Quantifiable Gains

I have learned so much in the past few months at the farm, but it is hard to quantify that knowledge. In school you have tests and in most jobs you have performance reviews, but out on the farm it’s all hands-on experience. I know I know more than I did when I began, but how much more and how useful that information is is difficult to determine.

One thing that is certain: I am much stronger than I was when I started. A few weeks after I began we set up the picnic tables for the café. Those tables are heavy! I thought I was in good shape because I was a runner and could run 13+ miles and all, but I could barely lift my end and had to stop frequently to rest. I’m sure Ryan and Steve were taking bets on whether I’d survive the summer. Really, it was pathetic. I’ve never had much upper body strength and moving those tables made that fact painfully obvious to everyone.

Now that the café is closed for the season, the tables are no longer needed so yesterday Ryan and I put them away. They were still heavy. Really heavy. But I managed to hold my own. In the spring it took all three of us to move the tables – Ryan on one end, Steve and I on the other. Steve was down at Lundale so Ryan and I managed eight tables on our own. It was nice to see tangible results of my work!

Another fun story from yesterday: someone (who shall remain anonymous) failed to properly close the door to the broiler house and about 20 of the broiler chickens, including Sir Fluffkin, escaped! I went to feed them around 3:30 and found all of them running around. I tried to catch them, but it was clearly a two person job so I called Ryan and Steve. Steve and I had moved the house that morning and I’d been the last one out, or so I thought. I kept replaying the mornings events over and over in my mind, certain I’d closed the door, but faced with clear evidence that I hadn’t. I couldn’t make sense of it. Ryan and Steve arrived and I took owned up and took full blame when Ryan assured me it wasn’t. Someone else had paid a visit to the broilers that afternoon. I breathed a sigh of relief, comforted by the knowledge that I wasn’t losing my mind.

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