Farm Day 1: Where Manure Comes From

By Perrin

Sarah and I with our preferred manure manufacturer

Sue and Richard, the owners of the farm, are British ex-pats who now govern over forty-five horses, eight chickens, three geese, three wolf dogs, one goat and one pregnant mutt (containing up to six puppies). This nontraditional family presides over 100 acres of vegetation.

The first task with which Sue and Richard presented us was “morning duties” with the horses. Duty is right. Of the fourteen stallions now in our care, over half do their duty all over their stalls. We’re talking wall-to-wall carpeting. One horse, whom previous wwoofers nicknamed “Shit Head,” likes to throw his water bucket around the stall such that he is ankle-deep in urine, feces and water. It’s like a kiddy pool without the chlorine. Our job is to shovel out these stalls.

After we are done mucking each stall, we emerge proudly with our prizes: wheel barrows of dung. These are to be wheeled up a plank to the peak of a pile of “manure” the size of an American house. If anything is going to resolve my clumsiness, it is balancing on an unsteady, nine-inch wide wooden plank while carting a ton of shit (literally).

Morning balancing exercise. Think a farm-inspired gym would be a hit in NYC?

Another challenge is controlling the animals themselves. The first time we were left alone, we opened a stall and were immediately trampled by a giant white steed. The wolf dogs went wild, jumping three feet off the ground and howling like Pavarotti. The goat was jumping too. “Everyone, stop talking!” Sarah yelled. I managed to lock myself in the stall where the horse should have been. Luckily, senior wwoofer Sarah Leonhardt of Germany, who is much better with animals, appeared and captured Camparo with no trouble at all.

Oddly enough, after doing this for a few days, we have grown attached to the horses. They’re beautiful and frequently friendly. Plus, when the day comes, diapers will be a breeze.

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About sistersbailey

We are Perrin and Sarah Bailey, collectively known as “The Sisters Bailey”. The moniker was born out of a crazy weekend at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz Fest and it was the first time we had ever been referred to as one unit. We grew up in Alexandria, VA together and then separated for college - Perrin to The University of Pennsylvania and Sarah to Northwestern University – and somehow landed together in New York after graduation. It was in the midst of the hustle of Manhattan that we became friends for the first time in years. Somehow we landed jobs in the same industry - Sarah worked in marketing at HBO and Perrin managed creative digital promotions for her media agency’s main client, Disney - just three blocks from one another. One day we decided to leave our jobs, sell our belongings and travel abroad with a backpack and a collective savings of $10K. The stories of our continuing adventures and those of other fearless travelers are here to inspire you.
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