Days like yesterday help me appreciate how much different farm life was for our pioneer ancestors.
Right after dawn, it began to snow. Unsure of how much was going to pile onto the snow we already have, and unsure if the roads would be passable all day, we rushed off over snow covered roads (in my four-wheel drive pickup truck) to the local farm supply store. A couple of our goats are sick and we needed syringes and needles to give them penicillin. While we were there we stocked up on chicken feed and horse feed, and picked up a bag of oyster shells for the chickens.
When we got back home we tended to the goats, and Cherie gave the sick ones their shots. Most of the new kids were snuggled under heat lamps.
While I’d been away Cherie had let our wood stove go out, and had switched over to propane. So I cranked the wood stove back up, after cleaning out the ashes, loading them into the bucket of my tractor and spreading them in the part of the pasture than needs more potassium. While doing that I noticed that a tree had fallen across the fence. So I went back to the barn, got a chainsaw, and sawed up the tree, clearing the fence.
Then I came in and cooked breakfast, two eggs fried on our electric stove.
So by breakfast I had used:
- a pickup truck
- a farm supply store
- syringes and needles
- heat lamps
- a soil test
- prepackaged chicken and horse feed
- a bag of oyster shells
- propane heat
- a boiler wood heater
- a tractor
- a chainsaw and
- an electric stove
Of course our ancestors would have had to deal with all the same issues, but would have had none of those things. And I probably left some things off the list. Yet they still would’ve been able to do everything we did, and probably do it better.