Thursday, March 15, 2012

Day 15 by Anna

Today after a rude awakening involving a slide whistle, a guitar, and a knight helmet we had a delicious breakfast. Then we weeded Ann’s garden and played with worms and snails. After an hour and a half when it actually looked like a garden, we stopped for lunch. Because this is day 15 everyone is thoroughly weary of the peanut butter tortillas that are AMS field trip lunches. Luckily for the non vegetarians among us there was pepperoni generously sent by Margot which, I am told, made the meal much more bearable.

After lunch we drove 15 minutes to Fickle Creek Farm where Ben showed us around. Fickle Creek uses animals to prepare the soil for market gardens. First they let their goats, sheep and cows graze and eat all the saplings so the forest becomes more pasture like. Then they put pigs on to root up all the big rocks and roots in the ground. Then they put the chickens on to peck up bugs and fertilize the soil.

They showed us a pasture that had chickens on it last year and you could see where the eggmobile had been because the grass was tall and really green.

They had egg laying chickens living in the eggmobiles which produced about 1,000 eggs a day.

There broiler chickens, unlike the ones we raised at school, could walk around and be chickens as well as grow big enough to be profitable. We also got to see the pigs who looked much, much happier the CAFO pigs. They were rolling around in the mud and reminded Michelle of her great love for swine.

Ben also told us about agro forestry which means interspersing trees and animals throughout the farm. This benefits the animals with shade and wind blocks and the soil with bio diversity and fallen leaves for compost. Before we left we bought some meat and eggs some of which went to tonight’s delicious but vegetable free dinner.

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