This Just in: Hard Work Can be Fun!
Oh. My. Gracious. Today several of our shareholders and their friends came to the farm to WORK. The plan was mainly to skirt some alpaca fleeces and vaccinate the alpacas, but we accomplished so much more! New shareholder, Brenda brought her friend, Pina, who happens to be a carpenter. Ted and Pina went straight to work adding a door to the second chicken tractor in the pasture, and before we knew it, the Buff Orpingtons got their first taste of free-ranging. Very cool.
Then Mary and her teenage friends G'emar and Jenny worked on cleaning the chicken tractor nest boxes, waterers and feeders so that the chooks would have an awesome place to call home after a hard day's ranging and egg-laying. They look fantastic, and the chickens will really appreciate it.
Meanwhile, Laurie, Brenda and Chris were skirting alpaca fleeces and preparing them for the processor. I should have reminded them that wallowing in all that fiber will give you the itch to spin something fabulous. Right now. Laurie is quite gifted in fiber prep, and taught the newer skirters some valuable lessons, in the art, science and intuition of skirting.
We broke for lunch and enjoyed Laurie's prize-winning smoked turkey and spinach quiche, made with Jacob's Reward eggs, of course. Out of this world yummy.
Then it was back to work, as we haltered the lamby babies and cleaned out their pen and crate. Ah, fresh bedding and chow. They really needed to stretch their legs! We had to let out their harnesses because they've grown so much since Emma and I took them on walks a week ago or so. Before very long they will be too big for that pen and will have to be moved in with the Big Sheep. That will be an interesting experiment...
Finally to round out our day, Tim Daugherty from Paca D'Lites Alpaca Ranch down the street came and helped us vaccinate the alpacas. Everybody held a haltered alpaca and steadied him while Tim did the poking. We are very blessed that Chris, who works in a research lab, is going to use her influence to help us get the supplies we need to doctor the boys. Thanks, Chris!!
By the end of the day, everyone was completely bushed, but happy, and I'd definitely say this was our most productive work day on the farm in a long time. You know that feeling that you can't move your legs or arms very well, but you have a mysterious sense of calm and well-being? And exhaustion. Yeah, we have that.
I cannot thank my friends and shareholders (for they are the same people) enough for all the help today. As I said to them over coffee, this farm is going to prosper to the extent that I allow others to help me grow and flesh out the long-term vision. It's clear I can't do it alone - and I wouldn't want to. I am blessed beyond words by the energy, compassion, commitment and creativity of the people who have focused it on Jacob's Reward Farm. God bless you all.