Friday, January 15, 2010
The Tranquilty of Farm Life
January 15, 2010
Keith and I had the best two days this past Wednesday and Thursday. Nothing on our schedule so spent the days at home just chilling out, drinking wine, watching Malcolm in the Middle reruns.
I just wanted to write that to see how it looks. It looks cute. Totally inaccurate but oh so cute. Here is the real story. On Wednesday morning we got up early to get chores done early to take a hog to the locker plant early. Our son Kyle had time to work for us that day and it was a good good thing because we had lots to do to prepare for our Chicago Delivery Thursday. While Keith unloaded yet another semi-load of organic hay (he had already dealt with two huge loads on Tuesday,) Kyle and I bedded the calves, horses and pigs and then played the freezer flip-flop game.
Meat from the machine shed freezer had to moved to the freezers in our basement, so the fresh pig we were taking to Chicago would have a place to rest on the trip up. Some of you might remember that loose pig parts on the back of a farmers truck seems to draw too much attention on the city streets, so now we put them in containers. Then the burger order we had set aside for Green Grocer needed to be counted, labeled and replaced in coolers to be placed in ANOTHER freezer. After that Kyle and Keith loaded the now empty chest freezer from the machine shed onto the back of our truck . While backing up that truck to hook up the trailer so we could take a steer to yet ANOTHER locker...the brake line on Keith's 14 year old truck broke. We of course had to get the steer to the locker by 4:30.
Now before I drag you further into this saga you readers with common sense might ask "Why did you have to take two animals to two DIFFERENT lockers ?!?! Well, because...our hogs are not yet certified organic, they do not require an organic processor. Our beef is certified organic and the only certified organic processor in all of Central Illinois is in Eureka 70 miles from our farm.
Back to the truck. Still broke. A quick call to son-in-law Donnie who just happened to have bought a new used truck recently. Yes, we could borrow it. Then instructions to son Kyle. "Take my car to Pontiac, get Donnies truck...uh quickly" I did not tell him to speed and I will admit, I did not tell him not too, either. Since I am the one who taught him to drive, I knew he was the man for the job. He returned with the truck in most excellent time and we hooked up the trailer and made it to Eureka Locker with the steer hanging on for dear life ( a lot of good THAT did him ) with about 60 seconds to spare before closing time. We debated for half a second about visiting my sister Teresa who lives there but knew we were already late for milking so went home.
We milked and fed and watered about 2 hours later than usual and fell into bed around 11 pm. At 5am Thursday we were up and out to get chores done early. Left at 8am to pick up the live hog we took to Chenoa Wed. Now dead, it did not mind riding up to Old Town Social in the back of the truck in the freezer at all. I have found that generally pigs are very easy to get along with. We motored up Route 55 in the son-in-laws borrowed truck and made it to Green Grocer in Chicago to deliver burger at 11 am, up to Old Town Social to drop off the pig and visit with chef friend Yoni. Off again and further north to The Bristol Restaurant to meet with more chefs, including friend Jared Van Camp and the members of The Stewards of the Land.
We had a great lunch and meeting which will be a separate blog as it deserves, then back in the truck, down Damien Ave to 55 and the 120 mile trip home. Arriving at the farm at 6pm just in time to look at our mail and take a phone call from sister Mary. Turns out she is in Pontiac visiting our Aunt and since I have to go back to Pontiac to return the truck .....we should meet. Keith unloaded the freezer with his tractor and I got into monster truck again to return it to Pontiac and collect my car. (We were very grateful to have the truck for our use but the sucker was about 10 feet off the ground and very hard for this petite yaya to be hauling her round self in and out of. )
A brief hello to grandchildren, a brief coffee and yakity- yack meeting with my sister and I was home again by 9pm. My last phone call of the day was to my husband in the barn offering him all kinds of favors if he could please do my share of the animal chores tonight. Before he could say yes (he always does because he's that kind of husband) I was asleep on the kitchen floor. The tranquil life hath consumeth me.