It gets dark super early these days.
Just a couple of weeks following daylight savings time, the weather became downright wintry. We got our first real snowfall (about three inches) and temperatures have dropped into the teens more than once.
Because the farm is not equipped with electricity or plumbing for our out-buildings, we find it necessary to run electricity to them in the winter for a number of reasons.
Primarily, we need to keep everyone’s water from freezing. We have a heated water bucket for the goats, and heated water stands upon which the chickens’ waterers sit. Our challenge, every winter, is to get electricity to these items.
Now, there are fairly simple, reasonably affordable ways to do this safely.
We could dig a trench, run wire through metal conduit, install an auxiliary outlet, and be on our way. This would be quite inexpensive (maybe a couple hundred dollars all told) and would work really well.
So, of course, that’s not what we do.
We opt, year after year, for the cumbersome and unsightly “Hang Bright Orange Extension Cords From Building to Building” method. This way, we are ensuring that we get power to the animals in the least attractive, most unsafe way possible.
It is apparently, as our teenage daughter would say, how we roll.
But, it works. And we’re pretty lazy. So…
This year, for the first time, Dave added yet another high-tech feature: lighting!
The only spot that really needed some illumination was the goat shed.
We milk Janie once a day, always in the evening. Now that it is dark by 4:30, we’ve been milking by flashlight which is, to say the least, not ideal.
Dave affixed a trouble light to one of the cords strung from the house to the chicken coop to the goat shed, providing the necessary (and greatly appreciated) light by which to milk.
Plus, it greatly enhances the overall mood of the shed which the ladies no doubt enjoy while dining.
While I am certain that one day we will just do the right thing and bury the cables and install the outlets and put safety first, we just haven’t yet found the time for such frivolity.
Until we do, we’ll just have to continue to live by the words of Catherine Aird who said, “If you can’t be a good example, you’ll have to be a horrible warning.”