Our third week on New Morning Farm has come to an end. This week, Lorne increased our level of responsibility on the farm and allowed us to take over the morning and afternoon chores with the animals. It was a win-win situation; we loved playing Farmer and he was able to take care of other responsibilities he had outside of the farm. Here is what our typical day consisted of this week:

7:30 Wake up
8:00 Chickens (feed, water, collect eggs)
8:45 Pigs (feed, water, fresh straw, pet snouts)
9:15 Meat Birds (feed, water, fresh straw)
9:30 Cows (water)
9:45 Re-fill empty feed bins for next feeding
10:00 Breakfast and Coffee/Tea
10:45 Weed garlic
11:45 Place fresh straw around garlic to prevent future weeds
12:30 Lunch
1:15 Cows (water)
1:30 Weed garlic
2:30 Place fresh straw around garlic
3:00 Chickens (feed, water, collect eggs)
3:30 Pigs (feed, water)
3:45 Meat Birds (feed, water)
4:00 Cows (water)
4:15 Read books, work on art, make movies, take pictures, go to the beach

6:00 Dinner

We woke up each morning this week knowing that there were hundreds of little, living beings waiting on us to feed their hungry bellies. With this motivation, we stretched, yawned and made feeding them our first priority of the day. As we were wandering over to the chicken coop one morning, I looked at Chase’s curly locks of hair and screeched, “Chase, I think a bird pooped in your hair!” He noticed the white liquid dripping from the ends, touched it with his finger and then licked it. Yes, he licked it. Luckily, he informed me that it was just sunscreen and to this day, I am still unsure whether he knew it all along or if he was prepared to taste bird poop. 

Chase and I became more efficient with the daily chores as the week progressed. Chase mixed the morning feed for the chickens as I gave them fresh water. Once the chickens were distracted with the morning meal, I collected eggs. The chickens provide us with about 10 dozen eggs per day – which equates to 840 eggs per week! Nancy sells these eggs to eager customers in Winnipeg every two weeks for $4.00/dozen.

Chase and I look forward to saying good morning to the little piggies. They are always squealing around and trying to say hello to us as we feed them breakfast. The pigs have grown so much since we arrived on the farm and they are getting a little too pig for their current pen – they have been tearing holes under the fence, moving their feeders all around, and pushing against the walls. Lorne has a whole field fenced off for them, but before we can let them run around, we had to teach them to “fear the wire.” Training camp started this week, when we hooked an electric wire up to a post in the center of the pen. For the first few pigs who begin to sniff around this new device, they get quite the surprise when they hit the wire. Squeal! Squeal! Although it is never fun to hear an animal in pain, I know it is for their benefit because tomorrow we will be able to let them run free for the rest of the summer. 

Our week ended with a celebration of the Summer Solstice at Geoff and Theresa’s inspiring Boundary Creek Farm. Geoff and Theresa have been farming for 11 years now and are committed to trying any and all sustainable farming methods that they read about. This has resulted in a dynamic, successful farm that provides their customers with eggs, chicken, pork, garlic, honey and a bounty of vegetables. We saw, first-hand, how much their customers respect their famers by the sheer number of them that traveled 50 miles from Winnipeg to spend the evening on the farm. The potluck dinner was incredible, Theresa’s mint tea was heavenly and the bonfire, spectacular. 

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