Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Conversations We Could Have...

The Jehovah's Witnesses come by, usually once a week or so. Grace loves my rhubarb and I just share them with her. She's going to teach me to make perogies from scratch. She helped herself to rhubarb yesterday when I was out. Just left me a message on the door. I'd told her to help herself...and she did, obviously. That made me really happy. I've cut, washed, dried and bagged/frozen 29lbs of it so far, so I'm happy to share.

And the eggs, was looking like the new ladies (24 of them, minus the 4 that refused to come into bed and got dragged off by a fox) weren't laying more than 1 or 2 eggs per day. We were starting to think we'd been had or they were defective in some way. Were we doing something wrong?...Like, did we need to bring a Rooster in to sort of get them going???? And, the two eggs we got were teeny tiny. I hadn't read about THIS anywhere. Well, yesterday, I went to collect the eggs. Usually the kids or the neighbours kids (aged 6 and 3) collect them for me. Usually there's one casualty from collection clanging. First, there was a teeny egg right in the middle of the doorway, like the chicken had plopped it out like a fart and carried right on scooting out the coop door. Probably cawing, the way that chickens protest whatever it is that they are protesting, as she exited the building. The crates/boxes the chickens cozy down into to lay, had a few eggs in each mound of nest-molded hay bedding. I walked over, bent down to fetch them and found the ground crunching. I stepped back, then pulled back the bedding hay I'd just stepped on. Crushed eggshell with contents running through the strands of hay met my eyes. Crap. I quickly stepped back further and began unveiling what proved to be four layers of eggs. Neatly nestled on top of one another right outside the doorway to the lay boxes. I found 82 eggs. Crafty buggers, chickens are.

Then there's the pig. Tonight the pig, who's in the veggie garden area, surrounded by a wall of haybales and inside of that, a single string of electric fenching that is charged by a solar panel, got caught in it. She's touched it a few times and squealed in discontent. But this evening, she was so happy to see us that she quite literally hopped over the electric fencing and haybale without knowing her own jumping abilities (we were shocked too) and was soon straddled half on top of the haybale and half way falling off the haybale. I panicked.and without thinking totally shoved her backwards, back into the pen. The thought of playing Catch The Piggie didn't appeal to me at all. Mostly because I've done it and it's tireless, thankless, exhausting and Three Stooges-like. No thanks. She landed in the half-foot space between the haybale and the electric wiring. And got tangled in it. She was screaming because she was being zapped really badly. I screamed because she was being hurt and was screaming! My husband screamed because I screamed and there we were, all three of us screaming. While still screaming we both dove at the pig to help pull her up and out (knowing full well that we'd be zapped too and not really wanting to find out what it feels like) and she jumped herself up and clear of the wiring. We jumped into the garden with her and quickly gave her a rub on her back to make sure she was ok. Soon she was snorting the sounds of content piggie while we scratched her white bristly hair flanking her bright pink skin. It's been warm, pigs can burn. That's why they MUST have a shelter. Her shelter is a pile of haybales with a tarp and old kitchen door slapped on top for weight and weather protection. She loves it in there. Mostly people don't know how affectionate pigs can be. Nor did we until we moved her into the veggie garden to till it over and eat all the grass and roots. We bring her table scraps - vegetarian, our pigs don't eat meat - and she looks forward to it. Sort of Pavlovian. (Boy, that sounded pretentious, didn't it? lol.) We started giving her a back rub when she was scarfing the leftovers, peelings and stale bread. We've learned that, like dogs, if you rub their backs just the right way, they lose control over their bag legs and they drop. She closes her eyes like she's in some kind of heaven, and dare I say...she smiles. She drops her back haunches and rolls right over, giving us her belly to rub. It's soooo funny!!! They are just like dogs. Unreal. Anyway, she was ok. Phew. We'll be adding an extra, higher layer of electric fencing tomorrow. I should post some photo's of the garden when we just put her in it 10 days ago, and then what it looks like now. She was slow going at first, but she's darn near tilled that entire garden over. I'm totally impressed. We are thinking about where to put the next patch/garden ready for next year's planting.

The chickens, because they free range and forage all day, LOVE the work that the pig is doing in the veggie garden. The pig digs up all the dirt and earth, and the chickens forage in the freshly turned over soil for grubs, worms, grit and whatever else they like to pillage. Odd critters are chickens.

So, another day on the farm. I continue to learn things about co-existing with our food (I don't eat pig myself) and it seems to me that I'm becoming seasoned with the seasons around here. The Jehovah's Witnesses always ask me if I want to live forever on a paradise earth? I do, I reply, I do. They ask me if I understand what Jehovah God's plan for us/mankind is? I ask them to look around us and say, that this is it, we are living it. We
are God's plan. They ask me if I understand who is the ruler of this system; this "worldly world"? We are, I say, and we're not doing a very good job of it, are we? I know they believe it's Satan. But like Satan (of both the Bible and the Qu'ran), humankind has a choice. (And what are we doing with it?) Then I politely smile and say to them, "You don't think it's co-incidence that we are standing here now having this conversation, do you?" Grace waggles her finger at me, as she gets into the car (you can't talk too long outside up here, the black flies will eat you for appetizer, dinner and dessert and midnight snack if they can help it) and says to me that Jehovah is hard at work in my heart. That's why she keeps coming by. I remind her that she's the only people who come by. They travel in packs of two or three, so I can't say 'person'. "Jehovah loves you," she says as she is helped into the car by her husband of 42 years, "and so do we!" I gently yell back that I thought it was my eggs and rhubarb that she loves, not me. The car door shuts. She opens the window and says, as they back down the driveway, "It wouldn't be so good if it wasn't grown with love!!!" she beams. Yeah, we don't hurry things around here anymore.

So, why don't Buddhists, Hare Krishna's, Muslims, Hindu's, or other Christians stop by too? Oh, the conversations we could have....


Foxxy One said...

If I lived close to you - you can bet that this little Jewish broad would be knocking on your door. :)

Gypsy Princessa said...

And you would be most welcomed!!!! Wouldn't THAT be brilliant!?!?!