4/19/08

Next stop "The White House"

I have been very busy recently; in fact I have been feeling a lot like White House Press Secretary Dana Perino. I have spent the last week shoveling about a ton of shit. Not just one type of shit mind you, but chicken and cow. This might not sound like lots of fun to most of you, but don’t knock it until you try it. Really, this has surprisingly been one of the most rewarding jobs here so far. There is a clear beginning and end to this job, which leads to a clear sense of accomplishment, not to mention improving the animal welfare. Also it is very strenuous hard labor, which I enjoy immensely. There is nothing greater than passing out at the end of the day from copious amounts of physical exertion.

The Barn 3/4 Mucked


The other day after spending about 4 straight hours shoveling (actually pitch-forking) I put on my sandals and sat in front of the green house drinking a beer as the sun set. It was totally awesome! I mean really, SANDALS. I thought for sure this year was going to be the one where spring never came, it really seemed that way. But here it is, I guess Jesus must have seen his shadow on Easter, or is it that he didn’t? Anyway, I am so glad spring still exists.

I have not been keeping you all as informed about the farm as I was originally intending, so here is the low down. Caitlin and I are officially done with our hours for the month. However, there is still so much to accomplish that the farm has agreed to pay us hourly to continue for the rest of the month. So far we have we have organized the greenhouse, planted most of the transplants, hooked up the drip-tape system, mucked the barn (the pitch-forking mentioned above), organized the barn, designed a mobile pasture system for the chickens (but have not built it yet), filtered all the Maple syrup, and created a spreadsheet for recording crop info. It has been a fulfilling month.

And for some fun:
I named this rooster John Cleese. If you do not get it look here.
video

4/10/08

Moving on

Well, I have not written for a while now. This is because I have uncertain about what was going to happen with my apprenticeship, but now I know. Caitlin and I are going to be moving to another farm to do our apprenticeship there. We will both be leaving here at the end of April and starting at the new farm May first. This has been a difficult decision to make because I committed to being here until Sept. However, this farm is not the best fit for me. I think this farm is great for a person that is looking to have some fun living on a farm for a summer. But this farm is not good for a person looking for professional training.
I was planning on sticking it out until Sept. until several people emailed to see if I wanted to work on their respective farms. So I went to talk with one of the farmers close to where I am now. They have a very professional farm that is operating at a net profit and seem to be well versed in the small-scale farming industry standards. In fact the owner, Paul, is on the VOF review comity (VOF is the organic certification organization in VT). Ultimately, Caitlin and I decided that working for the new farm would teach us how to successfully operate a farm, which our current apprenticeship does not.
I have to say that I am a bit scared to move to the new farm. For starters I do not want to trade one ill matched apprenticeship for another. Really though, more of the fear is that the work will be too hard. I feel like I have been farming in the peewee league and am now moving to the pros.
I think that this new position will definitely be much more work and more demanding. Truly this is what I want and am not getting now. So I think that even if there are large challenges at the new farm they will have a much greater reward.
Well this has been very rambley but I wanted post an update. I will write again soon and I promise to include some pictures of all the work I have been doing recently.