Monday, May 9, 2011

The Farm

It was in 1982, when my girl friend and I moved to an old farm. It was located in the mountains and was the last farm at the end of the public road. The farm had a beautiful location as it was sitting on the highest point of the village overlooking a vast valley which was adorned by snow- and ice-capped mountain peaks. 

Our Farmhouse after Renovations were done
The farm buildings had been standing empty for some years and needed a lot of attention. Besides the old 2-storey log home from 1860 there was an old cow stable with a hay loft. 

We started our farm life with converting the sheep stable into a stable for pigs. 
Later, we had 5 sows in that room. They were already inseminated when we got them so pretty soon we had the first litters from them. 

During the first spring I built a greenhouse. We had horse- and cow manure in the bottom and before we knew it, the greenhouse resembled the Amazonian jungle. Whatever we tried to produce outside of the greenhouse failed mostly. Whether is was the soil or the sometimes nasty weather, I don't need to speculate about. 

The only thing which grew was grass. When July rolled around and the weather was dry enough we had to cut the grass to make hay. Since our fields were small and our funds limited we had to make do with the old-fashioned way of  producing hay. The mower was a two-wheel-tractor which needed to be guided by walking behind. 
When a section was cut we had to rake the grass. Under dry conditions the hay needed to be turned every few hours so it would dry. Then we would rake it together and bring it to the hay loft. We had no bailer so the hay was loaded up on the fork behind the tractor and brought home that way. Often the hay could be brought inside within one day.

However, during haying season normally we could not count on dry weather. When rain showers made the drying impossible, Plan B had to be followed. It was the painstaking work of putting stakes 6ft. apart into the ground and stringing 5 to 6 steel wires about 5 inch apart from stake to stake until it looked like a fence. Each side of the "fence" would be anchored by stakes pounded in the ground.

The hay would then be hung over the steel wires for drying. That way the wind could do its work and help drying the grass. It was very labor-intensive but it was what Norwegians had done for centuries.

Stunning view from the farm

Read more tomorrow: The pigs

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting for me to see. My ancestry is 100% Norwegian, my Grandparents immigrated here from Norway. We visited Norway once but it was only a "day trip" from Sweden to Oslo. My bucket list includes seeing the Norwegian Fjords. -Chuck Hetland-


We like to hear from you. You can add your comment here: