In Hudson Florida, along the Gulf Coast, there is an organic farm. The vegetables are grown in raised beds on top of the sand. The soil is all made through composting organic matter.
In the Winter of 2015 I spent six weeks at LifeGlow Organic Farm. I joined World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms and was able to read all about the work they were doing. I contacted Sergio and Sarah, the farm owners, and was invited to volunteer.
Over the following weeks I learned to care for their animals. I was greeted at the gate each morning by Cocoa, one of the horses. He knew when he would be fed and patiently waited for me. There was also the other horse Stella, who would runs laps every sunset across the eight acre sanctuary. The two horses were rescued at auction. They were former race horses who aged out of the profession and were unwanted. Thankfully Sergio and Sarah created a good home for them. There were six cows and the enormous bull, Red. The numerous potbelly and heritage breed pigs, the chickens and roosters, and rabbits, and goats. My favorite characters in the barnyard were Vinnie (a.k.a. Vincent vanGoat) and Chickie, the rooster who lived with the bunnies.
When I first fed the goats there was one male goat that would not leave me alone. He would butt into me and latch my leg with his horns. I was nervous to get near him or turn my back on him, afraid he would ram me and knock me over. I wanted nothing to do with him…that is until I learned that he just wanted to play. He was the only male and had no one to “kid around” with. So I learned to gently play with him and to scratch his head between his horns. We soon got along just fine and I was happy to see him in the morning. Chickie was another story. He had been raised from a chick inside. He was nursed to health after being abandoned from the nest. His gender unknown before he began to grow. Once he was big enough to be assimilated outdoors with the other fowl we brought him to his harem. But he was afraid. He flew up onto my shoulder as the other chickens swarmed around him. We took him to safety and decided to try to incorporate him with the second set of chickens but to no avail. They rejected him as well. Unsure of where to house him, we set him in the bunny pen. They gave him his space. Later that night me and the other volunteers were sitting on the lenai and we heard a sound above us. It was Chickie roosting above the pool, we laughed hysterically. Chickie wanted to be by the humans. The next morning we brought him back to the bunnies and that night he roosted over their pen. He was settled in his new home.
I had a wonderful experience learning about the animals with Jeff. He worked full-time at the farm caring for them. Jeff was a charismatic Vietnam Vet who discovered a sanctuary at LifeGlow Farm.