Miranda’s Take On Her First Week At Serenity Acres

I don’t really know where to start. So I’m just going to dive in.

Serenity Acres is a goat farm in Northern Florida. We’re here to work as part of a WWOOFing gig.

The Crew

I moved into the intern house - named the Double O - the first day we got there (WOW I CAN ROLL OVER IN MY BED WITHOUT FALLING OFF!).

I have three housemates:

  • Ryan
  • Alex
  • Jojo

I am currently the only girl in the Double O. Two other workers, Soell and Susan, live elsewhere on the property.

My First Day

First day I was up at six o’clock so I had time to get dressed and eat breakfast before I had to be down to the dairy at seven.

Turns out that dressing and eating doesn’t take as long as I thought it was going to.

I followed the lead of Jojo and ate a banana for breakfast. Then I sat at the table (WOW A TABLE!) and read a book for a little while. Then I got bored with that and went back to my room to knit for a little while.

Jojo stuck his head in as I was finishing my first row and said, “Do you want to walk up with me?”

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Since I really had no idea where I was going yet, I followed him up the trail to the dairy.

Morning Meeting

Julia and Wayne own the farm, and Julia was there to just let us know what was going on during the day, and what special stuff we needed to do.

My mom started working inside the dairy. She has her own post on that.

Jojo was my trainer. The first animals I learned to feed were the horses. The horses here are downright beautiful, all three of them.

After they were fed, Jojo drove me on down to the pastures.

The Pastures

We have five main pastures:

  1. On the left side we have bucks, or bulls, or boys, whatever you want to call them.
  2. On the other side, we have weanies, which are last year’s babies.
  3. Again on the left, farther down, we have the babes, female goats who are in heat or ready to go into heat.
  4. Opposite to them we have the moms-to-be, which are female goats who are pregnant. They will give birth in a month or so.
  5. Lastly, farther down on the right, we have the seniors, which are female goats who are too old to give milk or get pregnant.

Closer up to the dairy we have also a pasture for the dairy goats, which are the goats we milk every morning so we can make yogurt, cheese, milk, whey, soap, lotion, and other goods we can eat and/or sell. (Do not eat whey. It tastes like urine.)

Emergency!

I had hardly been working for two seconds before we had an ‘emergency’.

One of the male goats, Rebel, had been fighting with another male goat, and one of his scurs had broken off, and he was bleeding.

So I got a five second lesson on how to drive the golf cart and drove up to the dairy to get blood stop powder. Then I drove back down to the pastures and followed Julia’s instructions on where to pour the powder as she wiped the blood away from Rebel’s eyes and Jojo held him still.

So that was an adventure for the day. Thankfully, the rest of the feeding of the goats went easily, although I did get pinned while feeding the goats grain and I continue to do so.

It is hard to pour grain into the feeders and get out of way before the goats notice and run to eat grain. Once I got pinned between two, and while I was trying to get out, one decided to go through my legs. It was not comfortable.

Break Time

After the feeding, Jojo and I went back to the dairy for our break time.

At break time we eat yogurt with a little bit of brown sugar and oats. It’s very good. I like goat yogurt better than store bought yogurt.

Scooping of the Pooping

After our break time, we went out to the dairy goats to do the daily scooping of the pooping. We did the dairy goats and then went through the five pens out in the pasture. Ryan came out and helped us after a little while.

Once the scooping is done, it’s usually somewhere in the eleven o’clock hour. If it’s past eleven thirty, we can go out and do noon check.

Noon Check

Noon check is pretty easy.

All we do is make sure that the goats are all up and moving around and that they have enough coastal (regular hay) to eat and that there is enough of the same in their rooms to cover the ground.

After noon check, Jojo and I hop into the golf cart and go out to feed the cows. Normally I’m in the passenger seat, and we have an unspoken agreement that whoever is in the passenger seat unlocks the gates.

And there are a lot of gates.

Cows

Cows are big. Enough said.

Baby cows are cute. Enough said.

After we feed cows, we drive back to the tack shed where we keep the golf carts and I’m free until four.

Filling chicken buckets.

Filling chicken buckets.

Spraying equine fly spray on Jet.

Spraying equine fly spray on Jet.

Random chickens. Who are really bad at playing chicken.

Random chickens. Who are really bad at playing chicken.

Boo.

Boo.

Spreading hay and Luna trying to help.

Spreading hay and Luna trying to help.

April.

April.

Pretty Evelyn.

Pretty Evelyn.

Cinnamon.

Cinnamon.

Carrying a bucket of peanut hay.

Carrying a bucket of peanut hay.

Afternoons

I don’t normally like doing nothing until four, so I do the dishes in the Double O and put them away, wipe down the counters, and sweep the floors.

I’m trying to fight our cockroach infestation. I still have a dead one in my closet.

I made muffins one day (WOW I REMEMBERED HOW TO TURN ON THE OVEN!). That went over well. And really fast.

Afternoon Feeding

At four I head back out to the dairy goat pen and scoop in there again.

We also do our afternoon feeding which we normally have more than enough people for, so I get to ride in the back of the golf cart, which is very fun. As long as the driver remembers to make sure I am steady before speeding away. I have almost fallen off a couple times.

Dinner

After the afternoon feeding, we all eat dinner together.

Each person has their own night to cook. If Julia and Wayne aren’t there, we have dinner in the Double O. If they are there, we are allowed to cook in their kitchen and eat around their table.

Night Check

After dinner, we split up into two groups.

The inside crew cleans dishes and the outside crew does night check. Night check is the same thing as noon check, but with the added challenge of DARKNESS. We have mostly conquered this challenge with HEADLAMPS.

Bedtime

And then we walk back to the Double O in the darkness, shower (WOW A REAL SHOWER I SHOULD GET A PRIZE FOR REMEMBERING HOW TO TURN IT ON!), maybe watch a movie or part of a movie, fall asleep, and get up and do it all over again the next morning (unless your alarm clock malfunctions and you get up after seven o’clock in the morning and get teased by your work partner. Like what happened this morning).

Other Animals

There are eight Great Pyrenees dogs here, plus five other dogs which are more like ‘house dogs’.

There are lots of goats, chickens (I have named one Snowy), horses, and cows. Plus two cats. And goldfish.

Favorite Part?

I don’t really know what my favorite part of the farm is.

  • Boo is definitely up there somewhere.
  • The guys here, too, are one of my favorite things.
  • Not waking up in my trailer every day.
  • Little Big John (but I call him Thor).
  • Doing physical work.
  • Having stand-in brothers.
  • Watching the sunrise on my walk to the dairy every morning and the sunset during the afternoon feeding.
  • Riding in the golf cart with Jojo and Ryan.
  • Driving the golf cart.
  • The baby cow.
  • Collecting chicken eggs and cleaning them.
  • Petting the goats and letting them lick me like dogs.
  • Spanish moss.
  • Wifi.

Being Here

Although sometimes I’ll come home at noon feeling lonely or feeling like I’m not fitting in, I love being here. I mean, I feel lonely everywhere. But I don’t always love the place I’m lonely in.

Besides, the dogs don’t care. As long as I rub their bellies, I’m their best friend. And when I’m out and working, I feel like I fit in. And, soon, I won’t be the new kid anymore. And maybe it gets easier after that.

But it’s great here. I look forward to every day.





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1 Comment Miranda’s Take On Her First Week At Serenity Acres

  1. Picture of SunnieSunnieNovember 17, 2016

    Miranda, I really enjoyed your post! I am impressed with your work ethic. I hope (will pray) that you soon won’t feel lonely in the new place that you like!

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