I took this shot for yesterday’s post and forgot to show it to you. It is across the bonnet of the Free Green Dodge truck and out its back window. I know this is kind of abstract but I find it really appealing.
Because I am going away for a few days I am making lists for Our John. He likes to have a list. But before we start on any list we need to know the Why of the list. The fundamental list. The basics. I have tried to create a kind of mantra for him to work by.
1. Every animal needs to live with another animal. Any kind of animal will do. As long as he or she has another heartbeat in there with him.
2. Every animal needs their minerals. In the red buckets hooked to the fences is the loose mineral. Do not let this run out. If you take animals to a new area, take the minerals too. Each animal has a different mineral mix.
3. All the animals need access to fresh grass and dry feed and vegetables. So make sure they have good grass and legumes, dry hay and some seeds every day. Think protein levels and variety.
4. Keep all water barrels clean and filled in each paddock and enclosure. All animals, birds and insects need fresh water so fill the assortment of dishes and bowls in the gardens for the birds and bees as well. And around the barn, fill the buckets and pots for the chickens, dogs, cats and Kupa.
6. Sunshine. All animals, and birds need access to natural light. Mama and her babies can come into the barn at night, but open their door to the field in the early morning. All animals and birds need sunshine. Check that your fences are secure.
7. Contentment. Check your animals and birds every day for contentment. Ask yourself how they look. Look at their faces, are they looking back and holding their heads up. Look in their eyes. Are they bright? Look at their bottoms. Are they peeing and pooing normally? Many signs of health troubles will show up in the rear first, so don’t be shy. Look at their feed, are they clearing their plates. Are they content and healthy. These two things do go together. Contentment and health.
8. Intuition. If you feel worried about an animal then you probably should be worried. Investigate. Trust yourself.
9. Cleanliness is paramount when you are working with more than one code of animal. We have Pigs, Sheep, Cows, Chickens, Cats, Dogs, Guineas, The Peacock and Bees. So make sure you do not carry germs from one to the other. What is fine for a cow might make a pig sick. Wash your hands and the soles of your boots frequently during the day.
Good Morning. This is the first list for John. It is hard to write what I do for someone else. So if I have missed something sing out. Let me know. You do this with me every day too you know. You are my workmates. The day to day list is much simpler to write than the mantra. Or maybe not. I will do that today.
I know I am only going away for a long weekend, but farming without chemicals means you HAVE to be ahead of the game all the time. You have seen how fast it falls apart when I miss something.
We had such a calm day yesterday it was almost unnerving without the wind. Almost. Mostly it was glorious. I was able to achieve so much more. And eating outside in the calm evening is wonderful. I added radishes and closed chive flowers to the roasting veges. Divine!
Now off to work for all of us! Good morning!