Happy National Agriculture Day! Since I’ve recently told you about what agriculture means to us and why we are a part of it, I thought I would tell you a story instead. This is a story of my goofy little dog on our farm this weekend.
Sweet little Mayberry, as I have referenced before, is actually a teddy bear and not really a dog. She does not like cold, wet or mud. She also is not fond of loud noises. In fact she is pretty averse to basically anything that is new to her or she doesn’t understand. This Saturday was essentially Mayberry’s nightmare.
As a bit of a backstory, we are just coming off of a miserably cold and snowy February. If you look hard enough you can still find some snow piles in Mid-March. The melting of the snow has made the ground a combination of mud and small lakes. It was also raining last Saturday. You can probably imagine what the ground looks like. The morning started out quite early. We got to the farm before it was light enough to work in the barn (it currently isn’t hooked up to the electrical system so we don’t have lights). So we decided that our first job would be to work on burning a pile of scrap wood that Jonathan had pulled out of the barn. This involved sloshing back and forth from the pole building to the fire pit through the alternating spots of puddles and mud. My poor hydrophobic canine was not pleased. She was getting wet and covered in mud and it was about 45 degrees out. The little one quickly discovered the delicious piles of deer poop in the yard and Jonathan’s discarded sandwich from the previous day which gave her a bit of a distraction. Both of these things I had to remind her several times to stay away from.
Once it was finally light enough to start working in the barn, Jonathan fired up the tractor. I was actually impressed with how well she handled the noise. She was definitely skeptical of it though. After the short reprieve of a truck ride up to the barn (she loves car rides), we made it up to the barn. Our task for the day was to start cleaning out some of the 50+ year old hay and straw that were piled in the barn. We decided it was best for her safety that while we were moving hay she be in her crate. She loves her crate and it is her safe place. I had brought some of her favorite toys (which are now covered in mud and need to make a trip through the washing machine) and I set her where she could see us working, but out of the way of any danger. The poor little thing shook like crazy! When Jonathan would go to empty the trailer I would take her out and hold her. Finally it was time to go clean up!
We took her down to the house and washed her off (More water!) Then we got in the car and drove over to the church to work on our wedding ceremony with the pastor. Another one of Mayberry’s struggles is meeting new people. I have socialized that dog like crazy and she is still nervous around new people. She gave a halfhearted bark at Pastor Christine and then sat on Jonathan’s lap for the rest of the time we were there. After we left the church we stopped at the grocery store and J ran in to pick up some food for supper. Mayberry and I stayed in the car and promptly fell asleep.
I give Mayberry a hard time, but in a way I know how she feels. Being in new situations is intimidating, and sometimes things are uncomfortable. Bringing the farm back to life is certainly intimidating! I’ve already felt the discomforts of working in not so great weather, in crowded spaces, in dusty spaces and many other situations. On the other hand, I know that the next time I take Mayberry out to the farm it won’t be quite as scary for her because it will be more familiar. I also know that the more time we put into the farm, the less intimidating farming will be for us as a family. I certainly know that, regardless of the challenges ahead, being a part of our farm has made me even more proud to be a part of the Agricultural Community on National Agriculture Day.