Spring on the farm is one of my favorite times of the year. The first reason is the cold and snow are leaving, and the second is because of the new life that springs. Everything from the blooming of snow crocuses, daffodils, tulips, to the birth of the different animals. If you or your child have never seen a baby pig, lamb, chick or calf, then you are missing out on one of life’s greatest pleasures. Something about the innocence of a baby animal is what draws the attention of so many and makes Spring what it is.
Once Spring approaches, the kids wait and wait for the milk cows to calve. Being ever so diligent to check on them all throughout the day. Once the calf is born, then it’s the big question of, “Is it a boy or girl?” They have several names picked out, but the rule is they have to agree. Our farm usually holds themes with each new year. Last year it was Archie, Reggie, Jug Head, and so on. One year the pigs were named after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Apparently, the kids thought they would turn out with mad ninja skills and do flips in their pen.
After the baby is born, they patiently wait, watching as the newborn tries to stand on unstable legs. The calf falls many times before finally making it. When it’s about a week old we ween it from the mother. This way we can milk her and feed the calf with a bottle. The kids are allowed to feed the calf and run around in the pen as it chases and races with them up and down the barn. This is so funny, especially when the kids were really little, and they thought the calf was after them. They’d giggle in nervousness as they ran for their lives. Free and fun entertainment is worth a thousand words :).
There is something exciting about watching new life, inhale its first breath and take those first steps of independence. Much the same way as when a human infant is born. Every life is a miracle. In these moments when watching that miracle take their first steps and grow it gives you pride and pleasure that doesn’t end after that first day. From the calves to the adorable little pigs, lambs and the chick chatter that happens when your Chicks arrive in the mail. This time of year is filled with all sorts of innocent pleasures.
The ground is full of moisture and ready to be tilled. Seeds of every fruit and vegetable appear as you open your container from last year. Going through it you determine what new seeds you need to buy before planting. The till runs through the ground preparing the dark brown soil and leaves rows of turned dirt that smells like fresh rain and earth. Your compost of food scraps, ashes from the wood stove and manure have done their job. The chickens scratch behind you as you till, in search of bugs that have been hiding all Winter. The whole scene is rather picturesque.
At the house, the windows are opened to let a warm breeze pass through. Everywhere the invisible fingers of the fresh air touch, brings a part of Spring. Rugs and bedding are washed and lay draped on the clothesline with the sunshine cleansing and drying the much-used items. It’s like a new house, new farm and new beginning have all come as the days grow longer and temperatures rise.
The hope of warmth and a new tomorrow are compiled in the one word, Spring. The sound of birds, wind, animals, and joy that didn’t come from electronics or from a busy crowd, but from life on the Farm. This is happiness and a life I wouldn’t change. Simple, satisfying, hard work and a tired that lets you rest easy at night.
It’s not for Everyone, but it’s definitely for me. Here I can think and live the way I was brought up. My kids can also enjoy the pleasures and learn what hard work actually looks like. I say work, but honestly, it’s a labor of love and one I hope never to take for granted. Modeling is fun and being an author is amazing, but nothing compares to Spring, and life on my farm.
Happy Spring Friends -Heather Earles