Emptier Spaces

Everything “opens up” in the fall.

Trees lose their leaves and let through more light, wind, and weather.

Crops are harvested, empty fields are plowed, and everything starts to look naked as it waits for the cover of snow.

Our summer heifer pasture is bare of cattle, as they are moved to more sheltered areas in preparation for the change in season.



It’s a good feeling to know our work will also lessen some, but it doesn’t stop things from looking bare.

Our little poultry barn also has a strange emptiness to it.

On Friday I took the last of our chickens and turkeys to a poultry processor. (They’ll be ready in time for Thanksgiving, so if you are close by we will even have a few for purchase. )

I’m glad we did butcher some ourselves to appreciate the effort behind it, but I just knew it would be nearly impossible to find time to do the rest before the deep freeze of winter sets in.

Because yes, I’ll admit I’ve definitely complained about chicken chores on the few mornings I had to deal with frozen water and my own frozen fingers this fall.

I’m sad to have no more eggs and no more exuberant hens clucking around the yard, but I’m proud of the food we raised. Every farmer is, no matter how big or small the result.

The difference in scale between our dairy and our few birds is almost absurd, but we definitely learned from the undertaking.

20131116-143254.jpg Turkeys proudly strutting their stuff

We still have our ducks and geese, so that keeps the barn from being eerily quiet. We’re not sure if we’ll butcher them or just get a heated waterer and keep them over winter. They have plenty of feathers and weight to stay fat and happy, so they’ll be manageable to keep if we do. 🙂

At the dairy we’ve had less calves then normal these past few weeks, but the ones that are born are dried off in a heated warmer right after birth and then bundled in a jacket before they go to a hutch.

I’m convinced nobody can resist the charms of a baby calf in a coat!


May you all be able to relax and even enjoy the relative space and emptiness that late fall may bring to you.

About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
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3 Responses to Emptier Spaces

  1. Emily Grace says:

    I love the concept of empty space – or emptier than normal space. After the hurry of summer it is delicious to feel ones schedule and nerves have more space to breathe. It’s something I feel often this time of year, but I hadn’t put words to it. I so enjoy taking in some good writing and expanding my conscious ability to express something. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love that my schedule slows down a bit in the fall…in fact, by the start of October I look forward to it! The break is lovely before the hustle and bustle of the holidays starts up!

    And, I’m sure I don’t know anyone who could resist the charms of a calf in a coat, either 🙂

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