A To-Do, or Honey-D0 List on a farm is merely a suggestion of what become a priority at some time. Farming is governed by seaons, and economics. The seasons determine what will top the list, whether those are tasks for Preparing the Harvest or Presevering the Harvest. The economics for most family farms is “break-even” over the course of numerous boom and bust years. To pay for the daily living, beyond the mortgage, taxes, purchasing and repairing equipment, most farm families seek part or full time jobs off the farm. This could range from handyman jobs, to construction work, to teaching or childcare, to pastoring a church, to healthcare professions. To carry on all these tasks, most farm family need 26 hours per day, and 8 days per week.
So, back to that To-Do List, being in a 2 hr and 1 day deficit of time to actually accomplish all the task, what backs up in the queue?
Well, now that this year’s wood is stacked in the woodshed, there are trees to clear, block, and split to start seasoning for the next couple of years.
Then there is the rough outline of a tractor shed starting to form near the driveway. That will require leveling, footers, framing, roofing, and walls some time next year.
Then there is hauling manure from our neighbors barn to our gardens. Winter snows will settle it in for next Spring’s planting.
Then there is stuff that needs to get back into the garden shed or under cover before the next snow falls.
Then there is the pile of vegetable stems that needs to be burnt to kill off the eggs of insectst that we do not want next year.
Then there is the pile of lumber that has not become the rails to the stairs to the deck… for two years.
Then there is the pile of flat rocks which will add to the patio that we are extending out from the walk-out basement. With clearning a new section of road ditches, it has been a profitable year for finding flat rocks.
Then there is the whole in the ceiling that I made to figure out what was leaking… ten year ago (yes, I did replace the toilet, but never got back to the whole in the drywall)
Then there is… well you get the point. Happy New Year, and the start of the 2014 To-Do-List.