Springtime in the farms
A large farm house with cows grazing near it
Some farm paddock and a field
Telling you my farm life in spring
Welcome to our article (12), springtime in the farms
The farm life in spring changes
Dear readers, in our last article we have been telling you, how boring my life was in the farm in winter times; but even in these harsh situations, we had to learn to live with it, the only thing we could do was to hope for better times, whenever these better times come. Because for sure we would appreciate that, whenever it would come. Even if this something that we were looking for, was not very important to other people that were living in town; but for us farm people it would be, because we were exposed to it directly. So, let us see what could be better than usual in those farms, where we used to live such a boring and hard life most of the time.
As we all know, after winter comes spring time, we could say that spring is the season of hope and dreams for a better life for a lot of people; but nobody would experience this feeling of hope and dreams for a better life more than the farm people, because everything is happening right in front of their eyes, it is the season of hope and new life.
Therefore, while I am telling you the story of my life, in this article I am also going to describe to you how the spring season affects the farm people. Anyhow, let me start by saying that from the farmers’ point of view, spring would be the best and happiest season than most of the other seasons, even though one could say that the farm life is usually the same even in spring time, because first and foremost you have to look after the farm animal, since the farm animals could be said that are (or were) the backbone in farming in those days; you see, up to the time when I was young everything was done by using these animals strength to plough the fields, to carry heavy weights around, and to pull the cart, because, when I was young there were not that many tractor around yet, they were coming out but they were too expensive to buy, so, we had still to rely on the farm animals to do the jobs that needed to be done. Now, here I would like to point out that since then, several farm machineries have come out and have helped farming a lot, so, today farming is a lot easier than it was in those old times. Of course, any changes that happen, bring good things and causalities, and I was going to be one of the causalities later in life.
Now, just to compare what I have said above, we would like to show briefly to our readers, the great difference that these new farming machines have made in the price of farming, especially in wheat farming, between those by gone days and these days; and also the great benefit that the farmers have received and also the entire community has received form this modern way of wheat farming. Here is a link to one of our own articles where we compare some of this great difference; Farming today compared to the old way
Anyhow, in this article, we want to talk about the farm life in spring of those bygone days, just to continue our life story in a chronological way, if we can. Now, I don’t want to winch too much here, because spring is a much better season than winter. However, we still need to explain how we look after the farm animals in spring, if we want to inform our readers how life was in the farms then even in spring.
So, let me describe the changes that spring time brings in the country-side of the town that I have come from, above all let us see what changes spring brings to the farmers and to the farms’ animals. You see in the temperate zone, like the temperate zone of this Southern Italy town, there are big changes in temperature, because of these changes in temperature, every season brings a new way of life and spring brings very big changes as well.
Now, as we have said previously, we were hand feeding all farm animals in the stable during winter, which was a very boring job, day in day out, therefore, the spring season is/was very welcome. I am saying this because, in springtime the way of looking after the farm’s animals changes a lot, because in spring time all the animal that are grass eater will start eating grass in the paddock, at the beginning for only a few hours a day, and then it will reach a stage when most of the farm’s animals will be feeding on grass and nothing else, and most of them will be grazing in the paddock during daytime, at night most of us small farmers would still bring the animals inside the farm stables, because it was still cold at night and for security reasons, so, let us describe how generally this was done.
As we have said, during the winter and perhaps most of the year, the large farm animals have been hand fed in the stable with straws, oats and hay, but now gradually they will be let loose to graze in the paddocks. So, as soon as the grass in the paddock grows enough in early spring, the cows are let loose in the paddock for a few hours each day to begin with, and then as the grass starts growing faster they will graze in the paddocks all day long. The next on line to graze in the paddocks are the pregnant mares, followed by the rest of the animals: So that in mid spring all the animals that are grass eater will be feeding only on grass; that is during the day in the paddocks and at night with fresh harvested grass, which has been purposely grown and cut from the farmers.
As you can see, we the farmers are still busy to look after the farm animals, but now it is not as hard as in winter times and the weather is usually fine, and every day that go past it becomes warmer, so, a more relaxed way of life can be enjoyed, we have to say more about the farm animals later, because now I would like to change on a happier human subject, for the time being just to try to find some happiness, in the middle of so much hard and boring life.
Kitchen garden patch in spring time
What relief could spring bring to us farmers?
Here we are still talking about my life story. So, let us see what relief or happy things spring-time could bring to us young would be farmers. Now, having said how dreadful life was in the farms in winter times, spring puts an end to those very dreadful times and it brings some relief; so, let us talk about springtime in the farms. We believe that just thinking about springtime in the farms, it would bring a smile to the farmers faces, because this new season brings new hope to everyone, but that is not all, because we are sure that just about every one of us human likes springtime, but if you are in the farm this feeling is felt even more; because we would be very close to Mother Nature, we would feel this perhaps more than the rest of the community.
Here we have to say also that all other living animals love springtime, because spring seems to bring a new beginning to everything, it brings new hope and it brings new life and we humans are all waiting for the good things that will come during the year, you see spring is completely different from what we have been talking about in our last article, where we were telling you beside other things what we did in the farm in a winter day, as we had to do all those repetitive chores day in day out, here is the link, My farm life continues, anyhow, now we have better news to tell you, because we are going to talk about spring-time in the farms, which marks the beginning of many new things.
From a young would be farmer point of view, the very first thing that one notice in spring is that the temperature is becoming milder, everything around you are becoming nice and green; wherever you turn you can see this happening right in front of your eyes, and that is a wonderful thing to see, all these plants and grasses are growing, as they seem to wake up from that dormant stage that they were in in winter time.
So, dear readers, we hope that this article will make you forgive us, for telling you all that boring farm stuff in our previous articles, since we were telling you what happens in the farm during the year. We know that farm life is boring, but it is a life that some of us must live and if we want to be true to ourselves, we must tell you the way that we have lived it. But even in the farm sometimes life brings good things to say about, so, let us tell you the better news.
We can surely say, that the only time that one can say that living in the farm for a short period could be better than living in town, was and is at spring time, because those things that make life interesting in the farms happen one after another, you see one can observe Mother Nature wonders as they occur at very close range; and springtime is the time when most of those wonders occur one after another. Therefore, life in the farm becomes more interesting and wonderful after a cold winter when finally, spring comes, for a start the warm sun makes everybody feel happy to be alive, after those cold winter days that never seemed to end.
But let us tell you, what we did and how we felt in those farms in spring. For us farmers early in spring when the weather is fine it is nice and warm, it feels good to stay outside doing odd jobs, like preparing the soil in the kitchen garden and planting some seeds that will soon grow, while we would be doing that, we would just imagine how these new plants will grow and bear fruit in summer; you see in the temperate zone, as the days grow longer and the temperature rises the plants start growing very quickly, this fact of life even by itself seems to bring some joy after the cold winter days, not only because we could see the new plants growing quickly, but also because we would be thinking what the good season would bring to us, when the time would come to harvest whatever we had planted, or we would plant now in early spring, I know that this seems like dreaming good things, but that is a way of life that all farmers use to do; they need to dream good things to come, in order to continue to do their farming; but anyhow let us see what other good things spring brings with it. At least let us try to describe the beauty of the spring season that us young farmer would see happening right in front of our eyes.
Trees in flower at springtime
Wonderful spring in the farms
Wonderful spring is here, so, we can dream for a better future life
Farming is one of those activities with many risks, because it exposes the farmers to the weather behaviour, which can make the farmers rich, or can destroy all the work the farmers have done in few minutes, but let us forget about these worries, because we want to enjoy what we have. Anyhow, during early spring it would be wonderful, if one can forget all worries in the world and look at the work of Mother Nature, when it is at its best. You see, today you look at one tree and you wonder whether this tree is alive or dead, because its twigs seem really lifeless; but in a few days, when you look at that same tree again, you can see a few flowers and some small leaves on its twigs, and in a few more days the whole tree will be in flower, and also its leaves will be growing on its twigs very rapidly, all the trees start flowering and growing quickly at springtime, also all grass and seedlings grow faster and everything is greener and full of life, also the birds that throughout the winter seemed timid and sad, now start to sing and they sound very happy. In the country there is a change in the air in springtime and everything and everybody feels happier in spring, there are lots of sunny and mild days in spring, so, the sunshine and the mild days tell you that the dreadful winter is past, so, better times are ahead for the farm people and for the farm animals as well, so, this brings a sort of happiness to everybody and everything.
Of course, we in the farm are still busy to look after the farm animals, because that is a chore that never ends, but now, it seems not as hard as in winter times and the weather is usually fine, in spring times every day that go past the weather becomes warmer, so, a more relaxed way of life can be enjoyed, there are also other happy happenings, you see, spring is the season of hope and in spring we start to harvest many things, there are plenty of vegetables in spring, because everything grows pretty fast, also in the fields things grow fast, there are plenty of fresh peas, green beans, broad beans just to name a few, the farmers go around with great hope in their hearts, they hope to harvest plenty of everything, when they are ready to be harvested.
But even in this happy season there could be problems; because the farmer’s life is not an easy life, so, while the farmer is dreaming about the good harvest that he may see coming, at the same time the farmers always look at the sky, they fear bad weather that can ruin their crops. These natural facts, that nature could unleash is a real problem when stormy weather approaches, since all the work that the framers have done during the year can be ruined or destroyed in a few minutes. So, hope and heartbreak go hand in hand in the farms, and they are there ever present, so, even in this season that we think is better that the rest, it is not an easy life being a farmer, I can tell you that, because I have been there. Here I have to say that this was one of the reasons why I left farming and migrated to Australia when I was still young, hoping for a better and easier life in Australia, which I did. But now let us go back to talk about the farm animals, as they were and are a very important part of farming all year around, therefore, what happens during spring is interesting to know, so, let us talk about the farm’s animals and what happens to them during spring-time.
Some of the farm animals and their offsprings
The farm animals in spring
Let us talk about the farm animals and what happens to them in spring
Dear readers, this sub-article here is about the way of life that we the farm people were living, in the farms at spring-time, plus the farm animals. Because spring-time brings happy things to the farmers, I would like to keep this part here as happy and positive as I can. Therefore, anything that is sad we are leaving behind; so, let us see what happens in the farms in spring time.
Now, if we observe and think what is happening in spring time, we must admit that the ways that Mother Nature has set up for reproducing of the species is incredible, and the way of how most natural things happen in the animal’s world is almost faultless. For a start, most of the farm animals give birth to their offspring when there is plenty of food to go around, and when mild and fine weather is usually expected, it is for this reason that in springtime most of the animal’s offspring are born, starting from the cows that usually calf once every year. The cows make plenty of milk especially when there is plenty of green food for them to eat, also other animals have their offspring in spring, the sheep have their lambs, the mares have their foals, and other animals have also their young’s whatever it is according to their specie.
By observing what we have said above, we know that most of the farm animals are born in spring, so that they can grow big and strong during the spring and summer, so, when the cold weather comes back they would be able to cope with it easily, this is really how Mother Nature wants it to be, you see everything is set in a way that all living things would get the most benefit they can get, while they can in the good and warm season, therefore, it is a very good thing when it happens like that, and that is the way that Mother Nature wants it to be. But we humans sometimes interfere with Mother Nature, as you will see in our next article, Cheese making, where we will explain what we do, when we use Mother Nature and the animals to the extreme for our own benefit. Today we are only explaining that in spring the cows make plenty of milk, in fact, I could say that their calf’s need only half the milk that they make, so, the farmers milks the rest of the milk from the cows and uses this milk to make dairy products.
Now that we have explained that we need to milk the cows, because they make too much milk, we should explain what we do with their milk. Now, what we do with the milk is dairy products, dairy products could be a wide range of products, of many shapes and forms, starting from just plain milk that can be of various sorts and many sorts of cheeses and other things. In one of our article, we will explain what we did with the milk that we took from the cows and other farm animals, at the time when I was young.
Anyhow, I will start by saying that we used that milk to make cheese ourselves; some of the reasons for making cheese was that in those times when I was young, there wasn’t a real milk market that you could sell the milk to, so, we had to do something with the milk that we had. You see farming is mostly based in waste not want not, so, nothing should go to waste, therefore, we made our own cheese from the milk that we had. So, in our next article we will be talking about, how we made cheese the old way when I was young. Of course, there is not much to learn there for the modern generation, because things have changed a lot since then, but nevertheless it was a way of life that we used to live, so, let us tell it just the way it was happening then, in our next article.
See you soon in our article, Cheese making
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