After five months of working at North Plain Farm and Blue Hill Farm, our internship has come to an end. From May 1st to October 2nd, we worked five and a half days a week for 10-12 hours and usually milked twice a day. The morning ritual would be to wake up at 4:15 am, curse our alarm clocks, then snooze one or two times before dragging ourselves out the door to the basement. There, we would always find Gregory and usually Jessie looking more awake than us and saying good morning. We would sit down with a small breakfast and coffee, discuss the day’s plan, and try to be out the door by 5 am to milk the cows, feed the pigs and say hi to Max.
For the second half of our internship, the middle of the day usually involved pruning tomato plants or harvesting for a delivery. We continued to do afternoon milking until around Early September, then stepped down to once a day milking.
When we returned from afternoon chores, we would be greeted by a delicious meal cooked by Jessie, who had transitioned to part time at the end of August. Afterwards, we would clean up and one of us would head to the small greenhouse that housed the layer chicks. Under the cover of darkness, we would gather any chicks that had gotten out during the day and put them back in. At that point, we would walk back to the basement in the dark to shower. We would usually get 30 minutes at the end of the night to read a book or write in our journals, then promptly go to sleep.
This was our routine for five straight months. On our last day, I kept reminding myself to cherish every chore: the final milking, the final collection of eggs, the final feeding of the pigs. I miss it all terribly. I even miss the mundane aspects of living on the farm. Where’s the adventure of going to the bathroom when you don’t have to walk into the darkness and brisk evening air? When there is no Sawyer that could break out into a song and dance at any moment? When you don’t have to search for chicks from the light of a headlamp so they don’t get eaten by owls?
I miss being surrounded by so many great people the most. In the basement we had the farm crew. In the house there were co-workers running Life Needs Co-op and taking care of the residents. Friends and family members were always stopping by. And part time farm workers, such as Phoebe and Sarah, came twice a week. I thrived interacting with so many people at once.
I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to meet and work with all the wonderful people at North Plain Farm and Blue Hill Farm. They were certainly the highlight of the internship.