Polyface Farm Summer Internship: Week 15

| 9/29/2014 9:24:00 AM

Monday, September 8th

This week, I was assigned to move broiler shelters. As I write these blogs, I feel like I’m always writing about moving the broilers, so if that seems to be the case and I’m being boring, I apologize. I like moving broilers though. The birds are comical and they love getting new grass, so now that I can actually move their living quarters without needing a Gatorade after, the process is pretty painless.

I spent most of the rest of the day with Eric, our apprentice manager, and fellow intern Brandon. First, we took a trailer load of piglets to one of Polyface’s rental farms to put them out into their first pig pasture. One of the fun parts about this assignment is that part of fulfilling your job responsibilities involves sticking around for a bit to watch the piglets to make sure they are settling in and are learning where the fences are. It was pretty gratifying (and amusing) to watch 50 piglets sprint around their new paddock through the tall grass. After lunch, we did the not so glamorous job of taking the Polyface trash and recycling to the town transfer station. Watching people throw out fully recyclable items into the trash bugs me... but such is life. We made up for those wasted recycling opportunities by stopping at an organ factory (the instrument, not body parts) and a local woodworking shop to pick up wood shavings they were looking to get rid of. We use the sawdust in the brooder and under some of the rabbit cages and these businesses are happy to have someone come and take it away.

Pastured Pigs

Tuesday, September 9th

After moving birds, I managed to get myself placed back on the Buying Club load up crew. I love Buying Club load up. It’s so fun. It has been really helpful for me to focus on it, as I’m now able to discern different cuts of meat based on what they look like (not all of them all the time, but I’m getting there) and am learning which items seem to be the most popular. The most memorable order from this Tuesday was someone who bought thirty-five bags of chicken wings, which came to about 56lbs. We were all wondering what one would need that many wings for, but we figured it was a football party or something like that.

We spent the afternoon working on the new portable irrigation system with Eric, mainly moving it to a different spot out in the field as you first enter Polyface’s driveway and hooking it up to a pump. We then went to one of the farm’s pig pastures and cleaned up the fence line with weed whackers and a chain saw. If the fence line gets too overgrown, the spark can be deadened or the wire can be dragged down and then there will be pigs everywhere. We haven’t had a mass breakout yet this season (knock on wood) and it would be nice to finish with a perfect record.

Wednesday, September 10th

I will not tell a lie. I badgered Daniel to let me go on the Buying Club run. Usually Richard, our intelligent and wonderful driver, does Buying Club runs by himself, but I really wanted to see how the drop offs went. Selling things is a strength of mine and I really enjoy it, and Buying Club has been the last remaining mystery of Polyface that I wanted to unlock.

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