The good news is I’m still here! How could I not be when my day started like this:
We started at 7:30. That might seem early, but it really isn’t bad. In NYC I left my apartment around 7:50. Plus, I had to look presentable. Here I get to just roll out of bed, throw on jeans and a hat and go. It’s really very nice.
I faced one of my main fears bright and early. As soon as we started we discovered a dead piglet and dead calf. They’d been sick and passed away last night. A little while later we discovered a dead chicken. Perhaps it was Ryan and Steve’s demeanor or perhaps I just don’t have a heart, but it really didn’t bother me. That’s just life on a farm. Their short lives here were certainly better than if they’d been spent at a commercial feedlot.
I spent the day shadowing Steve who is one of the farm hands. He is great and very patient with all of my questions and cluelessness. We fed pigs, collected eggs, spread straw in the cow barn and pig pens, and did a million other things I don’t remember! I got to drive the ATVs around and got to practice driving the forklift. I didn’t actually pick anything up with it. Just drove it around. It’s weird because you control it with a joy stick. I was never very good at video games and this wasn’t much better. Hopefully I’ll improve.
I also went through 2 pairs of boots which has to be some kind of record. I started out in my snow boots because it was cold. They are waterproof to a point, but between all the mud and puddles my feet were wet by lunch. I changed in to my wellies which split up the back within an hour! More wet feet. I asked Steve and Ryan and they sent me to a lovely Amish shoe store – Brandywine Boot Shop – where I was able to get a pair of proper muck boots. Here’s hoping they last for the rest of my time here.
The hardest part of today? Not petting the Great Pyrenees puppy who lives with the chickens. She is so cute and when we went to do anything with the hens, she’d coming running up to greet us. She is a livestock guardian dog (LGD) and is being raised with the chickens with the idea she’ll think she is a chicken and will protect them from predators. I’m not sure how well it’s working since she was responsible for the dead chicken we found…Thankfully, Ryan has a dog, a yellow lab named Pearl, who I can play with whenever I want.
The best part? Making scrambled eggs with eggs I’d collected! So delicious.
I had every intention of going for a run after we finished up, but that didn’t happen. Muscles I didn’t know existed ache. It needs to get warm soon so I can do some yoga out by the pond. My poor body needs it.