>> Monday, March 29, 2010
I am so excited about this post! How do I sing praises enough? Nature's Harmony is a sustainable, slow-food affiliated farm which is involved in community supported agriculture (CSA) programs in Atlanta and the surrounding region. They treat each of the animals with an extra amount of love and attention (which is evident), allow them to live very full lives and eventually process them in a humane way. As a huge animal-lover, it's still hard for me to imagine taking on the responsibilities for processing an animal after raising it from birth. Still, I deeply appreciate that the animals are spared the neglectful treatment they receive on factory farms.
I had the opportunity to visit my good friend, Kerry Shay, and pick his brain about his apprenticeship on the farm. You can learn a lot about his experience from his blog, which I highly recommend checking out. After a little more than a day, he had me seriously considering going in a different direction with my life and considering the world of farming. There's something so incredibly peaceful about taking care of the animals, experiencing birth/growth, soaking in the clean air and seeing nothing but beauty in the distance of the rolling hills and stars. Not only that, it's totally fine that I'm out at 7:30 in the morning, getting a little dirty and not checking my blackberry until lunch time. Now.. that in itself is a miracle!
I'll break this into 2 posts so that it's not too long. After I walk you through the day you might just wish you lived on a farm too. Who knows :)
Early morning sun. My favorite (I don't see it nearly enough!)
It was still a little chilly that morning but the afternoon was perfect.
Oh, how I love these little guys!
This is Kerry. Doing a great job with the calves that love him so much.
If I had to pick, bottle-feeding the calves was prob my favorite farm activity.
Next we fed the "puppies". They are 5 months old and probably have a good 20 lbs on Rylynn. They are Livestock Guardian Dogs and a mix between the Great Pyrenees and Anatolian Shepherd. Such incredible sweethearts! They might have been my second favorite. They are bred with a natural instinct to protect the animals on the farm so they are actually not supposed to be "trained" like you would any other dog. The puppies learn from the parents and will take on the same guarding responsibilities upon adulthood.
One of the bulls. Can't remember the breed name.
Next we fed the "Large Blacks". These floppy eared pigs are very cute.. you can't deny it.
Lots of dogs on the farm- big and small. Can't remember this one's name but he was a lover.
We had to move one of the adult Black Australorp chickens out of the green house to join the free-range chickens. They are allowed to grow safely within the protection of this green house.
Love Cleatus... such a sweety
Up next: chicks, geese, more pigs, cows and lambs!