Yes, I know it’s been a while. Since I was last here, 15 issues ago, I have really missed writing about life on the farm. I think part of the reason that I stopped was because of how busy it gets here. I’m going to skip over most of what happened in the past year and get straight to the good stuff: I got married to a wonderful woman who is from a farm out in Colorado. Life has been amazing ever since. I can’t wait to see Hillel get married — it took him long enough. Actually very smart move hiring the girl you want to date. Although sometimes that may result in a lawsuit.
I will try and describe part of my regular morning chores, so that people can get a feel for what it’s like to live on a farm. I usually start my day with the puppy chores, which means gearing up in jeans, boots, and a warm jacket and hat. It’s already below freezing at night, so the mornings can be quite rough.
The first task of the day is cleaning up the poop. I used to do this with old shopping bags, and it took a very long time and was one of the worst chores ever. While I was dating my wife, my now father-in-law told me that he used to own a poop-scooping business and had perfected the art of scooping dog poop. When I heard this, I had to learn more.
He explained that he uses a commercial-sized dustpan and a stick with a metal curved end on it, so he could just flick the dog poop in there and empty it once its full. This has been a life changer! I literally can finish all the poop-scooping in under 15 minutes without having to bend down or get dirty.
This is followed by feeding the puppies breakfast, which is always fun, as they crowd the bowls and munch away. Then I continue on to taking care of the older Golden Retrievers, cleaning up the poop and feeding them.
Next comes feeding my wonderful calves. We have two new bull calves that we got in July and are raising them to be shechted (ritually slaughtered) shortly after Pesach. Their names are Shawarma and Yapchik. We got another bull calf on erev Sukkot, and his name is Sirloin. I can’t wait to have more meat now that we are down to the last 10 pounds of Rib Eye. You would be shocked at how fast it goes.
Sirloin is only one and half months old, so he gets a bucket of milk and some grain, while Schwarma and Yapchik get a little grain. They graze in the field the entire day, but since winter is here we also give them a large round bale of hay, so now all that’s left is refilling their water. The good news is that my wife does this in the morning, so I only have to do it in the evening.
We decided to head out to Colorado for Thanksgiving, so our amazing workers took care of all the animals for us. Their names are Mugs and Mickey, and I cannot thank them enough.
When we arrived, we got to meet the in-laws’ new ponies, who are getting used to being around the goats. As a present, I wanted to buy my in-laws a buck (male goat) so that their goat Snow could have babies next time we come out, but they got wind of my plan when I wanted to borrow their truck and to pick him up and they said no way.
Anyway, have an awesome Shabbat as we enjoy the fall here on the farm. It really is beautiful and can’t wait to meet you when you come for a Shabbat to help out with the minyan. Don’t worry, I doubt Shacharit (morning prayers) will start before 10!
By Aryeh Goldschein