We’ve been pretty bad about updating our blog. It hasn’t even been a week at the farm, but we’ve done and learned so much already. I’m really loving it here and feeling good about everything. The long hours can be exhausting but it’s been so satisfying for the soul.
A regular day includes waking up at 4 in the morning, struggling to get out of bed for another ten minutes, meeting everyone in the kitchen for breakfast and to plan out the day, driving to Blue Hill Farm, seeing the sun rise gradually during the drive, milking cows and feeding calves for a few hours, breakfast and/or lunch back at North Plain Farm, some rest then chores, go back to the cows to milk again and collect eggs, and finally dinner back at North Plain. There’s always something different everyday and at most times the day doesn’t end until 8:30pm. On one of our first nights here, Josh and I chased and caught chickens in the dark till 10 at night. The chickens were being moved from the greenhouse in NPH to fresh pasture with the cows. I imagined how happy they were from being cooped inside the greenhouse during the winter to being able to roam the field feeding on fatty high-protein bugs. The night after, Josh and I fed 2-day old calves. The next morning, we were being filmed and interviewed for a documentary!
It’s been exciting here, and at some times it’s been a struggle for me. My first day, I could barely lift anything heavier than twenty pounds. The dairy cows can produce up to twenty-five pounds of milk every twelve hours. Weighing and carrying their milk jugs was a challenge to say the least. The following morning my arms felt like jell-o. I only wish I did more weight lifting (especially dead lifts) to prepare myself. But just after a few days of work I can feel myself getting stronger. I’m loving the good change in my body and especially the positive emotions I get after accomplishing a long day of work. If you closely knew me, you’d know this type of environment is very different and unlike me. I was used to sleeping in, staying in, and lazying around. I can’t say enough how much I’m loving this change.
Everyone at North Plain Farm has been so nice, welcoming, and patient. A family is working with us and have been teaching us everything. Gregory, Jessie, and Sawyer are from Arizona and have years of experience as farmers. Sawyer is only 3 years old and she knows more about farming than I do. She’s one tough, brave, happy, super cute, funny, smart cookie! She knows what Kombucha is (she saw my bottle of Kombucha in the fridge and said, “Is that Kombucha? Can I have some?”), recognizes and names the scent of lavender, and loves playing in dirt. They are great mentors. I wouldn’t be enjoying this experience as much if they weren’t here.
This week will be more tough: we’re castrating piglets. I’m dreading and fearing it. This will be the first time I see the bloody realities with farming. City-folk like me mostly see farm life as a fairy-tale. Fantasizing of rolling hills, sweet fresh air, and happy animals roaming about. It’s true here at North Plain Farm and Blue Hill Farm, but it’s only a small part of it. Let’s see how tough I can really be.