Living experience on a raw food farm – Day 26

Day 26 1/7/05

Tired, super tired, sore. Super tired and sore, super sore, sore.
I woke up earlier, not necessarily early this morning. 6:00 am, we had to have a lot of packages out by 10:30. I had to get up earlier.

I got out there, it was still dark. Peter was already in the barn cleaning the gutters (which is really a two man job) by himself. Every time I see him I always say, “HHHHHEEEEEEYYYYYYY!!!!” ... really loud and excitable. He likes it. He smiles and says, “HEY!” back.

I help him clean the gutters. He puts the shovel in the gutters, lifts up the poop and starts pushing. I have a piece of hay-bale string, tied around the shovel. I grab both ends of the string, wrap them around my hands and elbows and walk backwards. Poop is heavy! I have to put my back into it. The ground is sometimes slippery with urine and poop, I have to watch my step.

We start talking about different things. He says they might stop having the Organic Valley milk truck come to his farm, they are able to use enough of it for marketing directly to the public. That makes him happy. He says he really enjoys what he’s doing and they’re starting to make better money doing it. He says that he’s happy that he can make money doing what helps people. He says, “It’s really hard to pay off the farm.” They are barely paying back the interest right now. He says he can’t wait till he has the farm paid off so he can just worry about making good products(1).

He said that he’s going to miss me... that it won’t be the same without me there. It really touched my heart. I told him that he needs to come visit me in California. He smiled at that. He said he hasn’t had a vacation in years. He has never seen the beach to the ocean before. I don’t think he knows what a dolphin is. I’d love to show him what a dolphin is. I’d love to win the lottery so I can pay off their farm and have them be able to produce grass-fed Jersey milk and meat for me for the rest of my life. They are really good people.

We finished the cows, I ran over to where Albert was and began getting packages ready. I took a heaping tablespoon of high vitamin butter oil mixed with cod liver oil. I got a huge rush or energy and was bouncing around. The work was easy. We were late getting the packages out. The driver was getting impatient. Albert could sense this and felt bad. He tried to joke with him. Albert was packing an oxtail. He took it over to the driver and said, “Do you know what this is?” Driver said, “I can guess.” Albert started laughing and said, “I know what you think it is, you think it’s a penis!” It was really, extremely, funny to hear Albert say that at that time. I kept laughing as I was cutting the cheese. We finished the packing. I bottled some whey and went into the kitchen.

I was talking with Elizabeth and Naomi (Yomo). Elizabeth said, “I heard you’re on a diet, who told me you’re on a diet?” Naomi asked if I was on the Aajonus raw food diet. I felt ashamed for some reason and I kind of brushed it off. I had to break down ten chickens into boneless and skinless parts. These were the same chickens that I caught, killed and gutted. Now I’m doing the final thing. I was sick and tired of chickens. I wanted to quit when I found out I had to do ten of them. I originally thought I only had to do four. Naomi showed me how to break the chicken into parts and cut the meat off. She said she used to work at a market. She’s really good and fast at that. She asked me what Aajonus’s diet was while were chatting. I told her it’s a lot of raw meat. She didn’t really say anything. I was eating a couple pieces of the raw chicken. I offered her some. She said, “No.” It didn’t really have a particular taste at all. I ate it and felt really charged and energized. I got really good at cutting the chickens up.

Before I did the chickens, I played Naomi in Ping-Pong. She’s pretty good. She’s aggressive and impatient. She’s a red-head, she has a lot of fire in her. I was beating her and then started going easy on her near the end. She then beat me. I won 3 or 4 and she won 2 or 1. I played George next. He beat me 4 games to 1. I started beating him with this killer new serve I had. It bounced once on his side then would bounce diagonally. He was never prepared for it and I got him every time. I then used it so much, he caught on and then it didn’t work anymore.

We had to chase pigs today. The smaller pigs were getting too big and needed to be moved under the chicken house with the bigger pigs. Chasing pigs is extremely difficult. They ran fast and if we tried to herd them one way they would go right around us. Good thing I ate that raw chicken, it gave me the energy I needed to chase them. Pigs are like the corvettes of the barn animal world; low to the ground, fast and able to make sharp turns. We had to yell stuff like, “HHHEEEYYY!” and “YAAAHHH!” and “GETTA’ IN THERE!” really loud and in deep, scary, scratchy voices so they would go where we wanted them to. One pig wouldn’t come in. We chased him all over the property. I dived and tried to get him, I missed but I touched him. We finally got him in.

Albert was acting kind of weird towards me. Not talking or smiling too much. We went right into the barn after that. He was still acting weird. I had been suspecting it was the raw meat thing. I brought it up half-jokingly if he told Naomi and Elizabeth if I was doing the “Aajonus Diet”. He kind of laughed and slightly denied it. He then admitted it and touched me on my chest like when someone touches me on my shoulder. It felt like a caring touch. He was kind of looking down, sometimes smiled. I told him I wasn’t on his diet, I was just trying it for a day or two. He said that it was fine and it was okay for me to try that if I wanted to. It didn’t seem like he really meant it. I told him I want to cook for people to make them feel better. I said Aajonus cured himself of cancer and other diseases that he attributes towards eating raw meat. I told him I need to experience every diet so then if I need to cook for someone who is sick, I can help them. He understood that and said that it made sense. I said that people thought I was going to get sick that it was gross to drink raw milk, but now I know that raw dairy is healing because I have tried it. I would have liked to have experimented more diet-wise being here; his farm is definitely the place to do it. I don’t know if raw meat conflicts with his religious ideals or what. I could tell it made him uncomfortable. I didn’t want that to happen. When I brought it up, he said it was kind of funny that I decided to switch from Sally to Aajonus all of a sudden. He was laughing though. I believe everything is okay now.

We were sweeping up the rest of the hay when Peter came and said there was someone to see Albert. He was a tall English (non-Amish) guy. Albert told me to go finish sweeping the hay. I started sweeping. I tried to listen in on the conversation. I heard things like “equity”, “I know you like raw milk but…”, “You’ve had your fun…”, “Bacteria…” “You guys are on thin ice.” He said that twice. Albert and Peter didn’t seem too happy. They finished talking and he left. Albert wasn’t talking much. I asked him a couple minutes later who that guy. He said, “He used to be the old organic certifier for Peter.” I asked him, “What he was there for, to say hi?” Albert said, “Yes.”

We had to chase the six new Jerseys into their stalls. It was very difficult. It was their first time in a new barn. We had to fight to get them into their stalls. Once they were in the stalls, they didn’t know how to stand in there correctly. They would stand in the gutter and kick at me if I got too close. It felt like prison almost, and they were the new inmates. I could imagine the Holsteins yelling, “FIIISSSHHH!!, FIIISSSSHHH!!” It was funny. One Jersey would not go in, we kept fighting her. We would get her in the stall and she would then bust out and make a break for it. I would grab her chain as she came running by. I tried to slow her down and grab her neck like they do in rodeos. I didn’t slow her down at all. I was being dragged really fast and almost got slammed into other cows a couple of times. I felt like I was playing football and I tackled someone and they were dragging me towards the goal line. It was fun though. Albert was a man. He grabbed the Jersey’s tail and was twisting it to try to get her in the stall. I was too afraid to get kicked. He was a super farmer man. He was right up against the butt of the cow grabbing and pushing and yelling. He was very brave. That’s what a man is, someone who wrestles cows for a living.

For breakfast I had raw veal cubes, eggnog and cheddar cheese. Lunch was a hodge-podge of sour creams ( piima, crème fraiche and sour) and raw chicken.

1. It is very difficult for an Amish farmer to make enough money to support himself. Albert says that Organic Valley would pay him $22 for a hundred weight of milk (100 lbs). 100 lbs. is about 8 gallons ($2.75 a gallon).
Albert has 3 options.
1. If Albert feeds the cows mostly grain, they will produce 3-4 gallons a day.
2. Mostly grass with a little bit of grain, will be closer to 3 gallons.
3. If he feeds them only grass and hay, they will only produce 2-3 gallons a day. Albert has 50 cows.
Option 1: He makes between $562-$750. Option 2: Around $562. Option 3: Around $375.
As you can see, financially it makes far more sense to produce an unhealthier, grain-fed milk instead of a healthier part grain/part grass or grass only. Another note, once he pays for the cow feed, electricity and the hundreds of other miscellaneous things it takes to run a farm, he is making a very small profit. It is no wonder most family farmers never get out of debt and end up having to sell their farms.

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