Thursday, November 14, 2013

How long is a work day?

On Monday, for Veteran's day, Sarah and I went out to the orchard to burn the wood pile.  This is the second largest burn pile on the farm.  The one on the upper hillside is huge!  It is where we piled all the unuseable wood from the barn remodel and various other wood piles discovered in the barn lot.  Our orchard burn pile is mostly composed of trees that have been blown over or limbs from various trees all over the farm.  I had dragged the big pieces of multiple trees onto the pile but we still had a lot of little branches to pick up.  Sarah wanted to know if we could roast marshmellows once we were done, I said sure.  I sent her out with a large paper bag full of newspaper a lighter stick and asked her to start the fire as I got ready.  I did tell her to ball up the paper and to start it on the SE end of the pile.  Twenty minutes later when I went outside there was a thin stream of smoke from the NW corner of the pile from some smoldering paper.  No flames, no wood burning.  I then proceeded to start the fire in the SE corner of the pile, sheltered from the wind with lots of single sheets of newspaper balled up (previous lessons as a pyro as a child can come in handy).  The fire took off in no time with the wind fanning the flames.  

Once the flames were soaring I let the child know that we would now start at the far end of the orchard and start throwing every stick of wood onto the fire throughout the entire orchard.  We used the tractor to drag over the last few large pieces of wood that could not be carried.  The bucket of the tractor became a wheelbarrow for all the little pieces of wood.  After about 4.5 hours of picking up branches Sarah asks if we are done.  I tell her no, we are just getting warmed up.  She then says we have been out here all day!  Out of curiosity, I asked her what she thought the normal length of a workday was?  She said 6 hours.   I laughed and then we talked about 8,10, 12, and 14 hour shifts.  We only had a six hour workday and got to eat roasted marshmellows at the end of it.