Living in Gordy Hall with seven other girls is quite the experience! Gordy is the only cabin that has the ability to go off “the grid.” For those who don’t know what that means, we are able to power our own electricity using a combination of the solar panels on the south facing side of our cabin and riding the famous bike, Hubert, in our cabin. It is a challenge to say the least, but a fun one! Every night we have to balance getting our homework done, biking half an hour a day and getting some sleep. We have had to learn how to use as little energy as possible which sometimes consists of using headlamps at night to do our homework or all 8 of us huddling around one light in someone’s bed. We have also had to limit the amount of dance parties and music we listen to because our iHome uses absurd amounts of energy.
Gordy girls have also been on farm chores for the last two weeks. We wake up at 6 and make our way across the dew-coated fields in the partial darkness to the kitchen. We then collect the compost and slop that has accumulated from the day before. When we arrive at the farm we all have a variety of jobs. Kate and Margot turn the compost, Thea brushes and cleans our 1800 pound working horse named Sal, Catherine feeds the pigs and our two rams, and Abby bottle feeds our 4 week-old calf, Clementine. Alana, Abby, Thea and Catherine collectively feed the chickens and Lily and I feed our 4 cows and milk Lola. Milking is one of the most time consuming and difficult jobs, but the most fun. First we feed grain to our cows, Tilly, Gus, Adeline and Lola. We have to protect the grain from the very needy sheep by kneeing them and scaring them away. Then with either our farm manager (Jeremy), farmhand (Alex), or farm apprentice (Meghan), we prepare Lola to be milked and the start at it. It usually takes about 45 minutes and is exhausting! Your hands cramp up frequently, but my muscles in my hands are so much stronger than they were on day one. We usually milk around 40 pounds of milk every morning. One of the best parts about milking is having those 45 minutes to talk with Jeremy or Meghan and soak up all their knowledge and experience about farming and life. It’s so strange to think that I am milking Lola every morning while my friends at home are stopping at Dunkin Donuts to get coffee and then going to A block class. Honestly, I would so much rather be milking Lola!