A Wonki Day on the Farm

My day started with a walk to the farm, bright and early at 6:30 in the morning. It was still dark out and the sun was just beginning to poke through the clouds when my cabinmates and I arrived at the farm. I immediately started on my morning power walk down Chewonki Neck road to the eastside pasture. I arrived to a beautiful sunrise and set off on taking care of the cows. When I was done, I wished the cows a good day (as I had every morning for the past two weeks) and went on my way.

I went through the day and eventually made it to work program. Every Tuesday and Friday afternoon we have work programs. The work programs can range from working on the farm, to painting cabins with the facilities team, to working with the Traveling Natural History program, to working with the admissions team to write blog posts for Chewonki’s website. That Tuesday I was going to be working on the farm to take down fences and build new pastures.

We started by moving the cows from the Eastside pasture, up the road, through the barn, and into a new pasture on the farm. This meant we had to stand along the road stopping traffic and keeping the cows from going off into the woods or up the driveway of a teacher’s house while the farm team coaxed the cows along. The farm team expected this move to go smoothly (spoiler alert: it didn’t go very smoothly). The cows began to run into the woods next to the road and into my history teacher’s driveway (he got out his phone and started taking pictures of the whole incident). We finally got the cows back to the farm after a lot of laughing and herding.

We then set off to take down the fences after saying hi to Grandpa, Hubbard, and Greta– a momma cow and two of the new calves. After a while of fence collection, we took a short interlude to watch two of the cows have their hooves trimmed by a man with an interesting homemade machine. It lifted the cows off the ground and turned them sideways so he could get better access to their hooves. After that we took down more fences.

Soon after, we left the farm via a trailer pulled by the Polaris and headed off to the eastside pasture to take down even more fences. I had started my day here with a beautiful sunrise, but now the sky was overcast and cloudy. The perfect mixture of a cloudy day in fall.

We returned to the farm on the trailer again and finished up our day on the farm by setting up the new pastures the cows would use in the coming weeks. This still remains one of my favorite memories from work program because I was surrounded by some of my favorite people doing the things I love.

Megan Speers, Traverse City Central High School, Fife Lake, MI

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