Of Farms and Fables combines the efforts of professional and non-professional artists by engaging artists in farm work and farm workers in storytelling and acting. The result will be an original performance in October of 2011 which will engage performers and audience in dialogue about local agriculture, farming, and the future of small family farms in Maine.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

You Say Goodbye, I say Hello Part 2 (Keith)

Kay Ben farm sure does look different without the hay barn. When I arrived at 5am for morning milking, the first thing I noticed was the light from pre-dawn. On previous trips to the farm, that pre-dawn light back light the old hay barn, creating a large, dark shadow with a halo of purple, blue and pink around it.

Without the barn there, the light just spills over the entire farm. It was quite breathtaking in an odd, natural disaster sort of way. The old hay barn got blown down in the big storm we had last month. It was a terrible thing, but like Eddie says, these things happen on a farm. Everyday it's something new. So, they pick up and move on.

Now what? Well, they aren't sure at the moment. They are conflicted about what to do and how to rebuild. There are several options on the table, and they all have their pros and cons. We discussed them last week while watching a giant pneumatic hammer attached to the end of an equally giant excavator pound the remaining foundation walls of the old hay barn into rubble.

They are thinking of extending the barn that was connected to the hay barn to hold more dry cows in the winter. Then they could build a separate, smaller hay barn for feed, hay and machinery. They have also considered building a completely new milking parlor. But that would cost a lot more than what they are likely to get from their insurance settlement. Eddie sometimes jokes about selling the herd and converting the farm into a golf course. The footprint of the old hat barn would make a swell starting place for a clubhouse.

I had another suggestion that I thought was really good. Since cows produce the most milk when they are happy, I thought, what better way to make cows happy than with a spa. They are hard working ladies, right? What hard working woman wouldn't like a regular spa day built into their weekly schedule. There could be a cow sized jacuzzi/sauna. Perhaps Erica and Becky could run a pedicure station? Seems like a wonderful idea to me.

Eddie said he'd think about it. He hasn't ruled anything out yet.

What I took from my last 2 weeks on Kay Ben was how they picked up and moved on and adjusted after the terrible results of the storm. Sometimes it's hard to let things go and move on, especially when they effect you on a personal level. But you have to. If you dwell in the past, you will never be able to see that sunrise for it's present day beauty. You'll just be thinking about how beautiful it used to be.