There are certain tasks that we complete and routines that we follow every day and every week at the farm. In these tasks I am reminded that when we take good care of our farm, the farm takes care of us. We cycle the root cellar produce and monitor the humidity so that storage conditions are prime for our winter veggies. We give our dairy cow Halo the choicest hay and when we milk her we are sure to strip every last drop to prevent infection. We give our seedlings just the right amount of water – not too much and not too little! – so they’ll be ready to go in the ground if the ground ever thaws.
One of my favorite examples of our stewardship of the farm is our care of Sal. Every morning she is groomed and her feet are picked. If we are planning to take her into the woods we take the time before harnessing to stretch her stiff legs. We want to prepare her for success in every way we can and in return for our care of her, Sal provides us just the right amount power and agility in the woodlot.
At the end of the day, when Sal is out to pasture and all the animals have been fed and watered, we take the time to sweep the barn clean of any loose hay and wayward animal debris that has collected since morning chores. This simple act of sweeping is our last (planned) task of the day and feels like a way of saying ‘thank you’ to the farm for what it has given us that day.
-Hilary Crowell, Assistant Farm Manager – Chewonki Salt Marsh Farm