Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Visit to Avery's Branch Farm

The sunrise over some of the farm's outbuildings

Hey guys! How's everybody doing? It's Sunday night and I am finally getting a chance to slow down and think about my weekend. I got back last night from spending a few days with the Alexander family at their farm in Amelia. I thought that I'd post a quick run-down of the time that we had; along with a few pictures that I grabbed from my video. So here it goes:) I left my house on Thursday in my trusty old Subaru with map-quested directions in hand and my stuff in the back seat. It was rainy and gray out; but I had a fresh load of songs on my mp3 player and expected to enjoy the drive. After stopping for some lunch on Rt.460, I finished the rest of the drive in one chunk and was blessed to see the full beauty of fall as I got farther and north and west. When I got to the Alexander's, their dog Sammy greeted me as I made my way up to the house. Mrs. Alexander welcomed me into the house and called Elliott and Oliver in from the barn. They toured me all around the place and it is a really nice set-up. [If I'm correct, it was a fairly large dairy operation at one time.] After the tour, it was time for the evening chores. They showed me the ropes [and guys, I hope I didn't come off too, too, naive:), and I got to see the typical drill.

Milking time

We had a great dinner and played a card game until bedtime. We woke up at 5:00 the next morning to what sounded like a orchestral fanfare and scared me half to death:) Elliott took pity on me and gave me some coffee to help me finish waking up:) It was actually really cool to be doing a bunch of stuff outside before there was any hint of light in the sky.[seeing as I hardly ever do that]. I got to help with the chickens a good bit [which was neat because it was kind of like the stuff we do for ours- though on a much larger scale and with many improvements]. Speaking of improvements, I took away some really good ideas for waterers and double-checked a feeder design for our chickens. [Thanks guys!]. Oh! Right here I have to mention the attack turkeys. I'm sure it was quite amusing for my hosts, but every time I went to feed the turkeys, they all surrounded me and pecked and herded me to their feeder. I've never seen The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock, but it seemed like this might be pretty close.

The Attack Turkeys-go on, laugh, they're alot fiercer than they look!

For the rest of Fri. we processed 112 chickens and got really cold. Mr. and Mrs. Alexander left [to go deliver milk I think], and us boys made dinner. It was the ideal meal for workers that are tired and wet and cold: ham steaks, chicken tenders, and pork sausage. Actually, Oliver made dinner while Elliott and I sat out on the porch with him while he grilled it all up. The rest of the family patiently waited for our masterpiece:) and we all had an excellent [though maybe a little late] dinner. That night we played Balderdash once Mr. and Mrs. Alexander had returned. Mr. Alexander won, and we got ready to go upstairs. Right them we had a scare because Elliott had what turned out to be a seizure. He had to go to the hospital and didn't get back until 6:30 in the morning. Thankfully he was feeling much better on Saturday after Oliver and I came in from doing the morning chores.[It was good to see you back to more of yourself Elliott, and you're definatley in our prayers]. For the rest of Sat. we didn't really have any pressing thing to do, so we went upstairs and played our instruments for a little while. For the last bit of the afternoon, we looked at some Ray Comfort and Tim Hawkins videos on the computer. I headed out after saying goodbye to everyone and being sent off with some farm's wares to take home.[Thank you all very much, we made the best hot chocolate today with some of the milk!] I had a great trip home and was reunited with my family and sisters who had just gotten back from camp. All in all, I had a wonderful and blessed time [although there was plenty of excitement]. Thanks to the Alexander family for having me out, and I hope to see you all soon!

O.K., I better get going, but here's some other pictures for you:

Here's the barn and cow stalls,

Here's the cows in the stalls,

Here's Oliver outside of one of the hoop houses,

And last but not least, here's little Miss Sheridan with the pillow that she named after me. She calls it her "children":) Can you see the resemblance to me? :)

Goodbye everyone, and have a good week!


  1. Hey, I'm glad you had a good time with the Alexanders. I'm sure they appreciated the help. Oh, by the way, don't ever watch "The Birds"! It is terrible, not to mention really creepy!

  2. Hi Daniel!
    It looks like you had a great time!
    Sorry to miss church:(

  3. hahaha! "attack turkeys" made me laugh.


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