Saturday, 10 September 2011

Trip to Farm pt. 2

This morning I woke up at quarter till six from the brightness of everything, even though the sun doesn’t come in the widows till 7:10am.

Before breakfast Joel and I went out and fed the chickens being raised for meat. He gave me a small tour of the garden. Then we went in for breakfast. I ate a breakfast of sweet potatoes and fried eggs cooked by Megan, it was quite good. After breakfast Joel and I went out to the laying chickens, they have 150 of them, and we fed them. They keep them inclosed in a fence and have them in a field grazing rotation. We then herded four cows to an inclosed area of the field and then went back to the house. We didn’t have that much to do so I read some and hung out for a while. Then Shawn went out to harvest greens and other vegetables so I went out to help him. He had me harvest sweet potatoes. I harvested about 45 pounds (the average length of the sweet potatoes was 10 inches long) of sweet potatoes. Then I helped Caroline (I think that is her name) sort out the vegetables for their CSA customers, they had 6 that day. After that Joel and I fed the pigs two barrels of food that they get from a shelter.

Then I took a bike and biked back to where my truck was, threw it in the back and drove around to the other side of the farm, the other way to access the farm. After I got back I went up to the barn where they hold events and such. Joel and Megan were serving food for the event, I joined in and afterwards while the speaker was announcing we ate. Then I went on the tour that Greg gave to everyone at the event. The tour was helpful to me, explaining some questions, giving me a clearer idea of what the farm is like.

After the tour I helped do a few things. While Joel and I did the chores we had a good bit of time to talk about farming, Rockland’s Farm, what my goal is, Joel and Megan’s was very good.

When we had cleaned up everything Joel, Megan and I talked some, I have to say Joel, Megan and I share the same view pretty much of what we like about the farm, what we would eventually like to have or do. We all agree that we don’t really like the business or marketing so much of farming as much as farming it’s self. We would like a more simplistic and less expensive farm then what Rockland’s is. However, Rockland’s is a new farm meaning that the interns can try out different ideas and see how they do, where as if it was an older farm you wouldn’t have as much leeway.

To conclude I really think that Rockland’s would be a good place for me to work at, learn exactly what I do and don’t like about farming and learn all the aspects of it. I would especially be interested in it if Joel and Megan stay on, which, at this point they are planning to do so, though that is not set in stone.

So, if they do end up offering interns next year I would like to intern. If not I would still want to spend a few weeks working there in the late spring or summer.

(please pardon any mistakes, I didn't read this twice, tell me the errors and I'll correct them if you are so inclined.)

English Vintner

Trip to Farm pt. 1

I left from work to get on the road at 1:19pm Friday afternoon. Everything went pretty well. The routes were sometimes a little tricky to follow, but not to hard if you stayed alert and kept your eyes open. The first 165 miles were awesome. Good music, cruise control, and the country around wasn’t that bad.

I started running into trouble when the highways became two lane roads. Keep in mind by now it is 5:30pm and the sun is sinking lower. I only have about one in a half more hours or so of daylight. Plus, I’m driving east from where I started meaning away from the sun, so it gets dark even sooner.

Thankfully I had my cell phone with me and called my dad, he figured out where I was with google maps and directed me on the right direction. I found out that if I had just gone further then I would have come to it. I think every situation I have encountered when I was lost if I had just gone further I would have come to it. I still haven’t learned.

So, I got back on the right route and was able to enjoy the drive some more, and listen to some music. I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I’m lost or in a situation like it I cannot listen to any music, I just can’t. For the next 100 miles or so I was good, I stayed on the same highway, or changed over from one big highway to another.

By now it is after 9:00pm and no daylight to read street signs with. I need glasses but I won’t get them. I’m tired after I’ve been driving for over eight hours. I get lost a second time. This time it is not my fault. The road construction made everything harder, and I stayed on the highway past my exit. So, I called my dad, up to that point I had been great, doing just fine, and then I missed my exit. Instead of going back trying to find that exit he rerouted me by a different method. So now I’m driving up and down the hilly back roads, in the dark, on the phone, with a stick shift. I had to turn around several times on the small country back roads, often times I had to put the phone down. Stick shift is nice for a lot of things, but I will say it would have been nice to not be trying to do 4 different things at the same time.

I finally arrived at the road and came up about 100 feet and saw signs that said road closed. Well, I had been told in an email that the bridge had been washed out, so I knew this was a possibility. So I called my dad back, asked him to find a number for the farm, one different than what I had. He did not. I was considering calling the Barrs, friends of ours, but decided I would try walking. So, I packed up most of what I needed, locked the doors, and headed down the road. I’m very thankful that I keep flash lights in my vehicle, and wind up ones at that.

So, I set out down the road, not knowing how far, or how long I was suppose to go, not even knowing if I was on the right road. I was hoping to come to a washed out bridge though, because that would mean I was close. I made my way past 4 more barricades before coming to the washed out bridge. The first 20ft were okay, but there was a chunk about eight or ten feet wide of the bridge that was missing. Thankfully the water had fully receded, there was less then a foot of water in the river, so there was not much chance of me drowning if I fell in. Plus the washed out bridge was partly on the other side. So I jumped down and climbed back up and kept going. I started seeing things that looked familiar (I’d checked out their website pretty good, which had pictures of the farm). Surprisingly I made my way up the right house and was greeted by Joel and Megan, and Shawn whom I had talked to in email, and two other guys and one other girl. I hadn’t eaten or drunk much, all I had had besides a few samples of lunch was some chips and 4oz water. Megan cooked me a couple eggs, fresh from the farm, and I had a locally grown apple that was the best I’ve had all year! I talked with Joel and Megan and the rest of them, mostly about the trip, but also about a whole bunch of other stuff! Mission trips, family, hobbies! About 11:45 I went to bed. I slept on an air mattress in the guys upstairs half of the house.

English Vintner