My very first memories of Left Foot Farm feel like a dream still. My best friend Nina and I arrived all the way from Maryland late one night. We had been eagerly waiting for this moment for months. The first drive down the dark gravel road was so long and we had no idea what or who to expect when we showed up. That night the entire farm remained blanketed in shadows and mystery as we unpacked and fell into our beds exhausted from an entire day of moving our lives to the west coast.
The next few days were jam-packed with learning all the different duties for each type of shift, the names of our new farm family members, where the food was located, how to operate netflix, and where the closest walmart was. A month and a half later, Left Foot feels just like home and I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.
It’s been such a pleasure getting to know the goats on the farm as well. Everyone develops favorites over time and it’s interesting to hear which goats are the wwoofer’s most cherished. I love all of them of course, but the goats I love the most know their name, and they know when it’s time for an udder shave or hoof trim. They come trotting over to their designated stanchions knowing that a few handfuls of grain are in order if they behave. I love the goats who rub their heads against your legs with the simple desire to be petted. Once the petting is sufficient, they mosey about to munch on some grass and stare off into the distance, perhaps at the gorgeous Mt. Rainer peeking over the trees to the East. I love the goats with the striking baby blue eyes like Dallas and Delphinium. Maybe it’s because my eyes are blue as well and I can relate. I love Hyacinth’s chubby goat cheeks, Daphne’s extra long leg hair, Ruby Two’s symmetrical waddles, and all the floppy velveteen ears on our Nubian goats. I love the goats who don’t go after the grain the second they’re released from their stanchions in the milking parlor. I also love the new decoy “bucket-of-grain” we set near the door to trick the smart ones into exiting faster. I love a high pitched “meeeeeeeehhh” and a low toned “maaauuuhhhhhhh.” All the sounds on the farm are just so beautiful.
Tonight when I stepped out of the gathering room, I could hear a herd of elk squeaking and screeching across the road on our property. I could even hear their horns clashing as they battle each other less than 200 yards away. Our dogs barking in the pasture comforts me because I know that they’re keeping the coyotes calling from a distance. The thunderous footsteps of the pigs as they rush over to eat dinner sounds exactly like the chickens did, only louder and with squeals and snorts instead of clucks. I love the soft quacking of our 36 ducks which slowly increases in volume as you open the back door to Duck Mansion and release them into their pasture in the early AM hours. I also love gobbling at the turkeys because it always makes them gobble right back!
As I write this, I am savoring an amazing pumpkin ice cream freshly made by one of my farm family members Kendall, and it is the best thing ever. Although we are not your traditional family, I know I am at right at home with my loving farm fam composed of the most amazing collection of humans, goats, dogs, cats, pigs, ducks, chickens, turkeys, and rabbits that there ever were.