to the enclosure that I devised. I’ll explain it with a photo in my next post. IMG_1761

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