Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Farm Olympics

The sun has really kicked it up a notch. We went from a pleasant mid-80s on Friday to a blistering mid-90's on Sunday. A little bit of sun didn't stop me from celebrating the 4 of July, farmer style! A bunch of farm interns from around the Hudson Valley area gathered at Phillies Bridge Farm, in New Paltz, Ny, for Farm Olympics.

Our host, Anne, had several "events" planned. The first event was to catch as many chickens as possible in two minutes. We could grab their legs or pick them up by the wings. We were instructed not to scare them too much so they could still lay eggs the next day. One person from each farm team stepped over the fence into the chicken yard. I volunteered to go, feeling rather confident after all the chickens I caught for our chicken processing a few weeks ago.

These beautiful Light Brahma chickens had no idea what was about to go down. Anne shouted go and we ran around chasing after the chickens. I was slipping and sliding all over the place in my flip flops as I ran round in circles. My technique involved cornering them and picking them up. I managed to get ten in total. The winning team got 11, only because a rooster is worth 3 points and they picked up two. I, on the other hand, avoided the roosters at all cost. Seeing as how I am afraid of our roosters, I wasn't about to have my ass handed to me in front of an audience.

Next came the pitch fork toss. The goal was to throw the pitch fork as far as possible but it had to stick into the ground. It was much harder than it looked. After three groups tried and failed to stick the pitch fork into the ground my team tried and purposefully through it short so it stuck in the ground. We thought we were pretty clever and had it in the bag until another team out shot us.

After the toss came the relay race. One team member hopped to the make shift finish line, a piece of hose, in a potato sack handed the baton, a cardboard paper towel roll, to the next team mate who ran to the cast iron sink and bobbed for beets. After securing a beet the team mate ran to the field for transplanting. Two people were allowed to transplant a flat of rutabaga 12 inches apart. Dayna dug the holes and I placed and covered the plant. Unfortunately, we were dead last in this area, rather embarrassing. In my defense I was being very thorough and delicate with them. We didn't even get to complete the last leg of the relay, running with an egg on a spoon, because I was still transplanting.

The fourth event was to decide was a competition of which farm has the largest vegetable. One farm brought out the big zucchini, but we brought out a large lemon cucumber and head of soft neck garlic. I think we got points for originality.

Fifth event involved interns lining up and showing off their farmer tan and the audience voting for the best, or worst depending on how you look at it. One guy had major below the bicep tan, one girl had the ultimate sock tan, and another guy had what he called the "oreo", dark on bottom, light in the middle, dark on top. I am really not quite sure how he farms but I am guessing it involves a Speedo.

The last event involved sharing intern horror stories. One guy cut his head open with a post pounder and had cell phone pictures to prove it. Dayna, had a scar on her forearm from a third degree burn she got from a water pump. The post pounder guy obviously won.

The winning farm, not us, won a beet on a necklace. The golden beet! The host farm won the Olympics. Some interns, in jest, cried foul play. We were all gracious winners and losers and after the games we shared a lovely potluck meal.

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