Saturday, February 23, 2013

Winter on the School Farm

For those of you reading this that don't already know, I teach at an agriculture charter school. We didn't begin that way, but chose that path for a multitude of reasons. Our students are thriving and even though it is hard work, it truly is what is best for our school family.

On our school grounds we have a barn complete with pigs, chickens, cows, sheep and a donkey. We have a greenhouse, a wind turbine and a school garden. All of this comes with chores...animals must be fed, plants must be watered and all of this needs to happen regardless of how much snow may be on the ground. Our classrooms rotate being responsible for all the chores, with each class taking a week and the teacher is in charge of the weekends.

Well this week just happened to be my week. 

So while everyone was snuggled under their covers Thursday morning on our first snow day, I trudged out to school (thankful my three girls and our oldest daughter's boyfriend agreed to come along and help) to take care of the day's chores.
The drive out was slow and I have never been so thankful for my truck as I have been these past few days!

Upon arriving the first thing we saw was Eeyore the donkey, looking quite miserable :(
As you can see behind him, he has a perfectly warm hut full of straw to go in to but he preferred standing out in the snow. Silly Eeyore!!!

We then went into the barn where we were greeted with our next surprise! One of our school ewes had lambed during the night and had two new baby lambs to care for!
They were so tiny and so cute!

Now time to bottle feed the dairy calf!
Nothing like a warm bottle on a cold, snowy day!

Earlier in the week when I had been doing chores I smelled the overwhelmingly smell of a skunk and it seemed close. We had been pretty sure that it had burrowed itself underneath the chicken coop, but I was very nervous going into the chicken pen to feed our chickens and even more nervous opening up the coop doors...worried it would be waiting for me in there. 
You can see our friend the skunk has made himself a nice little hole not far from the chicken feeder. He has dragged chicken feed from the feeder into his hole and there are skunk tracks all over the chicken yard. 

So this week has been an adventure. 
Chores have taken a little longer and it has been a little colder but all is a day in the life of a teacher (well teachers at my school anyway :)) The weather man is predicting even more snow beginning tomorrow night, but my week of chores ends tomorrow and I will gladly pass the torch onto the next teacher in charge!

But it sure is beautiful!!!!