My turn to detail a “typical” day at our farm.
Spring time is a time of great change here. Life moves from the steady grinding pace of the winter marathon to the full out sprint of the spring time decathlon. The pace of everything picks up and the number of projects needing to be attended to explodes. Organization is key. With the goats starting to freshen comes milking, cheese making, and bottle feeding duties. The grass starts growing so pasture management, paddock rotation, fencing, and all the bits of a MIG system have to fit into the schedule. The start of the Farmers Market is just a bit more than a month away. Planting and garden chores ramp up considerably to get ready. All the regular chores still have to fit in plus the additional warm weather things like mowing. The kids are still doing school every day and extra activities on at least half the afternoons. Finding a balance between the important things that need to get done and the urgent, in-your-face daily crisis that inevitably arises is a sometimes impossible juggling act. When we miss one ball it is chaos.
To survive, and possibly thrive in the midst of chaos we try to live with a schedule. It looks something like this:
Monday House Projects
Wednesday Farm Projects
Thursday Cheese and milk projects
Friday Market Preparation and Crafts (Inventory for the farm store.)
Saturday Farmers Market
Sunday Church, Rest, Family time
Everyday there are regular chores that must be done. Feeding, milking, pasture moves, weeding, watering, planting, school, extra curricular activities, meal prep, laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc.
A “typical” day looks like this;
4:30 a.m. Time to get up, start the fire to take the chill of the house, make the coffee, and start breakfast. We get going early so C and I have a bit of time to talk, plan, and prepare for the day.
6:00 a.m. C starts getting ready for work; I pack lunches, and get the kids breakfast ready. Mix the goat feed, prep the bottles and milking supplies, possibly start a load of laundry.
6:30 a.m. The kids get up. They usually go from sound asleep to a full sprint in a matter of minutes. Things go better if breakfast is on the table when they come down stairs.
7:00 a.m. C leaves for work. The kids get dressed and start their chores. I start the morning animal chores, feeding babies, graining goats, setting up pasture and hay for the day.
7:30 a.m. Kids start school. They start with warm-up exercises or yoga. Then they have 30 minutes of independent reading. This gets body and mind into school mode.
By quarter after 8 they are logged on and working on the days lessons. We are using an on-line public school (Connections Academy) this year. I love it! It lets us focus on the best parts of home schooling and also ensures the kids get the full state curriculum. It frees me from the daily lesson planning and paper work that doing home school on our own required.
While the kids start their school I finish the chores. The goats get milked and the milk gets processed. Everything gets turned out to pasture. The chickens get fed. The greenhouse gets checked, watered, and covers taken off the baby plants.
From about 8 am until noon I do household chores (dishes, laundry, cleaning, meal prep, etc.) and monitor the kid’s school. Their lessons are pretty well structured and they are quite independent. They get lots of support from their teachers on line, but they also need help from me. When I can I try to fit in a bit of blogging, reading, or research on the computer.
Afternoon is project time. I try to follow the schedule so all the projects keep moving forward. It works most of the time.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays we have extra curricular activities in town in the late afternoon. We try to also get any shopping, trips to the library, or other errands done on those days.
By about 5:30 it is time to start the evening chores, dinner, and close things down for the night. It is pretty much the reverse of the morning, without school.
By 8:30 or 9:00 p.m. everyone is ready for bed. As the days get longer this time gets later. C and I usually find a few moments to talk about the day and maybe read before drifting off to sleep.
Sleep is important! Morning will be here soon and it all starts again.