Its been about 2 weeks since Paul and I arrived on Countryside Farm.
I don’t know why I thought I would have plenty of extra time to do things like learn to play guitar, read books, run, learn Spanish, take naps and write a blog. I have been able to throw in running but the others I have had little time for. Farms are in daily need of attention. Sebastien has some part-time help but for the most part he is exhausting himself by working everyday and two nights a week cooking up product to sell at the farmers market. I have been trying to make myself useful by feeding and watering the animals in the morning but it does take me awhile. I enjoy collecting eggs that come in all shapes and colors that Martha Stewart would envy. It is like Easter morning everyday and I find eggs hidden in many unusual places, like an old grill for example.
I can’t see Paul and I owning a poultry farm let alone a pig farm. For one thing, pigs are smelly and they need a large amount of space to wallow in the mud.
The chickens, geese, guinea hen, and pigeons are pleasant at times. I am enjoying all the noises they make and even the early morning rooster crows (which last all day). On Monday we started two days of butchering. Dave and I first caught over 100 chickens with a handy hook that snags their leg. Then he would hand them to me and I would take both feet and put them into a cage and shut the lid fast. Reed was heating up water and getting the plucking machine ready. The chickens have their necks cut, then they are bled upside down, dipped into hot water, and plucked with the machine. It was my job to tweeze all the extra feathers off the birds while Sebastien gutted next to me. Yuck! This was an all day event and it was exhausting. The next day it was onto ducks who are bigger and a bit harder to catch and cage. We only did a few dozen this time. The feathers are harder to remove on ducks so they use hot wax to dip the bird in and when its removed so are most of the feathers.I had the job of tweezing again and also, bagging, labling, and freezing the chickens from the day before. I can remember doing some of this when I was young on the farm in Wisconsin but that seems so long ago.
Although I can really appreciate all the hard work that goes into running this farm, and I enjoy the experience of trying it, I just know that this farmer’s life is not for me.