Friday on the Farm

Friday on the Farm

A Farm Day – Friday

No one had much sleep Thursday night due to the constant heavy rain on our tents.   Cold, a bit wet, and the noise were too much.   It showed as people had a hard time staying focused and awake during our classroom time.

Much of the classroom time was devoted to learning about the Heifer Project and their method for working with people and communities.   We learned about the 7 M’s that come from giving animals (Meat, milk, money, material, muscle, manure, and motivation).    We also learned the process of working with a community to determine the best way to assist them.   This is not relief work, but development work – creating long lasting change.   Heifer begins with a community’s core values and beliefs and builds from there.   It is a good process and one can read more on their website.

Outside the classroom there were farm chores to be done (each day at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.)   Morning chores were done in rain of course.     Feeding the pigs is particularly fun as they are so noisy.   The youth also enjoy bottle feeding the young lamb.

The rain stopped around 11 a.m., which meant we could tour the Global Village and not get wet.   The setup here is well done.   In one large loop you can see how Heifer works around the world and gain ideas on how people live.   We saw villages from Harland Kentucky to Poland to Kenya and to China including an example of a house and of the animals given there.   Saturday night, we will live in one of those villages.

Lunch was not very exciting – a stri fry that was so so although the rice was good.   Supper was even worse, chicken wings that were rubbery.   Was glad I had a cliff bar to munch on.

Service Project - Rocks and Mud

Each day we participate in a service project.  Friday, we were in the Harland Kentucky site removing rocks from where the hogs had been.   This will allow the farm to plant vegetation so other animals can be housed there.   The work the hogs did was a good example of how animals can be muscle.   

So, equipped with our farm boots, we waded into the mud and picked up rocks for 2 hours.   Clearing a field, much the way early settlers in New England would have done.   At one point we formed an assembly line and handed the rocks down the line.  This meant fewer people losing their boots in the mud (as happened to Morgan earlier).  No complaing, no one whining, just good hard working young people (actually – they came more awake being outside, fresh air, some sunshine, our spirits were picking up),   We cleared the small field and felt very proud of our work.  

We did discover that work on a farm goes on and on.  We had a five minute break to wash off the mud and then headed out to do farm chores – feeding animals and giving them water mostly.   Then an hour of classroom and supper.

Our evening project was creating a mind map – which the group attacked with renewed energy.  Here they were to begin with their group and imagine what would make their community (meaning South Haven) an ideal community.  What could be improved, what would they like to see happening.    We will report on their ideas later, but they included everything from more people working together, youth doing more actively involved in service projects, a new school, expanding the music programs at the school (not cutting them), and much more.

Evening came, showers were enjoyed, card games and listening to music, and even going back and checking on the animals.   Shortly after 10 p.m., camp was quiet.