Friday, December 14, 2012

Editor's note - excuse our very long absence. This is the first of more posts about farm life here on Whitmore Farm. This is from the perspective of one of our Fall interns Dave, who was kind enough to get the ball started. I thought people might like to hear what its like to show up here on the farm and just throw yourself into farm life without previous experience. NB: this is an unedited version ;) 

Dave the intern here, hailing from Brooklyn’s manic bustle for favor of a bucolic life, has blown the cobwebs from our blog to show just how far he’s come in his few weeks here. 

It’s important to note that I hadn’t spent one hour on a farm before my tenure here at Whitmore. 

As idyllic as the grounds and company are here, I had no frame of reference for what farming would bring. For example, the persistent thought pinballing around my head on my first night, October 2nd, was, “WHAT THE FUCK HAVE I DONE?!?!” 

When you adventure way out of your comfort zone, you often surprise yourself in ways you couldn’t otherwise fathom. 

I had left Brooklyn’s wild tapestry – its 24-hour delis, tireless hedonism, bad hipster moustaches – to sleep in a barn with no door, just a great open maw of space for creatures of all stripes to eat me alive – or so I thought. My mild arachnophobia turned acute, but it was all in my head: I soon understood that if I left them alone, they’d leave me alone. 

I also soon learned that both Will and Kent are incredibly welcoming, personable, smart as whips, and bangin' cooks. The three other fellows working here were as patient as Will and Kent watching my soft city hands try to navigate chicken nests. 

I already know that I will look back on these few months as one of the happier times of my life. Strange to be aware of that right in the midst of it. What a departure, what an arrival. What hosts! 

The chickens are no longer clucking and strutting animals of annoyance. They have it good here. I handle them without hesitation now, and welcome their birdsong (chickensong?) throughout the morning rounds where we feed and look after them.  

The goats still swarm like brain-mad zombies but only when you have something they can eat at hand. The pigs are playfully mischievous, as are some of the dogs, those six Great Pyrenees who seemed indistinguishable from one another that first week. 

I still fear the boars (hungry boars, to qualify it) but those fears have mostly evaporated. I’ve learned something new just about every day since I arrived, and faced many fears head-on. It goes to show: you can look through the eyes of fear or the eyes of love. 

As I never would have imagined being here and doing this, it’s fascinating to wonder just where I’ll be a couple months from now, well after I’ve left these kind grounds. Some lone vagabond strengthening without from within, lighting candles along the road. I can’t predict a fucking thing, and I certainly wouldn’t want to start.

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