August 24 – September 18, 2013
Feeding, milking, herding and making cheese were just the basic jobs that needed to be done every day to keep things moving. As with most farms, there was a long list of projects that needed attention. Once we had the basics down, we were able to tackle some of the project work each afternoon.
Once she found out that we enjoy building, she put us to good use. We helped her friend add an addition to on of the barns for the young. We also re-roofed the horse’s shelter and built her a little wood shed.
We also experienced death. Two goats died while we were there, both from sickness. One of the billies died from worms and diarrhea, so we got to help vaccinate all the remaining billies. This entailed Chandler putting the billies in a modified headlock, while I filled syringes and Alex performed the shots.
A big highlight for us was learning to drive the tractor. Alex had mentioned it casually after about a week, but we didn’t take her up on the offer for another week. Basically, we just moved rotten hay bales to the compost. Not that exciting, but we thought it was cool. The tractor was pretty easy to learn, the joystick moves one way to raise and lower the bucket and moves another way to open and close it. Balance was important, because the tractor could tip over if too heavily loaded and the bucket too high.
Our month on the farm was a really wonderful experience. We learned a lot about running and maintaining a goat farm. Now, instead of talking about owning animals, we have a decent idea of what that would actually entail.