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Mondays are hectic days, no matter what you do for a living, I suppose. For us, Mondays seem to be especially busy, partly because we have a full compliment of interns on Mondays. Take yesterday, for example:

My day started out by running to Auburn Equestrian Center (AEC), where we are contract grazing sheep and goats to control blackberries and thistles. Our guard dog, Boise, had jumped out of the paddock during the night. On my way to get him back in, I touched bases with two of our interns, Julie and Courtney, to begin lining out the day.

As Julie and I built a new paddock at AEC, Courtney moved irrigation water at Thompson Ranch. We each finished these tasks by about 8:30 a.m., so we decided to meet at Belair market to research beef cuts and prices (we've started marketing grass-fed beef). After our field trip, we went back to Thompson Ranch to meet our third intern Jason. A brief meeting organized the remainder of our day.

Jason and Julie checked on the rest of the sheep - they moved lambs at a neighboring property and fed Buck the guard dog. They then went to Canyonview (where we have another contract grazing project) and fed Duke the guard dog. Then it was back to the house to inventory our meat supply for the rest of the week, and on to Roseville Meat to organize the rest of our meat inventory and to bring back meat for the Roseville, Tahoe City and Truckee farmer's markets. Julie and Jason were finished by early afternoon.

Courtney and I went up to Colfax to process and deliver firewood. We loaded a half cord of Douglas fir, which I delivered to customers in Meadow Vista. We also cut and split a cord of oak, which I'll deliver to the same customers later this week.

By 5 p.m. (when most sane people are off work), we were back at Thompson Ranch to do the afternoon irrigation moves. After finishing this project shortly after 6, Courtney came to the house to milk our dairy ewe, while Julie stopped by AEC to check on things there. I cleaned up and headed to my Placer County Agricultural Commission meeting (as did Julie). I finally got to eat dinner at about 9 p.m.

Like most small-scale farmers, I find that I tend to completely fill the daylight hours this time of year. I always seem to reach a point in July where I'm exhausted. By the end of the month, fall (and the close of the irrigation season) will seem close enough that I get a second wind. I hope it comes soon!


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