What the Heck is This?

Just to prove that I haven’t lost my sense of humor as I do chores day after day after day after day after sloggin’ day (how does the Farmer keep up her excitement for these chores?) here’s a photo of something on our farm that is a TOTAL oops.

So, what’s this?


Yes, it’s a post with a rusty coffee can on it. Under the coffee can is an electrical outlet.

When you plan a farm on paper, it’s easy to be super-efficient, but it’s really, really hard to get it all right, especially if you’ve never farmed before. On paper, we chose a spot half-way between both barns as the place to winter the sheep, feeding them hay.

But they’d need water, right? So what if, as the contractors are digging the 6-ft trench for pipes bringing water from the little barn to the sheep barn, why not have the electrician lay an electrical cable, come up half way—right where the sheep would winter— and install an electrical outlet? Then we’d have a place to plug in the heater needed to keep the sheep’s water from freezing.

Brilliant. So that’s what we did.

The next spring we bought sheep. That fall we began preparing for winter. We got ready to move the trough right next to the outlet. But wait. The water hydrant was up the hill next to the barn.

Damn. We had a place to plug the heater in, but the water source was a good 100 feet away. In the winter, the only way to transport that water was by buckets. We’d planned for the electricity, but had forgotten about the water. There was no #$& way we were going to schlep overflowing buckets of water down a snowy, icy slope to the waiting water trough.

So we set up the trough by the barn, about three feet from the hydrant. We told the sheep they were going to have to walk for their water, which actually was smart because exercise is good for pregnant sheep.

So we crammed a coffee can on the post, and there it sits. Of course every day I walk by that thing now, and it makes me laugh. You can do your best to plan, plan, plan, but there’s always gonna be something that doesn’t work.

5 thoughts on “

  1. I’m just sure it will come in handy someday. For something. Or another. Don’cha think? Well, maybe not.

    (I thought you would have a little snow on the ground now . . . ??)

  2. It does make a darned fine scratching post for the sheep. Every week or so we have to find the can and jam it back on.

    And we have plenty of snow…the photo was pre-snow!

  3. The idea sounded so good at the time!!! Amazing how a little experience fine tunes your thought process.
    A few years ago one of my sister-in-laws asked me about what to consider when getting animals (they had just bought a small farm, and wanted to fill the space) I answered that it should be based on what you were willing to do to get them water in the winter.
    We have yet to make improvements to one of our areas, I have a huge extension cord (and I mean in wire size, not just length) that runs to a tank that also needs two hoses to fill it. Not my favorite chore in the bitter cold, filling that tank, having to thaw out both hoses. I’d be happy to look at the rusty can as long as I didn’t have to run the hose, or, oh mercy, run buckets!!!!

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