Looking back at what I have done in the last two months to get this land working as a farm has given me a new perspective on the entire farm thing. Basically it is this: farm animals are the pretty boy front man for the hard working and talented band that never gets any credit or notice for the music.

In this scenario it is the farm infrastructure that is the band – the fencing, the sheds, the barns and animal housing, the Poison Ivy-less trees and wood line, the yellow jacket hive-less pasture (I have battled two this month).

It has been a hard two months, so much digging for posts and fencing, so many cuts from wire and brush, so many mosquito bites from just being out in it all and the inevitable poison Ivy attacks from a Berserker attempt at removal. I am unable to move my body at the end of these days I dedicate to farm work and yet the animals themselves are almost really no part of it at all.

Some fresh grain in the morning for the Chickens, fresh water always twice a day, and then maybe some new bedding from time to time. For the ducks it is the same, they are messier and so I must change their water more often, always twice a day sometimes three. The baby Guineas are pretty simple, check the temperature, adjust the lighting if necessary. Fresh food, fresh water, twice a day at least. It is really not much.

And yet when friends come to visit the farm it is the animals that they really want to see. Heck I can’t even blame them for this – it is the animals that I really want to show them. I don’t know what it is about the front man that makes him just so darn appealing to us all.

I have tried to talk about the genius of the band, “Look at that tree line, it used to be a mess of wild grape vines and poison ivy, see how clean and nice it is now?” As the words come out I lose interest myself. “Look at these fence posts for the garden, I cut each ten foot cedar from the woods, dragged it down here with my bare hands and then dug four foot holes with a rickety old post hole digger for each of the twenty posts” And yet looking at them, they are just a few sticks in the ground.

Today, I dug a trench the 128 yard length of our north fence and attached hog wire to it with obstinate little fence staple nails. I have already completed the 70 yards of the south fence. I got half the fencing up today and will finish it tomorrow, after all we now have 5 sheep arriving on Sunday.

And I already know that when folks see our sheep the 200 yards of hog wire lining that keeps them safe and contained will go unnoticed. The fence that has my entire body bent over right now in arthritic type pain: the beautiful and noble fence that will stand for many years proud and sturdy and useful like the talented band secure in the integrity of their hard earned skill, a something that will stay with them always as the front man fades, is found out, or overdoses and dies.

In this scenario he is eaten. But the band will play for many more to come.