March 11, 2011

ramblings from an exhausted farmer

the farm this morning - photo by Jen

another awesome photo by Jen

We tucked the new girls in at about 11:30 last night, topping off their food and water for the night and making sure they were warm enough. A snow storm was quickly moving in, painting the farm white as we all went to bed. At 2:30am, I woke up because the house just seemed too quiet. Sure enough, the power was out and I had no idea how long it had been out. I sprang out of bed, threw on my farm clothes, stumbled my way to a flashlight and called the power company. The power outage was reported at 2:15 so it hadn't been long at all.

This has been my biggest fear with these chicks since the heat lights are the only thing keeping them warm. We had a 2 hour power outage the previous morning which inspired Nate to seek out the old generator and see if it worked. Unfortunately, after exhausting himself trying to fix it, it's beyond repair and we'll have to buy a new one. I felt pretty helpless about the situation this morning knowing that there wasn't anything we could do.

I made my way out to the barn, snow stinging my face. I was a little put out by the whole thing, having to drag myself out of bed and into the cold. That is, until I saw how unbelievably beautiful it was outside. It was just breathtaking and despite the stress of the moment, I felt grateful to be there, witnessing this beauty.

We have an awning over our poultry processing unit that has been threatening to collapse so I spent some time knocking the snow off of it to lighten the load. Nothing like a little snow in the face and down the shirt at 3am to make a farm girl feel alive. I held my breath and walked into the brooder expecting to see and hear chaos but it was eerily silent. By the light of my headlamp I saw them all peacefully asleep, completely oblivious to the what was happening. It was as if they all stopped what they were doing the second the lights went out and just went to sleep. I was fully prepared to spend the rest of the night in there with them for some added body heat and moral support but they were just fine. I knew they would be warm enough in the dark for a few hours and just hoped the power company would make some progress soon.

I crawled back in bed and tried to go to sleep with no luck. I began to think of the seedlings Jen and I have started in the greenhouse. They're in a heated germination hut and now they had no heat. Are we going to lose all of those little guys and have to seed them all over again? And what if this power outage takes hours and hours to get resolved. Then at 4:45, the power came on.

And then went out again a half hour later.

By then Jen was awake and we shared the worry together. The power came on for good around 6am and she took a shift checking on everyone. All was well and everyone made it through.

Today, I'm feeling grateful that the girls are far enough along in their development that they were able to handle that.

And that the germination hut held enough heat to keep those little seedlings alive.

And even more, that there are 2 more people to share the worry with. It doesn't feel so scary now. Instead, it feels like an adventure . . . in a roller coaster sort of way.

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