Monday, May 2, 2011

Part 2: Wwoofing week 1: Farming & Drinkin with New Friends

Day 1: We start the day at 9am, which is surprisingly late, but it is still cool out there.  It’s so darn cold inside the house that I wear as much clothes as I did when I camped in March.  During the day, we dig holes, a feet deep, to plant new shrubs. I smelled wild sage; it was a lovely companion as I put my hands in the hard dirt. The intent is that the shrubs will keep the sinkholes from getting bigger and stop the erosion caused by from the canyon wind. I was startled when I heard a loud terrible sound.  A poor animal was in pain. It was a donkey; my first one for sure, but at least he was not in pain. The canyon land just amplified the sounds.  

We (five wwoofers) planted 300 plants consisting of Arizona Cypress, Utah Juniper, Big Tooth Maple, Box Elder, Cottonwood, and something-something Berry. There’s 150 acres of land; 21 of which is for vine grapes holding 20,000 vines (a mix of red and white as this is the largest vineyard in UT and he needs to diversity his portfolio). Unfortunately for me, they already planted the vines and in the Fall is when you pick them, so I did not get to learn much about the vineyard industry. We pruned the pear and apple trees and prepped them up for mulching. HAd to duck for the bees and keep a close eyes on our feet and hands for fire ants. There seem to be everywhere and quick and sneaky little buggers.

There is so much hard back and hand breaking work to do on a farm; my hands got sore within hours and every day I felt a new body sore. But I suppose there’s an adjustment period. And, I am just a city girl learning the ropes and always dreamed of working outside (careful what you wish for).

Day 2: While planting, a bad storm was passing through town and we got some gusty winds and very quick snow running right through us. It was so strange to see it coming for us and had nowhere to shelter.  That motivated us to work much faster. Thankfully, it flew by us quickly.

We all live in the same beautiful large ranch style house.  I have never lived with more so many people before. I felt like I was on Real World, but less drama! It's strange as sometimes time feels to be warped and I am accustomed to my solo time. We are also a tad isolated from town and spend our days and nights together here. Dinners are like 3 hrs later than normal for me, but darn yummy and variety. Danny, made us Petron tequila with orange liqueur margaritas. Renee made 3 delicious pizzas from scratch. Worth the long hungry wait! Our pantry also seems to have an endless supply of PBR, which is a common, hum light beer. I've never had so many in my life, but we get it from CO so it's way stronger than the beer options in UT.

We use solar power with a back up generator.  I now realize how much energy a dryer takes when we used up all the energy to dry one load. I felt so guilty but was not informed of this issue. We hung dry our clothes one day and the wind took some down to the dirt and lost Joey's underwear in the process. We have fresh well water and they need to haul everything in and out. And we haul out the recycling and garbage to town.

Click here for more pix.

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