Full Moon Farming

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Our full moon hides behind a bank of storm clouds tonight. It peeks out and then sneaks back in, covered by a mass of gray. There’s something about doing evening chores under the soft glow of a full moon that makes everything seem new and pleasant. She rises slowly over the tree tops, seemingly out of nowhere. She watches as we muck about in boots with buckets and bags, through dirt and mud and poo. She watches the night unfold on our little farm.

She watches as Brianne throws hay and grain into the lamb’s feed trough and bounces light off the water as it cascades from an overturned bucket when the water is changed; sparkling clean and clear like the reflection of a mirror when it is replaced.

The moon peers down on us as we move from chicken coop to rabbit hutch, replacing bedding, filling feeders and turning kitchen scrapes into meat and eggs. She laughs with us as we hunt for egg treasures in the far corners of the barn. The girls have gotten clever at finding new places to hide their eggs – under the hay wagon, behind a feed barrel, inside a bucket, but we always manage to find them before too long. I talk to Sophia and stroke her head as I hand her a small treat, congratulating her on another successful egg.

The new lambs seem to be settling in just fine. Some do so faster than others. After 30-years of bringing lambs onto a farm I have learned that they each have their own time. All we can offer them is feed, water and shelter, medical help when they need it and a small bit of attention. The rest is on sheep’s time – they either settle in or they don’t. We have two wethers right now, one a charcoal grey Hampshire cross, the other the same breed, but white with wool on its face, both weighing about 95 pounds. Brianne will show them all spring before selling them to kids who can show them at the county fair. Sheep come and go on this farm. Some are shown, some are sold and some are butchered to feed a mom and a daughter. It is the heart of this place and its owners.

As I start for the house I turn back and look at the barn, the coop, the sheep, the new vegetable beds ready to be filled and the partially built duck and turkey runs. I hear Sophia rattling around in the barn, the hens cooing in their nests and the roosters settling in high in the rafters. I hear the lambs chew their cuds. The moon watches all this too. I smile.

I think about spring and know it will be here all too soon. But, I also know that chores under a full moon are a gift of winter and I am pleasured by it. I continue to the house thankful for the soft glow of a warming fire and the big pot of soup that awaits.

The storm can rage all it wants now, for the farm and its owners are warm and safe and fed.

Creative Commons License photo credit: trustypics

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