This is a week of transitions on the farm (truth be told, I could say that about any week, given that a farm is a living system and change is the only constant). But, whoa, this is a week of transitions on the farm.
On Sunday morning, we sadly and sweetly said goodbye to Semester 58. On Sunday afternoon, we said hello to three semester alum, back to work with us on the farm for the next few weeks. Throughout the summer, we’ll have three alumni employed on the farm to help with our dual focus of production (so many vegetables to weed! so many livestock to pasture!) and education (campers everywhere!). Though it can feel jarring to move from the end of the semester into the summer farm worker arrival, I so sincerely appreciate the reminder that these fine folks that we have worked alongside the past four months will undoubtedly circle back to work on the farm or otherwise.
There are a few outlying factors that make this week particularly transition-heavy: Hilary and I are moving between post-semester faculty meetings and farming each day. Cows and sheep are newly on pasture, as are 150 broilers, thanks to the help of an Outdoor Classroom group from Glen Urquhart School yesterday afternoon. Candidates for semester school teaching positions are visiting through the week. And, more broadly, it’s spring on a farm, which means that everything needs to be done right now.
Here’s a quick look at our “to-do” list for Wednesday, May 25:
By day’s end on Wednesday, we had:
- Completed a parasite check on our sheep flock, aided by a visiting group from Cape Cod Academy
- Removed brush from pasture, transplanted all of our dye flowers, and filled a couple of our raised garden beds with the fifth/sixth grade elementary school class
- Finished morning chores (just farm crew) and afternoon chores (with Glen Urquhart students)
- Moved 150 broilers out to pasture with Glen Urquhart students (My favorite question during that process: “Do they all have to go to slaughter? Even the one that I just named Robert?”)
- Weeded all of our summer carrot beds
- Hosted a range of visitors on the farm
- Plowed Berry garden, which will be planted with winter squash in the coming weeks
- Taken down the past few days of moveable electric fencing and set up fencing for rotations through Friday morning
- Harvested herbs, asparagus, and kale for the kitchen
- Attended a range of meetings, including post-semester faculty meetings and a bi-weekly Food Action Committee meeting
- Set up new watering and fencing systems on pasture for meat birds
So much! Onto the next . . .