Monday, 28 April 2014

My First Week of WWOOFing

I have now spent a whole week at the farm in Höö. Farm work is definitely full of routine, but also some surprises.

In terms of routine, shovelling shit is numero uno. All days start and end with manure in some way, shape or form. At 8 am and at 6 pm, we feed the animals and scrape/ shovel/ push/ lift/ wheel out the massive amounts of dung onto a giant heap of poop and straw outside. I never knew manure could be so... unwieldy. So unpredictable. You think you know how to approach it, you think you can handle it with a certain movement, only to find out that it's a wet one and it is intricately entwined with the straw and other dry matter and refuses to budge until you find a FORK to dig it out. Training in the gym doesn't prepare you for this...
So much shit, so little time
Once the morning barn shift is done (1 - 2 hours depending on how many people are involved), we help out with anything else that needs doing, such as preparing the kitchen garden (more manure), checking fences (loooong walks in the forest), harrowing a field (first time on a tractor, first time harrowing, yes, I'm impressed with myself) or clearing shrubbery.
I had machine envy. Aurelie really rocked this one. 
Before lunch, I go for my first swim of the day (second one at dusk, of course!).
Ah, bliss. If I hadn't burnt my bum in the sun...
But certain days are a bit more special. Like this morning when the little spotted calf was out gallivanting in the barn. Or when we had to chase down the ponies that had escaped through a broken fence. Or this evening, when another the little calf needed force feeding and his mother wasn't having any of it. Now that was interesting! Aurelie and I managed to get him out of the pen though, with me holding him between my legs and Aurelie feeding him. Fingers crossed he makes it.
Stronger than you think. Even took a kick to the head from mommy cow. It was meant for me.

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