There is lots a farmer can learn from books and, at the same time, a farmer can also learn the same stuff by spending time outside and observing nature.
There is a difference though. You can learn from a book a lot easier, because some of the magic of nature only happens for short periods of time, so you need to be in the right place, at the right time.
Standing in the sun was killer this week. It was really easy to learn the importance of trees being planted along fields. I could stand in the shade and get some relief from the heat.
The sheep were panting in the barn, despite the shade. This week the heat is very strong early in the day and lingers because of the lack of wind. The fields the sheep are suppose to graze in in the afternoon are in full sun, and our furry friends would probably pass out.
We’ve planted dozens of trees along our new, smaller fields. However, they are still too short to provide shade, and we need thousands more trees to complete the work.
Luckily, on the other end of the farm I had left a few acres of pastures for fall grazing. Tall oaks, maples, ironwoods and others cast a long shadow on portions of the field.
relief from the blazing sun that doesn’t let up until right before sunset. So, the whole flock and staff make a move towards the shady spots.
The sheep, the dogs and Jay the donkey follow me through the first field, then the bridge crossing to another field, hang a right following the path between the two ponds. We get out into another open field and the sheep quickly spread into mob grazing formation. They move quickly as this field was just cut for hay two weeks ago and there is little to eat.
I call out to Clyde to stay close. That SOB likes to visit the neighbours when we get into this field and the sheep like to follow him!
We cross this last field before entering the shaded area, I drop my bag and take off my hat as the sweet beads down my head. Everyone is happy to make it. Sheep start their graze and I get into some stretching and office work.
Oh, I almost forgot. This stretch of heat got me down, heat exhaustion took me out Monday morning.
On Sunday I started my farm work before the sun came out in order to get a head of it. By 9:30, I was done my work and burnt out. I then spent most of the day in the shade as we had a members day on the farm. It was tiring despite not doing much that day, but I went to bed okay.
The next day, I woke up with instant nausea hitting me. I moved slowly but steadily to the farm, as I needed to get the sheep out before the sun came up.
As I pulled up to the barn, I jumped out of the truck and threw up a little. Oh man, I’ve felt this before. Luckily we’ve built some systems on Cavaleiro Farm now, and I just needed to go around opening gates and checking water.
The reality of farming, the animals need to eat everyday and there is no calling sick, all we can do is prepare and build systems.