It's raining. That's a classically minimalist statement. True, but far from telling the whole story.

I actually don't mind rain - I suppose I grew up with it! - but when you farm, garden, grow, or graze it seems to be permanently an issue. Either you're praying for it, or wishing it would stop before everything goes very very pear shaped.

Of course, we need rain. Nothing grows without rain. At the end of a long summer, the dusty, brown verges and world weary hedgerows almost cry out for rain. We've had a dryish winter, too - well until all that snow melted and slithered down the glorious Downs and into our field.

At home, the garden benefits from good drainage, the soil, green sand tends to dry out a little quickly, but is otherwise beautiful, and the only places which are really awash are the paths, where our feet and the wheelbarrow have compacted tracks.

I'm thankful for the polytunnel to work in when it really is heaving down - today I finished constructing beds, put up a second 'mini greenhouse' to shelter tender seeds, and loaded up the half a ton of part dried couch grass roots I dug up yesterday.

Then I came in and made bread - piles of rolls for lunches, a loaf for toast, and a huge round cob of onion bread with cheese on top for just generally making everyone feel better.

There are some things you must do when it rains. Baking bread is one of them.

The goats all stay indoors when it rains - they have access to the out of doors, but hate being wet, and crowd together indoors like a bunch of bearded matrons at a quilting bee. The sheep get under the hedge, but run to meet me when I open the gate, carrying their bucket of food.

The chickens cause trouble in the barn. The bantams drip like the wrong choice of hat.

It's still raining. I am aiming for a curl up in front of the woodburner late in the evening, even if it has to be with forms to fill in and bills to pay.

Farm in the rain. Dripping barn roofs, muddy wellingtons, steaming jackets by the Rayburn. What strange little details make up a life.


Jonathan said...

Lovely post.

Ellen said...

What beautiful details make up a life. When you write posts like this, I like to picture you doing everything you mention -- even if I have no idea how to envision a polytunnel! And the bread, especially the onion loaf with cheese, sounds marvelous. I hope you got your fireside snuggle.

Jackie said...

@Ellen - American for polytunnel is hoophouse!

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