|Taft Hill farm house|
|A hilltop view worth sweet coin-operated binoculars|
There are seven different poultry coops on the farm, which are necessary for Taft Hill's chicken breeding program. All chickens are descended from some combination of the red junglefowl, green junglefowl, and grey junglefowl of Southeast Asia. Taft Hill has been creating New Heritage breeds by going back to these feral ancestors of modern chickens with the intention of breeding a more intelligent, hardier bird. After we finished with the coops, Randy, Robert, and Dan returned with the new stove. Before we could begin finagling the 400 lb stove up the narrow stairs, a horse trailer arrived from Tregellys Fiber Farm in Hawley MA to pick up a llama named Critter. Critter was an ornery critter, and Tregellys had agreed to take him off Robert and Kathy's hands. We barely knew the llama, but Dan and Jamie seemed as though they would miss his familiar face, even though it had attempted to bite them. Two interns on a neighboring farm, Brian and Naz, showed up to help with the llama relocation, and were soon roped into helping move the colossal stove. Jamie and Dan were excited for the new stove; apparently we had missed some chilly evenings in the apartment (though our previous evenings in the yurt were probably colder).
|The epic WWOOFer apartment|
|The legendary Randall Lineback heifer|
|Bandaging baby emu|
|Malachite in the barn aviary|
|Three of the sheep|
|Collecting (and eating) more apples|
|West Townshend Country Store|
In the middle of a game, we heard an odd screeching sound. At first we weren't sure what to make of it, but Brian ran and grabbed his .22, and told us to hop in the pickup. We went up to the chicken coop, and sure enough, a raccoon was in there getting his chicken dinner. Brian expertly dispatched the coon. Unfortunately the coon's intended meal also had to be put out of its misery due to intense neck trauma. Being the not-wasteful individuals that we are, we decided to process the chicken on the spot, illuminated by the pickup truck headlights. We even skinned the coon so Brian could someday have a coonskin cap. While a big pot of water was coming to a boil for chicken-plucking, Holly and Naz successfully disrobed the raccoon. Holly was pleased to realize that skinning a raccoon is rather like skinning anything else, and everyone was impressed with her skills. Amidst our macabre endeavor and surrounded by strewn about gore, Leigh, the owner of the farm, pulled up. This was our first introduction to her, and the four of us must've looked like insomniac taxidermists. Luckily, she was impressed with our gutsy handling of the situation and we got off on the right foot. The incident finally wrapped up around 2 a.m., and we collapsed in a dead sleep, looking forward to Friday's pizza night.