An acre of garden supplies all the vegs for the house, a good many for the monastery, and tons (quite literally) of corn, turnips, and mangels for the pigs. A good deal of work goes into that acre. Today the girls (ten and thirteen) finished weeding the potatoes that make up about a third of that acre, while Mom weeded half the mangels and tilled between the rows. The weather was good for it — partly cloudy and a little breeze — and the soil was just right, damp but not wet, letting go of the roots easily. If it doesn’t rain in the next day or so, the weeds loosened by the small tiller should dry out so the plants don’t reroot.
At six fifteen this morning we hauled the hen coupe up to the top of the pasture and unhitched, only to find that the doors had wracked open on the way up and let all the hens out half-way up the hill. It is in the nature of hens that they could never, not in a million years, find their own way over the last sixty feet or so of the journey to their house; no, they would, inevitably, go back to the spot where their coupe has been for the past week or so, mill around, scratch, and wait for the coyotes to come eat them. Back down to the foot of the hill we had to go, and by then there was no way they were going to go back in the house and let us move them. Tomorrow is soon enough to move the hens, but we can’t help wishing the Lord had made them with more brains . . .