Tag Archives: Education

The Adventures to be Continued…


I have no words to describe just how much I enjoyed my internship the past month. I was able to learn, try, and experience many wonderful new things. Memories were made that I shall never forget.

Nearing my final week on the farm, I buckled down and got to work constructing a book. Three signatures, thirty pages, three cardboard pieces, one square of fabric, a ton of measuring and a boatload of glue later — it was complete! At the moment (save for various stamps that I may have gone a little overboard with) the book is blank. I shall probably fill it with a collection of poems.

My book, just before attaching the cover.

I worked for an entire morning in the Lost Arts kitchen, dicing a never-ending supply of tomatoes for making Simply Fermented Salsa. My fingers still smell like ketchup… but I had fun!

We also received a supply of mail- order chicks; Cornish Cross (meat birds) and Lavender Orpingtons. Sadly, they succeeded in trampling the smallest duckling to death one night. As I have said before: stupid creatures. Speaking of Lavender Orps…

There is one adult Lavender Orpington, “Lav” for short, that wanders around with the Blue Hen geese. In fact, Lav probably thinks she is a goose! We debated whether Lav was a rooster or hen, because she looks very much like a rooster, but never crows. That is until two weeks ago. Mema and I were finishing up our work in Lost Arts house, when we heard a very loud and boisterous crow, from just outside the house. I looked out the front door to see none other than Lav, feathers proudly puffed up, crowing his heart out! Every day since then, he has promptly and loudly announced when it is dinner-time for all the farm to hear. Lav was quite thrilled to discover that he can do something none of the other geese can!

The last week of my stay was highlighted with the arrival of my family, who came for a spring break “family farm-cation”! Such a fantastic finale for my trip! We had a great time together, especially watching Papa’s dance moves to the Mission: Impossible theme song. My brother and I also got to taste rabbit stew for the first time; truly a delectable dish!

Unfortunately, my last days on the farm were bittersweet. Tuesday, the morning after my family arrived, we walked into the Blue Hen Henyard only to discover poor Shellden, lying dead in the middle of it. Needless to say that was quite a shock. Papa surmises that it was a rattlesnake. Top that news with the fact that Puffy (the rabbit) also died that morning, and it was a pretty sorrowful day. I know it may seem silly to mourn a goose, but I grew pretty fond of Shellden. He was hatched almost a year ago, the last time I visited. Papa had to help him escape his shell, then we also saved him just in time from being trampled to death by older goslings. Shellden, the smallest weakling, pulled through to become the biggest, and leader of the gaggle. We’re going to miss our orange-footed, snow-feathered friend.

Shellden (far right) with his gaggle, Chris, Gilbert & Clark.

The next day, my family sang a Lament for Shellden (and Puffy), which Mema posted, if you’d like to see it. Then we dried our tears and set out to make the most of our last day.

I made pancakes for breakfast — look at me, adulting! Next, it was time to cauterize the kids’ horns. Papa used the “searing-hot burning-tool thingy” (definitely its official name), while my dad held each kid still and protected their face. Poor muffins, they raised such a racket and worried their mother sick, but thankfully it was over quickly. I watched the procedure while Sadie cuddled up in my arms. [Now, Mema, before I hear from you about spoiling the animals: don’t worry, it was just one time, on my last day, and she will be too big to pick up the next time I see her! ;)]

The rest of the day was spent in the Lost Arts House. My mom and I each worked on our designs for a section of the floor; she used stamps and I tried my hand with paint. I finally finished my “masterpiece” (I use the term loosely) after five hours — wowie!

For our last supper we enjoyed a feast of collard greens, carrots, pork roast, gravy, an abundance of rice pilaf and pound cake. Be still my beating heart! Then it was time for one last M.I. episode.

Morning came and we were off to the airport. After a relatively uneventful flight we landed safely in Ohio, had a Chick-fil-a dinner, and arrived home at last, where I finally got to see my dog again! I was also welcomed by my old friends: below-freezing temperatures and snow. Lovely.

While I am happy to be be back, I do miss the farm and my FL family. And warm weather and sunshine. Definitely planning on visiting again soon, and I would love to do another internship — if Mema and Papa can stand me again for so long!

To bring this entry to a close, I would like to share another video I made; this one is about about the new life on the farm:

Thank you so much for following my “Adventures in Internship” for the past month! I never expected so many people outside of my family to read and/or comment. Hopefully I will return to the farm soon. However, I am certain there will still be plenty of adventures happening on the farm, even while I am gone.

That is all for now, folks! Lots of love,

Sofi Grace 🙂 <3

Path Through
Bent Pines

New Little Adventures


I am very excited to announce that early this morning Cow gave birth to healthy twin kids!! Two adorable black and white boys! This is the first time Bent Pine has had twins of the same gender. Sadly, there was a third kid, but he was stillborn; an unfortunately common occurrence with triplets. Cow is slightly frustrated about being confined to her pen for the next few days, but otherwise Mama and babies are doing well. It’s not like there is much for Cow to complain about; motherhood has upgraded her to the larger “deluxe suite,” or what used to be Sadie’s pen. Sorry, Sadie, but don’t fret! Now you have some new playmates! They are so tiny though – they make Sadie look big!

While I am on the subject of Sadie… she has adjusted so well! This weekend she started venturing out into the main yard and even spent most of yesterday exploring it all on her own. I might also add that everyone (even the animals) is quite relieved that Sadie no longer cries incessantly. They grow up so fast…

I am also happy to report that the kits and ducklings are doing well! One duckling was struggling a couple days ago. It was weak and having trouble of some sort, and we did not know if it would last long. Thankfully, it has been improving. Even if it’s not quite as strong as its siblings yet, it’s still a tough little fella!

New life is springing up everywhere these days. The “whimsical” sunflowers I helped plant about a week ago have finally begun to sprout! We planted them in various spots all over both farms; in front of the houses, among the gardens, behind Tiny Tilly. What a lovely sight they will be when Summer rolls around!

It looks like the cold weather is finally behind us, so I am preparing to sweat out the remainder of my stay.

I must go feed the animals now, so here are a few final thoughts: 1) You can’t tell the sex of a duck until it is grown; 2) There is another opossum under the house – oh joy; 3) Spike sneezed eight times in a row yesterday, probably a new record; 4) Kids are so CUTE!! [I could break my face from grinning and saying “aww” so much – help!]

Hopefully I can find time to make a video this week to show you all the new babies!

That’s all for today, folks! Bye for now!

Sofi Grace <3

Adventures with Life, Death, and Dogs


Remember my last update when I mentioned how wacky the weather had been? That hasn’t changed! Tuesday was humid and stayed above eighty degrees, then in the evening it switched to stormy and cool. I feel asleep to the sound of rain and woke up to the sound of… more rain. Needless to say, we spent most of the day indoors doing knitting, reading, and whatever it is Papa does when he’s not “complaining” about how we constantly knit and read.

Princess is still occupying Papa’s chair, much to his chagrin and my amusement. It is also quite amazing, because Prin does not usually stay out in the open for so long. I guess the aloof feline has begun to mellow with age. Or maybe she is just growing accustomed to having me around? Either way means more cat-petting for me! Yay!

Next, we come to Thursday – Valentine’s Day! I was overjoyed to receive mail from family and friends back home!

After doing the morning rounds, we check the incubator in the Hatchery before heading back to the house. Thursday morning Papa unlatched the door and what did we see? There before us, trembling, cheeping, chipping away at the shell, was a newly- hatched duckling! So delicate and fragile, not to mention cute! I think we should call him/her Val.

(I am sorry if this paragraph makes someone queasy. Please feel free to skip.) Something had been living under the Lost Arts House. This was made evident by the hole it dug to get there. Two non-lethal traps are sitting outside the hole, hoping to catch the culprit, but so far, they have only caught unfortunate squirrels. On our way out of the Hatchery, Papa walked over to check his traps. Unbeknownst to me, he also had a bear trap inside where the hole is. He pulled off the siding to look at it. It was more successful than the other traps. An opossum. Poor thing wasn’t dead yet. To make things worse, it had gotten tangled up among pipes and stuff. I left when Papa brought out a blade.

I spent the rest of the day in the Lost Arts House for two main reasons; First: temperatures barely rose above forty-five; Second: I started putting my plans to make a book into action.

I learned another way to dye paper! Staining it with black tea gives it an aged look, one that is quite aesthetically pleasing for handmade books. I do not know exactly what to put in my book yet, so I am just making a blank one for now.

Reporting on the Sadie situation: Everyone has been getting along fabulously! Sadie hardly ever cries anymore; she is content to lay in the sun alongside Peggy, munch hay with Cow, and… lay in the middle of the hay while Peggy and Cow eat it…? Oh well, at least she seems to be adjusting more!

Yesterday we had a pretty big scare. It was early afternoon, and we were all working over at Blue Hen; Mema and I in the Lost Arts House, Papa in the Workshop. Suddenly, Mema raised her head in alert and listened. There’s a dog barking. Now, normally I wouldn’t pay attention to that; dogs barking is an everyday sound, nothing special. However, Mama said it was much louder than normal. It sounded too close. She looked out the front window towards Bent Pine, then gasped, “There’s a dog in the yard!”

Sure enough, through the brush I could see a large black and brown dog barking at the rabbits in the tractor. I scrambled for my shoes, Mema rushed to the radio to warn Papa, then we both headed for the yard. I kept my eye out for any hefty sticks that I could grab, but all I found on such short notice were a couple stubs. Nevertheless, I snagged them up on my way; I could at least throw them, if needed. As we approached, I saw that it was a German shepherd terrorizing the rabbits. Did I say he was large? I meant massive. Biggest shepherd I have ever seen. By this time Papa had caught up to us. The dog had moved away from the tractor when we entered the yard. It began moving back towards the gate as we cautiously advanced, yelling at it the entire time. Finally, and with no more mishaps, the dog exited our farm and crossed the road back to its own. Whew!

So much for the “watch-geese”! Every animal that could have alerted to the dog’s presence was asleep!

This has been a particularly lengthy post, so I think it is time to bring it to a close. Just a few more tidbits to tell you: 1) Three more ducklings hatched Friday! 2) Three (or four?) kits were just born! So tiny and adorable! 3) Chickens are extremely frustrating. And stupid. 4) I found a more suitably-sized stick, just in case.

Thank you for your comments – they make me smile! Until next time, folks!

Sofi Grace