The blog of Hope Grows

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A word from Lea young farmer in training.

Fortunately we didn't have to pay her to say this. If we did, we'd have paid a lot. Lea was with us for 3 glorious weeks, experiencing the animals, the elements, and the markets with us. We will miss her face.

The following is a summary of her experience:

I’ve heard throughout my life that the best job in the world is one you love, and at Hope Grows farm that’s what makes everything work. You have to love waking up to feed the baby turkeys, get bird droppings all over you and have flies attack your face. You have to have love to lift a fifty pound bag of feed and push a broiler pen, or five, to fresh grass and you have to have love to plant every single seed and take care of every little leaf until it can stand on its own. Arianne and Eliot love what they do and working with them I’ve learned why.

I think like many people I assumed that the key ingredients to a successful farm were blood sweat and tears but Eliot and Arianne have opened my eyes to what a hot young farmer’s life is really like. Instead of sweating all day in the hot buggy sun only to spend the evening doing puzzles or worrying about how many eggs the hens will lay, these farmers break up the day with amazing meals, good conversation and most importantly, with a lot of laughter. I understand now that the profit of a farm doesn’t increase with stress and exhaustion, only with enjoyment and compassion. A day didn’t go by that I didn’t need a nap after the morning work but I also didn’t have a single day slip pass me that wasn’t full of jokes and cracking up at the dinner table. Every morning I was up with the sun to sweat and dress myself in mud but every evening I had to relax, use the internet (yes, even farms can enjoy modern technology) or go on a little adventure with the farmers.

Over the past couple weeks I’ve become even more conscience of where my food comes from and much more grateful for the farmers who bring it to the table. More importantly though, I’ve realized that this is a lifestyle that can be very enjoyable and rewarding with a little blood, sweat, tears… and love.

Thank you hot young farmers.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Adventures in Moving Pigs

Today we were going to move our pigs from their woodlot accommodations to the pasture to become 'Lawnmower Pigs'. Earlier in the week I set a test electric fence in the pig's habitat to get them used to it, which worked fine. This morning we set up a full scale fence in the pasture, so far so good.

Now for the tricky part - moving 2 very large and 3 medium sized rambunctious pigs. The plan: load them in the bed of the pickup via a loading chute and then deposit them into their new electric fenced area in the pasture. Easier said than done! Here we are looking only a little bit harried after having successfully loaded Pork:

After that Ham got in too so we closed the tailgate and made for the pasture. Pork had other ideas:

Luckily Pork was unhurt by his leap to freedom and made his way back to the woodlot.

We did manage to get Ham to the new fenced in area, but to our dismay the full scale fence did not deliver the same shock as the practice fence did--not even close. Ham happily walked in and out of the area, undaunted by the static shock.

As stressed as he was, he wasn't interested in going home. We roped his midsection to encourage him - to little effect. Then suddenly he started jogging, so I ended up running with him (the same rope was tied around my midsection as well), guiding him back to his accomodations in the trees. We'll try again soon. In the meantime, the grass will have to wait.

(with some editing from Arianne)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bringing the Sexy Back

This is a bit from our new marketing campaign to lure hot, young people into ecological farming. Enjoy!