I love farming! Being outdoors, getting dirty, working with animals, and providing healthy food for people gives me great satisfaction. However, there are a lot of jobs that I can’t manage on my own and most people don’t want to do. Luckily we have Owen, who helps us around the farm with a lot of the tasks that we can’t manage by ourselves.
Probably the most unpleasant job around the farm is manure management. In the spring, Owen cleans out the barn where the sheep are housed all winter. It’s a combination of hay and manure, which gets packed down from the sheep walking around and laying on it. You can imagine the smell, which is only intensified as the layers of hay are slowly removed. I’m not sure how he does it without a gas mask.
In addition to our sheep, we pasture horses at the farm to help us maintain the fields so we don’t have to mow as much. The horses do a great job on the grass, but they leave a lot of manure, which doesn’t go away on its own.
Luckily for us, we discovered that our Cyclone Leaf Vac makes a great manure vacuum as well. Not only does it pick up the poop, but it grinds it up, which makes great compost. It takes 2 people though, one person to drive the tractor (me) and one person to maneuver the vacuum hose (Owen). While it looks easy, (especially in the sales videos) it requires a lot of strength and coordination to do the job. Once we fill the bin, shovel it out into the compost pile.
Farming is definitely a job that requires team work and flexibility. Owen possesses both those qualities. We are grateful that he cheerfully helps us with the jobs nobody would want to do. And we are equally grateful for all the other work he does that are more pleasant. He has been a great help on the farm.