|Posted by l[email protected] on June 13, 2012 at 2:55 PM||comments (0)|
Hello, Reader--the name is Emily, the Summer 2012 intern at the Avretts’ Hard Earth Farm in Hell’s Neck, South Carolina. A once full-time now part-time co-worker here told me that the three things on which a farmer was short were water, time, and some other third thing that I cannot recall. He was not kidding--the days are long, but time is always on the run.
Work begins at about 6 a.m. when everyone goes to milk the goats: Lily is a saint at the milkstand, Camille needs a bribe, and only Mrs. Avrett can handle the Nigerian dwarf hellion Sassy. Lily’s milk generally goes to feed Jill, a sweetheart at the bottom of the goat pecking order who enjoys climbing on any vehicle--truth be told, anything. At times simultaneously is the feeding of poor Beezle, twin sister of Bub and reject of her mother Lambi. One accomplishes this by bribing Lambi with wholesome sheep feed and body-blocking her line of sight (or Lambi herself) so that she cannot tell which lamb is drinking. Once the morning chores are done, one tackles the goals of the day.
For the first week of the internship, the big project was the construction of bamboo teepees over the blueberry bushes. It was a time of many firsts: taking a saw to bamboo, driving a four-wheeler, driving a four-wheeler laden with five to seven foot bamboo poles, getting bitten by a tick, etc. Over the course of three weeks, the Great Pyramids of Hell’s Neck came to be--the first of their kind.
One of the most intense projects occurred only a short while ago on the day of the Foot Scald Crises. It began innocuously enough with Mrs. Avrett’s purchase and retrieval of two young Montadale sheep. A few days later, she observed Wensley limping. After a couple of correspondences with the seller, it became clear that the limping was due to the highly contagious, cross-species disease called foot scald. That night, I performed frantic foot scald research and Mrs. Avrett came up with a plan.The next morning, Mrs. Avrett, her son and daughter, Nate and Mclain, and I constructed a temporary enclosure, dewormed animals, pared hooves, anti-fungal sprayed hooves, and sent the livestock through a child’s pool of Clorox water into a safe pasture. Then, we used cow panels and tarp to erect a shelter for the animals. It was seven to eight hours straight hours of work, but at least the animals were safe--I have become very fond of the furry dears.
I am also extremely fond of the plants that have begun to grow in the garden space that Mrs. Avrett has lent Nate and me. The first ones up were the garbanzo beans, and the most well-to-do are, by far, the mustard greens. There is also tulsi, quinoa, blue corn, and a single lentil plant. Grow, seedlings, grow!
|Posted by [email protected]oo.com on December 16, 2011 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|
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|Posted by [email protected] on December 16, 2011 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|