So this week Farmer Myke went away mini conference thing where he found it to be "tremendously reaffirming for me to be at this training/workshop. I am up here with a number of other colleges that are years behind where we are! One college just got a hoop house, one college is trying to grow organic produce, but can't sell it to their own cafeterias, and these folks are looking at what we are doing with awe and hope! In so many ways, we are blazing the way in sustainability and just plain old hardcore colleging! (no that is not a word). Oh, and we are definitely the only college that has livestock/poultry. . . the others are sooooo jealous.
I am also getting a lot of support from the state folks and guru's of composting who really want to see our compost program succeed and want to help us meet that goal."
Meanwhile, back at the farm...
We're pretty much the most ballin' farm ever.
It's been a very exciting time at the farm. Two Tuesdays ago, we went on an adventure to pick up more hoop houses. We finished weeding the walled garden (You know, the first time around. You can't really tell looking at it now. Silly weeds that grow back). And we had a fox attack!
Celebratory Whoopie Pie that was eaten after the walled garden was finished.
The Fox Attack of July 3, 2011.
So I went to open up the farm. Myke had generously given us long holiday weekend off, but we still have to take care of the animals. I went about farm, feeding rabbits and sheep. Then I went to feed the new baby chicks we had just bought.
Only to discover there were no baby chicks left. Just feathers and wings. And a headless chick in the sheep's stable. And just as I caught sight of the headless baby chick, I looked up, and staring at me was a fox. Quickly putting the pieces together, I realized that the fox got into the barn through the missing door (we really should replace that door...) and consequently massacured our two dozen new chicks.
What followed was a backwards sort of Bugs Bunny cartoon. I chased the fox beyond the pasture and pumpkin patch into the woods. I went into the barn just to see the dead chick again, and when I came back out and there was a fox sitting right there, staring at me. I'm fairly certain that it was a different fox. This one was much braver. I would chase him behind Marketing before he disappeared, go to do something, and then ten minutes later see him again. I eventually ended up stalking around the farm with a rake trying to keept his fox away from my farm.
I'm sure the image of me jumping fencing and screaming "FOX!" at the top of my lung was movie-comedy worthy!
Eventually the farmer showed up, but of course the time that happened, the fox had disappeared.
But, on the postivie side, we found five baby chicks throughout the farm, still alive and cheeping!
The next day I returned to the farm after a weird commuicion mishap with Mae. So I had Mae on the leash, I turned the corner, and there was the fox, sitting on top of the wood pile. We had a twenty minute stand off (during with the farmer's phone decided to fail, epcially) before he ran away. I tired reasoning with the fox, telling him that if he didn't get his family and get out of here, someone was going to get hurt. And odds are it was him.
Which ended up being true. This morning we all headed back to the grind. As he weeded and planted, the fox sunk around and Amanda spotted him. Luckily, the farmer was actually around this time. He managed to get the fox, despite the fact that his interns have a habit of running towards the fox-exterminator device instead of out of the way. Leaving a fox dead, the chickens safer, and me with only one thing to say:
I told you so, fox. I told you so.
*note: all photos were taken by this awesome intern: