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Racing daylight


There’s something I find myself saying almost daily: to myself, my husband, my family, my colleagues. Sure, I’ll do it after daylight hours. Or—usually to myself—that’s dark time work.

Winter on a farm is all about rationing your hours of daylight. This weekend I need to spread 2,000 pounds of gravel, I need to put compost and leaf mulch on the garden, I need to start working on rehabbing the chicken coop. I need to. I need to. I need to.

For years, I too hated daylight savings time. Getting out of work at dark does suck a bit of your soul out. But now? Oh, that hour is a blessing. Because while you’re leaving work, I’m heading right back to it: Feeding critters and fixing fences and picking up pitchforks full of poo, and, and, and.

I bought a farm because I wanted to work outside. It is a delight to sit in the dirt on a sunny afternoon and pull potatoes out of the ground. But you forget that in the winter, much of your work will be done while begging the sun to linger just five more minutes.

And so I now have rigid rules on what is and isn’t day time work. If the sun is shining I can’t do laundry. I can’t paint the cabinets. I can’t start dinner. That is all dark time work. And it will be waiting for me when I finally—headlamp on—finish my daylight work.

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