Memorable moments abound on a farm. The adventures range from delightfully fun experiences like s'mores around the firepit and stargazing to frustrating mishaps such as broken tractors and escaped animals in the midst of harvest. Regardless of the adventure, the result is always learning and memories! Even stressful events turn into storytelling opportunities. Join me as I reflect on some Summer 2018 "remember when..." moments.
In the middle of the summer, a very crafty and diligent gopher was the cause of an exciting evening on the farm. The little bugger created quite an irrigation flood by tunneling an underground pathway through the concrete wall of our cellar entrance. The flood threatened to fill the cellar with irrigation water from the orchard. It was one of those dead tired days and everyone was looking forward to cleaning up and getting some rest. By God's grace, I decided to check progress on one last project on the east side of the house on my way indoors. Farmer Ray was heading out to the vineyard to change an irrigation water set when I heard gushing water. Realizing that water was rushing from our fruit orchard through a break in the concrete wall into the entry area to our cellar, I yelled to Ray to close the orchard valve.
No matter. The orchard was already covered with water like a miniature lake and had just begun draining through the gopher burrow toward the cellar. How were we going to stop all the water? After several shovelfuls of dirt on the cracked concrete opening did not slow the ebb and the flow increased, I knew I needed help. A quick SOS text, "All hands on deck... cellar flood!" brought the kids racing to assist. The water was coming so fast the drain couldn't keep up and my bailing was not effective. We needed to prevent water getting past the entry into the main storage area otherwise personal and business goods would be destroyed. Bigger buckets and younger backs were put into service.
The kids bailed like mad and I stomped on and filled gopher holes with dirt to no avail. Ray went to the vineyard to open more valves there and reduce the pressure on the irrigation pipe. I rushed to put up portable work lights and hook up the shop vacuum to suck water instead of bailing. We could not find the where the leak was originating from. Kyle attempted a wet patch to the concrete but the water outflow was too great. Finally Kayla found the problem gopher tunnel further away than expected. Her stomping caused the water to slow a tiny bit and turn a little muddy confirming it was indeed the culprit.
At Kayla's suggestion and Dad's agreement we drove the ATV over and over the area to compact the gopher's burrow and tunnels enough to prevent all the orchard water from ending up in the cellar. Everyone whooped and hollered!! Once the water stopped flowing, Kyle made a permanent concrete repair to the wall. Tired, muddy and past bedtime we worked together to clean up all the tools and equipment realizing this would be a future story to tell! We were grateful the water was stopped at the door threshold and nothing in the cellar was ruined.
Farmer Ray donned his bee suit one scorching day to clear out an old woodpecker hole on the tower where bees were trying to start a hive. It was a mess with woodpecker and starling nesting materials and bee honeycomb inside. Thankfully, Farmer Ray is very handy and did a nice job of repairing and patching the siding afterward so the critters will stay out.
Another day, my nephew joined my husband in the new bee enterprise for an afternoon. Working the bees together was special and unforgettable.
At first skeptical and nervous, Joseph overcame his fear and realized how fascinating bees are. He is very smart and quick with well thought out questions. Ray really enjoyed sharing his bee knowledge with his young helper. As they moved through the inspection of the bee boxes in white beekeeping suits Uncle Ray and Joe created a wonderful memory together.
Kayla created goat memories tending to Kappy during delivery of her kids and then
bottle feeding Kappy's cocoa colored runty goat kid for two days and nights. Kayla named the tiny kid Nib, as in Cacao Nib, because of the kid's color, size and love of nibbling. We are calling Nib's white haired brother Marshmallow. The goat babies are a striking contrast to their shiny black haired mama. Baby goats are always super fun but when feeding problems arise it is stressful for everyone involved. Thankfully Nib is doing much better and now drinking on her own from her mama for which I am very grateful.
Would you like to hear more farm life stories and adventures from Trevino Family Farm? Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.