The Beginning Farmer: The Seasons of the Farm

Something I never knew until living on the farm is the different unofficial seasons.  When the weather changes for off-farm people, you can expect certain predictable weather patterns.  Summer is sunny, spring is rainy, winter is cold and snowy, and fall is cool and pretty.  On the farm, there's SO many more seasons. 

Leaf Clean Up Season

During fall, when everything turns beautiful, all the leaves are falling.  And on a farm that means a LOT of leaves fall.  The pasture ground needs to have exposed grass for the animals to eat, so that means normally days and days and days spent cleaning up the leaves.  Think raking, but weeks and weeks of it.  Almost makes me dread my favorite season.

Ice Season

This season happens right before snowy winter, typically in December.  The weather is still warm enough that it is rain, but cold enough it freezes on the ground.  Everything is icy, which is dangerous for large animals that can break legs on the ice.  The water spigots freeze, ramps are icy, and the animals are pretty miserable during this season. 

Mud Season

This one is David's least favorite season.  Normally during spring, but definitely when coming out of winter.  I don't know what causes it, because in the Midwest we get rain, but we don't typically get THAT much rain.  Regardless, everything turns to mud.  Pastures, driveways, coops.  Everything that was frozen is now thawed into wet manure and standing water.  We can't use tractors or trucks on projects for fear of tearing up the grass. 

Scorching Season

The season in summer where there is no water, we normally are droughted, shade is hard to come by, and it is difficult to keep the animals comfortable.  In the winter we can fill waters every other day.  During the scorching season we have to refill typically twice in one day.  If the water gets too hot we have to add cold water from the hose to help keep it cool.  This season is more work for both David and I to ensure the safety of the animals.  I'm always thankful if we skip this season, but the last three years have not given me much hope.    

Hay Stacking Season

This is my least favorite season.  I hate this season and job more than literally any other job on the farm.  When we do it, I'm tired and cranky.  We have to stack over 700 bales into our barn, by hand, with them stacked 6-7 high.  First they have to get thrown on the ground from the hay wagon, then thrown into the barn, then thrown towards the back of the barn, then stacked.  We did 3 separate cuts last year, with 3-4 hay wagons full.  I seriously hate it.  Hay is scratchy and heavy and David and I are doing separate tasks and can't talk. 


There are many more mini-seasons I did not even include on this list.  But before owning a farm, I wouldn't even know they existed.  There's calving season, and chick-buying season, and fly season, etc.  Maybe I'll have to do a follow up with those seasons included as well! Regardless, I'm very glad we own this farm and get to experience this life, hay-stacking season and all.