Today was as close to a disaster as we’ve had since I started at the farm. And it really wasn’t that bad.
There was a bit of a miscommunication about who was driving the tractor for the farm tours. I thought Rob was. Rob thought Steve was. Steve thought Rob was. Needless to say, 12:00 rolled around and I had no driver! Thankfully, there weren’t any riders at that point either so the noon tour didn’t happen.
At 2:00 we had a good sized group who wanted to take the tour, but still no driver. Lauren had been working on her tractor driving skills so I asked if she or Dean would mind driving and Lauren got the job. Things were going well until we came to a tight turn through a relatively narrow gate. If you’ve ever pulled a wagon (or seen a tractor trailer take a sharp turn), you know you have to swing wide if you want to get your back end through. We didn’t quite go wide enough and the back end of the wagon got stuck on the fence. We couldn’t go forward for fear of destroying the fence and there was no way Lauren or I was going to attempt to back up the wagon. It is incredibly difficult because it is a double axle wagon so the front wheels actually turn. This causes the wagon to turn in unexpected directions. Ryan is probably the only one on the farm who can do it efficiently. Actually, Ryan is probably the only one who can do it period.
I was about to call it a day and finish the tour on foot when one of our riders came to the rescue! He had experience as a farm manager and quickly got us unstuck. It clearly wasn’t the first time he’d back up a hay wagon. Lauren and I were so thankful!
But that wasn’t our last obstacle. We planned to stick to the lane for the rest of the tour (rather than trying to go through the pastures), but the cattle trailer was parked at the bottom of the hill and we couldn’t get around it. It was a different kind of “stuck,” but just as much of a problem. At that point we did give up and just walked everyone down to see the pigs. We’d already covered the cows and chickens so that was all that was left.
The reason the trailer was there is because Steve had come to collect the cattle to take in for slaughter but someone had parked their car in front of the gate to the holding pen. There is a gate on the pasture side as well, but to use that gate, we needed the tractor, not the truck which gets stuck more easily. No one really wanted to go through the hassle of unhooking the tractor from the wagon and truck from the trailer so we could hook the tractor to the wagon to load cows only to have to switch the tractor and truck right back. We tried our best to find the owner of the car, but without success. Eventually we decided to just go ahead and switch out the vehicles. I pulled the wagon around to park it and Steve unhooked the truck. As I was pulling the tractor (sans wagon) back around, Steve came running out to tell me they’d found the owner and they were moving the car. He set about re-coupling the truck and trailer and I the tractor and wagon.
Isn’t that just how life goes?
After all the crazy of today, I decided to come home for my weekend. One of our neighbors has some rhubarb and said I can cut some. I have a recipe for vanilla rhubarb jam with earl grey tea that I’ve been wanting to try. I also am almost out of kale and Dad’s asparagus is in so I needed to get my fill while the short season lasts!