Friday, 20 July 2012

The Farm

The farm. I get up at 5:45am, after going to bed at between 9-10pm. Typically I sleep out in the barn, where last year they hooked up a bathroom with a sink, shower and toilet. They have a metal hot pad (surely I’m not getting the name right) that they use to cook on, and right now I can’t find the light switch to the kitchen area. 
So I get up at 5:45, I sleep pretty good because I have a big 24” fan blowing right on me. (For those of you who don’t know me, the ideal sleeping situation is me covered up in blankets, with a fan blowing on my head, even in winter!) For those of you who know me you also know I like getting up early, so 5:45, though it is earlier than I typically get up, is not a new concept and I really enjoy it. It gives me a chance to be alone, it’s my favorite time to be alone in fact. My ideal living style is what we do at Thanksgiving week. My three Uncles on my Dad’s side all get together with their families, and my grandparents come and we all stay at one of our houses. We fill the day with cooking food and playing games (inside and out!) and talking, roasting coffee, taking walks, and all other good things! Especially the nights are fun! We get a couple groups going on, conversations going on in the corners of the room, people playing a game of Rook at the kitchen table, and somewhere else another game is going on. We stay up late, usually a minimum of midnight. Then there are just a few of us who get up early the next day. Usually I’m up by 5:30, 6:00 at the latest. And because I’m running on adrenalin and loads of coffee (freshly roasted mind you!) I jump out of bed and I’m wide awake. Usually the first ones up are me, my older brother, and my Uncle Tim. We are very much morning people. I’m usually making sticky buns for breakfast and I like to watch the sunrise while I read my Bible with a cup of joe. It’s just so much fun to spend the day with all the people whom you love and can talk to and play games with all day and night long. And then get up early the next morning to have some alone time to process, read your Bible, and just enjoy some time with God alone. All that to say, Thanksgiving week is the highlight of the year for me. I am so blessed to be around extended family who all love Jesus and can enjoy fellowshipping and playing games with.
So, where was I? That’s right, 5:45am. I get up, get out my hand crank coffee grinder, and grind enough coffee for my little 2 cup french press. I heat up water on the hot pad thing, and while I’m waiting thoroughly soak my hair so it looks like I had a shower.
I pour the water into my french press, let it soak for a few minutes, plunge it, pour it into my As You Wish mug, grab my Bible, and head outside. I find a place, usually close to the barn and sip my coffee while I read my Bible.
At 6:30am I clean up everything, put it back in order, and head over to do morning chores. My morning chores are with the chickens (though if Joel and Megan are doing chores I help them with the goats and pigs too). I walk about 700 yards out to where the chickens are. They are all inside a little chicken coup on wheels. I release them from their house of safety and proceed to fill four troughs with feed for them. We rotate the feed troughs throughout the inclosed area so that they don’t trample down one area too much. I find it satisfying to find the tallest grass to put the trough on for them to eat down. After feeding them I will gather eggs, (unless they were collected the night before) I usually get around 70. We have almost 200 laying hens, with a few roosters mixed in to help control them. They lay pretty good all through the summer, and even through the winter. After feeding them I come back to the farm yard and feed the meat chickens and fill up their water. 
By now it’s close to 7am and I have an hour to eat breakfast and do whatever before we start work at 8am.
From 8-12pm we work in the garden. (Except yesterday we butchered chickens, so that was an almost all day affair. We started at 8am butchering and ended at 12pm. We ate lunch and then proceeded to clean and package the chicken until 4:30pm.) Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday we spend the morning harvesting for our CSA and market. Monday is a half day, so the interns get off until after lunch. Typically it is shopping day, or do whatever else you want to do. Wednesday and Friday mornings are spent working in the garden, planting or weeding and anything else. 
At 12pm we have a break for lunch, and we all take turns cooking for lunch. After lunch we have until 3pm to read and research. From 3-6pm we work in the garden again. Around 6pm we eat supper and have whatever we want to do after until we go to bed. 
It’s not a super hard work load, we work about 8hrs a day. We have quite a bit of time to relax, read and research. Joel and Megan set it up so that we’d have time to process what we do, read, learn and research. So that when we leave we take with us a lot more from the farm then if we worked 14hrs a day and had no time to process what we were doing. 
It’s a fun time here on the farm. You’re surrounded by people who agree with you on agriculture and it’s fun to talk about agriculture and have people to talk about it to. Whenever Joel and I are working together we’re talking about something, often times different kinds of agriculture and different forms of growing things. The food is good, everyday we eat farm to table. We have all the eggs and goat milk we want (and it’s free range!), and plenty of meat.
Life here is good. The company, food, and the work.

English Vintner