Cool huh? These are pictures of the manure spreader a number of us got back up and running. Who knows how long it's been since it was last used. Josh bought it a year or two ago from someone who had it sitting on their property long enough for all of the nuts and bolts to seize beyond what a few wrenches can fix, and for the wood to mostly rot away. On the bed of the machine is where you pile up the manure compost, which is pushed back to a series of spinning teeth and fanning blades by a conveir-like contraption. All this is powered by the oxen who pull the cart, which spins the wheels that turn a bunch of gears. It's been working great for fertalizing the upper pasture with oxen manure so far. Gotta love technology that an average Joe can understand with his own eyes and hands.
Speaking of Joes, I got the 2-car garage set up pretty well as a "smithy" (a.k.a. blacksmith shop). I can't express how great it was to light up my coal fire in there for the first time... I'm filled with passion when thinking of my role here as a blacksmith, general farm worker, and contributer to a community as beautiful as this. After about 6 months of adjusting to this life-style I can confidently say I love it. One of the things that tickels me about it is that when I go to bed at night, I don't feel like my day was incomplete. I feel ready to sleep and satified with my efforts and what my energy is contributing to. Even when nothing went as planned, or I screwed up a dozen things. I'm learning, adapting and growing at a rate I haven't felt in a long time. It's exciting. I like it.
This week we gained a new intern named Areil (aka REL to Louie and I) who seems to be adjusting and integrating herself nicely. Beth, the small vegan girl with awesome writing skills and work ethic recently took off, but will be back in the fall for some time to make sure we're up to snuff ;-) Also, Morgan who headed our veggie oil operations and some of the garden stuff moved out to a neighboring "farm in the works" to lend a hand and to utilize as a stepping stone to possibly start his own organic farm and homestead in the future. All of us wish him the best in his branching out and look forward to the future possibilities of our new relationship.
Gotta get some sleep.