Tuesday, June 8, 2010

From Missouri to New Mexico

Sorry it has taken so long to update. We finished up at our Missouri farm and have just arrived at our New Mexico locale. To recap:

While in Missouri, we constructed a compost bin, planted some blueberry bushes, worked with Boer/Nubian Goats and composted their bedding after cleaning out the barn, and Aimee spent 3 days traveling around with the local mixed animal vet, Dr. Mozier. We learned a lot about goats and chemical free growing (we thought the greenhouse was especially cool). Our accomodations were very nice. We had our own room and bathroom and all our meals provided for us! Jennifer was a wonderful cook. We were definitely spoiled when it came to the delicious dinners she created.

While working with Dr. Mozier, Aimee got to vaccinate lots of beef cattle, do some dairy cattle preg checks, and some other miscellaneous things. The occasional small animal case, an alpaca cria, and a few horses. Dr. Mozier, his niece, and daughter were also nice enough to take us golfing after work one day. It was a beautiful course and we had perfect weather to boot! Aimee did a lot of learning that day, and Ken and Dr. Mozier played on a team and were beat by the girls! All in all, it was a wonderful time.

At the end of the trip, Duane and Jennifer treated us at Andy T's custard shop (a popular local ice cream place). It was delicious and an enjoyable two weeks :)

After leaving Missouri, we drove for 14 hours that was done over two days. We traveled through Oklahoma and stayed the night in Texas, just outside of Amarillo. The park we stayed at was in the middle of nowhere,
but there were a LOT of people in the park spending their weekend camping, swimming, fishing, and riding four wheelers. We guessed it was the only watering hole in the area, Texas wasn't like Michigan with water every 10 miles :)

We have since arrived in New Mexico. We are learning a lot about the acequia system of irrigation, which dates back to the Spanish settlers hundreds of years ago. All the farms in the area irrigate their field using this system. It consists of a man-made creek that is diverted to the field as needed. The fields are flooded, with the crops being planted in mounds so they don't wash away. It is very interesting. We will be sure to post pictures of it. The first day we worked we spent much of the time irrigating and making sure the rows were straight and didn't allow overflow. If they overflow into the neighboring rows, the crops at the end don't receive adequate water. Its all very cool! In fact, today we hiked into the mountains where the mountain stream is diverted into the man-made system. We needed to repair a section of the dam to make sure water continues to be diverted to the farming communities. We worked hard with the local farmers from throughout the community, filling sandbags and stacking them at the dam, we also used brush from the area to reinforce the dam. Aimee practiced her surgeons knots while tying sandbags and got to practice her Spanish language skills at the same time! Ken spent his time in the creek placing sandbags and brush on the dam. Overall, today was a great day. We really enjoyed seeing where the acequias originate in the mountains.

We are in a very culturally rich area. From the Native pueblos to the Hispanic population, there is culture everywhere, and people can't wait to teach you about it! The farm we are staying at is very passionate about their heritage. The farm has been in the family for generations, and it is an honor for these people to do what there ancestors have done.

We have only worked two days so far. We cook our own meals, but we have lots of fresh options from the farm. In fact, today one of the workers dropped off a dozen fresh eggs from the farm on our doorstep! It was a welcomed surprised. Anyway, we will keep you updated on our trip (hopefully moreso than we have been). We love and miss you all!

Aimee and Ken

Monday, May 24, 2010

The start of a summer of farming!

This is our first blog entry. We are already in Missouri at the goat dairy. We spent the majority of last week in Tennessee. We had a lot of fun, we spent some time visiting the Hunter family and enjoyed Aunt Trudy’s signature dish; chocolate and biscuits for breakfast. We did some fishing and hiking. Post hike, we spend quite a bit of time picking ticks off of Reggie. However, the view at the top of the mountain we hike up made it all worthwhile. We were hiking at Big South Fork National Rec Area. If you’re ever in the area, I would highly recommend a hike up to the Angel Falls Rapids Overlook. The view from the top was absolutely breathtaking. It was about 6 miles roundtrip.

We will be spending the next two weeks in Missouri working at a goat dairy. The farm is a seedstock farm, dealing with some purebred Nubians and Boer Goats, and a lot of percentages of the two. The owners just started showing their goats about a month ago with quite a lot of success. Aimee will be traveling to the boot heel area of the state to attend a goat show this coming weekend. She is pretty excited about. The living conditions here are extremely nice. More so than we expected on our WWOOFing trip, so we are enjoying being spoiled with our own room and bathroom and a lot of delicious food.

Thursday, February 25, 2010