Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Talia meets a shovel

This is the only time I have ever been in a place where everyone immediately assumes I am capable. Capable of lifting heavy things, digging things, using power tools, holding animals, planting things, making fires etc.  When it comes to these things at home, either I pretend I can't do them or people just assume I can't. (I know I am about to cause offence but obviously I mean guys: this includes some friends and family - yes yes not all of you) 

In the last two days here is what I have done:

Expanded the goat fence
Shovelled mulch
Shovelled compost
Dug at the bottom of a hole
Filled in a hole
Used an electric drill
Used a hammer
Used a thing that looks like a hammer crossed with a shovel
Planted Gooseberries
Planted blueberries
Petted some goats
Fed chickens 
Labeled things
Wheel-barrowed mulch and compost
Dug things
Collected sugary water sap from Maple trees

Ate a lot of maple syrup

It looks like a long list of achievements (in fact I am feeling pride writing this) but it can pretty much be summed up by 'Moving Things with a Shovel'. 
I start at at 7 on Wednesdays and 8 on all other days (which is very reasonable!) 
The day starts with me moving the compost bins to the chicken coups. These compost bins are far too a. Tall and b. Heavy for me but it is just assumed I can do it so I at least try. 
I then shovel carbon (leaves) onto compost and let the chickens out to eat it. 
This is usually followed by shovelling some dirt because I need to dig a hole for something or fill in some previously dug hole. There is a few hours of this punctured with some hammering or drilling. 
Then I have an hour for lunch where I shakily ride my bike up the road to someones house. 
The afternoon usually consists of carrying large buckets of water and pouring it on holes I have already shovelled. Then I probably need to shovel some mulch into a wheel barrow.  I also might have to move some big pieces of wood to somewhere else. 
During none of these activities does anyone (Shamu or Aaron are the people mainly I work with) stop to say 'you carry the lighter one' or patronise me with comments like 'let me take that for you' or 'I can finish this up, you do the hosing'.  If they ever say 'I can takeover' it never feels patronising because they say it to each other just as much as they say it to me.  I have never felt so equal or capable anywhere or at anytime. I have not once had to use my carefully cultivated air of 'damsel in distress' helplessness I so often employ in London - it wouldn't work here anyway.  

p.s. My shoulders and back have died and gone to back hell. I am hoping they strengthen because I have to clean out the whole goat area in two weeks. 

A hole that is my height - I only dug the last bit where I was inside the hole on my knees digging with my hands. Obviously the hole is tiny so it went all over my hair, in my ears, up my arms etc.

WHAT HOLE? Did I just fill in a hole my height with super heavy dirt and stones? With a shovel my height?

Maple syrup

goats that are really cute

A baby goat born two days ago which I hold all the time and licks me


  1. This opens many new opportunities for halacha le masse,. For example bor be reshut harabim. And loads of agricultural laws not normally encountered in GG. Dad

  2. Keep shovelling! I'm weirdly jealous of this... Even the baby goat part and I usually think goats are terrifying. Let's skype this weekend!! Xx

    1. I also thought goats were horrendous and sneaky - I am pretty sure I was thinking of another animal though.... these are AMAZING!

  3. I'm literally green with envy. Bright green. Neon green. The greenest of all green colours....

  4. ahhh so glad you are giving regular updates because I was wondering last night how you were getting on! Love the new house of beth blog layouts. Seems incredibly tough/ empowering digging holes!! And getting so involved with mud. The goats are super cute. Shabbos is soon so hopefully you'll get a chance to rest your muscles for a bit!

  5. When you come back home you'll be looking like the hulk and attempting to dig holes in your sleep!