Friday, June 15, 2012

Farming at the fN Happy Farm

Angela Nickle and I after starting the Three Sisters patch. 
In May, I spent a week WWOOFing at the fN Happy Farm in Uxbridge. It was a great experience, and I'd really recommend WWOOFing to anyone who wants an experience in farming. And I'd recommend fN Happy Farm - because Angela, Dave and Lindsay were amazing hosts and teachers. There were pigs! And llamas, horses, donkey, cow and calf, goat, sheep (pushiest dumbest animals ever), turkeys, chickens, rabbits, and of course some cats and dogs. Every morning and afternoon we went around feeding and watering all the animals. In between and afterwards we worked in the garden, or did some projects. On the weekend, we put together the beginnings of a Hugelkultur bed, which is a raised bed garden formed from old logs and wood, compost and dirt. It's meant to be better at retaining moisture, and uses up woody debris that would otherwise just be burnt (which is kind of bad for you). In the garden, I worked on seeding herbs, planting potatoes and beans, transplanting corn (in eggshells nonetheless - tres cool approach), preparing soil, and of course doing some good old fashioned weeding. Cooking-wise, we used their new cob oven to make pizza at Lindsay's birthday party - so yummy.

I learned there's a lot to know to become a farmer, and it's SO much work. It's work that feels great though. I think food tastes better when you're connected to where it comes from. I know I'm going to order one of Angela's turkeys for our Thanksgiving dinner this year - and the fact that it will be fairly fresh, and raised happily, will make it taste all the juicier!

I think other people can explain more eloquently than I those food-health-spirituality-happiness connections, so I'm just going to leave things here, and just post pictures from the farm! I've got another post about making yarn, which is another thing Angela taught me at the farm (seriously, it was a BUSY week).
Hugelkultur bed - this is just the beginning

This calf LOVES licking everyone

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.
Llama poop is amazing fertilizer

Donkeys just look and sound funny

Cob oven

Where we planted potatoes and beans

Beans marker

Transplanting corn - here you can see the sweet corn seedlings in old eggshells, and me working at putting them in the ground.

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