For the past two weeks (with the exception of wilderness trips), it has been Gordy Hall’s turn for the important and fun job of doing farm chores in the morning. Every day my cabin mates and I wake up at 5:45, roll out of bed and get into our flannels, overalls, and general work clothes, and proceed to the farm. After all going together to bring yesterday’s compost from the kitchen, we split off into our respective jobs. Rachel and Katie Q. are the milkers, so they alternate days between milking our cow, Louise, and mucking the barn where she lives at night. Mallory and Gretchen tend to the compost, which though smelly, is an important job that helps us re-use all of the food we don’t eat.
The other four girls go off to move the chicken tractors. For those who don’t know, the chicken tractor is a small, fenced off area where the meat birds live. Every morning, we move these tractors so that the chickens have fresh grass to eat, and Hannah continues by feeding them grain and water. The chicken tractors are a really great way of keeping our chickens happy, because they are not in cages, and get to roam around.
The other three girls then return to the barn to take care of the other animals. Maggie takes care of our laying hens by bringing fresh grain and water to their coop. Leah grooms and feeds our draft horse, Sal. Sal does a lot of work for the farm, and she is a very sweet animal. The other day, when we spoke about horse power in our weekly farm talk, the Gordy girls took extra time to braid Sal’s hair with flowers, and she received a lot of attention from all the students.
My job is to feed the sheep and cows. The ewes and the lambs live outside in a pasture, and feeding them is definitely an ordeal, because whenever they hear the sound of food sloshing in a bucket, they come running at me and pushing to get closer. Our two rams, Jenks and Ploy, now live with our calf Roscoe in the barn after a few attempts by Jenks to break out. One morning, as Gordy finished with farm chores, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye, which turned out to be Jenks the ram eating food from the vegetable garden! With quite a bit of help from Sarah, one of the farmers, team Gordy managed to catch Jenks, and drag him back to his pen.
Now that our farm chores tenure is up, we are all very sad for it to end. I mean, we do get an hour more to sleep each morning, which is nice, but I know I’ll still miss the farm and all the excitement it brings. Also, tomorrow the meat birds go to slaughter, which is another ending, but I’m glad we got to take care of them while we could. Tomorrow, we train the next cabin to take care of our beloved farm. Get ready, Gillies boys!
Claire, The Brearley School