Weekend rituals consist of a brunch crew, a dinner crew and best of all, the farm crew. The two of us frequently are first to jut our hands into the air in efforts to be chosen for the role as farm hands. We value this experience because it brings us closer to the agricultural component of the semester, which we wish we could see more of. Meanwhile, weekends are laden with heavy homework assignments, and an hour spent at the farm is the perfect relief.
As soon as 4:00 pm rolls around on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, we are found at the farm prepared for whatever task needs to be done. Clothed in scruffy carhartt pants, dirty shirts and muddy boots, we prepare for an hour’s load of working with the animals and farm community. Chores allow us to interact with each and every animal found at the farm. In order to milk the cows, we must scoop grain, fetch Lola (the cow), wash and balm the udders and align the bucket. Milking has proven to be a favorite of both of us as it is a relaxing exercise. However, it often results in hand cramps. Nonetheless we enjoy the process of milking, the company of Lola, and even the persistence of the back, right udder. Lola is not always a darling to be milked unfortunately. One Saturday afternoon, Lola was not in the mood to be milked. When we tempted her with a pile of grain, she ignored the treat and continued grazing. When we attempted to leash her in, she decided to evacuate on her own, even if the fence was in her way. Lola trampled through the fence, the garden and the sheep, and Brad (the farm manager) chased after her with the leash in attempts to coax her back to the milking area. After twenty minutes wasted with the trivial bovine rebellion, Lola consented to a much more relaxed milking session.
This is isn’t the only thing we deal with in our day-to-day experiences at the farm. We also have horses, chickens and sheep to worry about. The sheep occasionally trample our feet or push us down when we try to feed them. In fact, Emily was hurled backwards one afternoon while pouring grain into the troughs. The chickens place themselves in inconvenient locations: in front of the door we try to close, or above the egg we try to collect, and they are often caught stealing grain from the cows and sheep. But the worst of all is Braego the horse and his uncontrollable desire to flee from the paddock. Even when we lure him with a luscious flake of hay, he prefers to explore the world outside the electric fence.
No matter the obstacles of farm work, we manage to spend our time productively and contently, enjoying the outdoor work and the company of animals. Maybe we’ll start a farm together later on with the skills we’ve acquired.
-Otis Wortley, Cumberland, ME
-Emily Waters, Lawrenceville, NJ