You sure can learn a lot on a farm in just one week; and in this first week of our Four Corners experience I got a real taste of the incredible amount of hard work and dedication it takes to bring the very highest of quality farm goods from the pasture to your plate. My family and I have pursued local food now for several years and have read many books on farming but did not have an actual realization of the extent of work involved to run a local farm. My first day of processing broilers really brought this home to me. The day began at 4:45 a.m. and did not end till after 9:00 p.m., with still more to be done. Granted, it was not non-stop, but it was steady; it was not all back-breaking, but very involved and executed with the utmost care and precision.
Then there was Monday night… when we had to catch 100 or so new layers in a torrential downpour, in darkness, to get them under shelter for the night, and accustomed to their new home with the other layers. With good humor, Ian remarked that this isn’t in the farmer’s recruitment hand book, and that it’s no wonder as to why the industrial model of egg production is so widely used. That model has no place on Four Corners Farm where great products require great care. This is a hands on process, an intimate relationship between farmer, animal, and land, establishing a direct link for the consumer to the farm, bridging the gap and the filling the void left behind in the wake of conventional, distant farming practices.