First Day on the Farm.

I am 29 years old and for some reason I still feel compelled to take “first day of…” pictures.  So here you go – walking out the door for my first day of work at the farm.  I look a little…nervous.  :)  I definitely need to go buy some farm clothes this weekend!

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I spent the first half of my morning working at the kitchen computer, outlining my responsibilities and goals, and setting up a weekly schedule.  I will be cooking dinner tomorrow for the farm owners, so I browsed through their huge selection of cookbooks for some recipes that would utilize what is currently available for harvest on the farm.

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I found a few really good cookbooks that will help me work with seasonal ingredients and get new recipe ideas.

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I spent most of the morning just working at the computer and getting situated.  But I wasn’t alone, I had very good company.

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Meet Sadie (above) and Lucas (below) – two adorable Portuguese Water Dogs!

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At lunchtime, I headed up to the red shed to have lunch with the rest of the farm crew.  Everyone seems really nice and friendly!  Unfortunately, I had only brought one Larabar for the day – tomorrow I will be packing a much better lunch!

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After lunch I walked around the gardens to try to identify all that was available, and to see what types of fruit and vegetables were being grown.  There were also beautiful flowers growing among the produce…

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As I explored the rows, I found broccoli…

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Tons and TONS of collard greens – welcome to the south!

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Blueberry bushes, which I am told will be ripe in around 3 weeks – can’t wait!

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Fennel – one of my favorite vegetables that I never buy, because it tends to be so expensive.  I plan on getting lots of fennel from the farm!

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Turnips – something I need to learn how to cook.  I’m not sure I’ve ever worked with turnips!  It was really cool to see all of these ingredients that I’m used to seeing in grocery stores, coming straight out of the ground!

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Tomatoes and Swiss chard…

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And a happy farm intern! :)

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I stopped back at the house for a little bit to finalize some menus and prep work for the next day, and on my way there I enjoyed a perfectly ripe tomato straight off the vine – doesn’t get more fresh than that!

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Once I was finished with all my planning, I headed out for my second trip around the farm – this time in search of the lower garden and the horse stables.  The pups wanted to come with me, but I explained that they needed to stay inside.

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I made my way down a loooooooooong windy gravel path…

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And eventually found the lower garden.  Lots of seedlings and veggies – squash, melons, beans, okra, and more.

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And beyond the farm house, I made my way down to what appeared to be the horse area down below.

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Stables and fences told me I was in the right place, but they appeared to be empty.

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I walked a little further and came across the most beautiful horses, roaming free in a gorgeous and gigantic pasture.

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This guy came right up and stuck his head over the fence towards me.  It actually made me a little nervous, since no one else was around.  I don’t really know the protocol on petting horses, or what they like and dislike.  I have him a scratch on the nose.  I think the mesh head piece he was wearing was like a horse version of sunglasses – to keep out the sun and the bugs – at least that is my best guess!

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And while he snacked on some grass, I gave him some rubs on his side.  It is amazing how BIG these animals are in person!  Would you believe I’ve never ridden a horse before?  I’ve been around them, but never actually on one.

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My friend wasn’t alone though – there were five beautiful horses roaming around and enjoying the green grass and sunshine.

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This pretty white one reminded me of a unicorn!

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And these funny spots made me think he was a cow at first glance…

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Is this really where I work?  SO cool!  I could have stayed down there all day just watching them.  I think big animals are so mysterious and powerful.  I plan on visiting them a lot this summer.  :)

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One of the perks of working on the farm this summer is getting to try all of the available organic produce.  Since I will be cooking dinner tomorrow for the owners, I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing with some of the available items.  Look what came home with me today…

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Beautiful red BEETS – straight out of the ground.  Very cool.

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Beets for dinner tonight!  I will be back later to show you how they turn out.  Day one = success.  Here’s hoping that the rest of this summer is just as fun!