Rory went out first thing this morning to check on the ewes, to see if any lambs were born overnight. He came back in to get Ivar, letting him know that Mercy was delivering right then. They went out to the corral and watched her give birth to triplet lambs.
They moved the fencing around a bit for fresh pasture, and as they were working, Andy, our beekeeping friend came by to check on the hives. He asked Ivar if he wanted to suit up and help him find the queen. They spent an hour out there, Ivar learning the ways of bee keeping.
While this was all happening out at the barn, Hattie decided she would make sourdough pancakes. I helped her get started but eventually she flipped every pancake. And together we made this pancake girl, wearing a rainbow dress, just like Hattie has.
Elsie brought Alden out to the new chicks in the garage and showed him how to fill their feed trough and check their water. Then she went out into the yard to pick dandelions to make more dandelion jelly. We’re going to sell it at the Farm and Family Fair, so she wanted to make another round today.
At some point I looked at the clock and it was just 8:30. It startled me, because I felt like we had lived a days’ worth of life already, but the day was just beginning.
Rory has a workshop he teaches called, “Homesteading as a School Subject.” He reads a lot of Wendell Berry quotes and encourages backyard chickens. Mostly he tries to encourage practical, hands-on tasks that will stretch and challenge your whole family.
And today it was overwhelmingly obvious: all of this is one incredible education.
While Elsie was making the dandelion jelly, we decided to multiply the recipe by 7. It meant she had to do some tricky fraction addition. She asked, “wait. do I do this like I do it in my math book?” I replied, “like add all the numerators and then take that improper fraction and turn it into a whole number and a fraction?” She looked amazed, “is that how you do it in real life too?!!”
And it was basically any teacher’s dream come true. Yes! Yes you do! You use it in real life- the whole point of all of it. The birthing of animals, moving of fences, bee keeping, chick care, jelly making, pancake flipping- it’s all preparing you for real life. A real good life.