Posts Tagged ‘Farm’

Cool Day on the Farm

Today was a cool day on the farm; and I’m not by any means talking about the frickin’ weather, ’cause it’s hot as balls.  I mean today was a very cool day because of what’s been going on–and the day is only half way over. Eight baby chicks were hatched today; but the coolest part was that they were unplanned. Yes, an unexpected chicken pregnancy.

There are two kinds of chickens. Roosters (male) and Hens (female); the roosters crow and puff their chests out all day, while the hens work away in the coop laying eggs — one per day to be exact. Then we (the farmers) come along and take the eggs before they can develop into babies, and we stunt the baby growth by putting the eggs in the fridge…then we eat them in a delicious egg and cheese sandwich.

Why do the hens let us steal their babies everyday? Well, they’ve simply adapted to being domesticated and used for food cultivation over the years. But sometimes, their procreative instincts kick into gear and they will peck your goddamn hand off before they let you steal their baby. When a hen does this, it’s called being “broody”.  A broody hen will escape the chicken coop and go off on her own to sit on all her eggs as she lays one each day. She will sit and sit and sit, using the warmth from her body to warm them as they grow… and then they hatch! And half fury, half slimy little baby chickens pop out of that soft white or brown little shell that we’re all so used to cracking over a hot pan to make breakfast.

This my friends, is exactly what occurred here today on the farm.  Minnie, the smallest hen of the pack, became broody and escaped the coop in determination to have the babies that were rightfully hers. And have no doubt that all the other chickens were talking about it. They were clucking away like gossiping old women all afternoon.  It was easy to imagine what they were saying; it doesn’t take long to figure out how to speak chicken.

Now we have eight new little baby chicks, chirping away in their new home..the tool shed.  Pretty frickin’ cool if you ask me.

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Hello West Virginia.

That’s right. I said goodbye to Washington DC, a job, a sweet house, great people, and a boy…to transplant myself to West Virginia and hula hoop barefoot in the grass on a Tuesday afternoon.

Why, you ask?  Well, the hula hooping was not the main objective, although a nice perk.  Nor was the prospect of settling down in good ol’ West Virginia.  However, the mission to spend my Tuesdays barefoot in the grass has a lot to do with why I am here.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am into food.  Not like a foodie into food. But like a farmer into food.  I want to learn how to grow it more efficiently and more harmoniously with our Earth.  I want to make sure its healthy for my body and my planet. I want to learn how to make sure it gets to those in need of it; those that are getting short changed somewhere along the food distribution line.  I want to empower people to grow their own food and fight for fresh food; people living in projects, ghettos, rural hellholes and kids stuck in the school food freak show called the cafeteria.

My interest and work in the environmental and activist movements (and lots and lots of reading) has led me to this point.  I’ve spent the past year and a half reading, volunteering and learning as much as possible about agriculture and the slow food movement.  Now it’s time to dive fully into this path that is calling to me. And if you know me at all, you know I get inspired, I get motivated and then I go for it.  So here I go.

I packed up all my shit once again and set off on the first step of this food journey — learn how to grow it.

What does this have to do with West Virginia?  Well there happens to be a lovely community of people out here that grow food sustainably and organically on a beautiful 350 acre piece of  property.  I found out about them (the Claymont Community) through this fantastic organization, WWOOF, that has been around for 40 years and provides a way for people to work on organic farms all over the world in exchange for knowledge, food and housing.

So I plan to hop around by WWOOFing, volunteering and apprenticing on rural and urban organic farms throughout the States and South America.  All the specific locations are to be determined, and the amount of time I will be farm-hopping is up in the air. But one thing is certain: I’ll be spending my days barefoot in the grass, with my hands in the soil, soaking in every single experience on this journey — even the hula hooping.

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