Several years ago, after explaining my plans for the farm, a friend smiled and said ‘that’s an elephant best eaten one bite at a time.’
The expression has grown into my farm mantra. One bite at a time, I repeat on days that feel too big to handle.
That darn elephant reared its head again Monday morning as my friend, Sarah Wells, and I stared down a hefty wood pile. ‘Three hours,’ I told her. ‘We’ll be done in three hours.’ We put in our ear plugs, cranked up the splitter and got to work.
As daunting as that wood pile was it’s only a tiny piece of the larger elephant. My fantasy is to live long enough to clear the ditches that surround the farm. The original owner of the property passed away twenty-five years ago but anyone who knew him will tell you of his farming prowess and that his ditches were clear.
Today the ditches are filled with trees, shrubs, layers of silt and debris. Each year I take down ten or fifteen trees and clean the ditch. The trees are cut into 18” logs, stubby enough to fit in the wood stove. The logs are carried to the shed, then split for firewood. The wood dries for a year while the next round of trees come down.
I like to tease myself that I’m in an epic struggle of man against nature, beating back the jungle that threatens my existence.
At the rate I’m going there’s a solid ten years of work ahead. I decided not to mention this to Sarah Wells. She hung tough for three hours, for which I’m extremely grateful.
And, in case you wondered, elephant tastes a little like chicken.
What monumental projects are you facing? It’s always fun to hear what you’re into. And, as always, thanks for stopping by.