The Fountain House Farm at High Point is a wonderful escape from the bustle of New York City. This summer Fountain House members made some great memories at our oasis in New Jersey. Through working with each other, planting, harvesting, caring for animals work to do they bonded and replenished their spirits. In between the early wake-up times and long summer days, members have also had plenty of time to relax and rowing at the lake, or inside reading, watching movies, and playing games.
Here are some of the more memorable activities of summer:
Building a Bridge
On an overnight stay at High Point with Kate and Bobbie, one group took care of stocking the barns and another waterproofed wood to build a small bridge by the lake. The next morning, Hayden and Anthony built a new bridge.
Saving a Canoe
Kate and Noelqui salvaged an escaping canoe on the verge of submerging into the waterfall. The successful mission meant that the members could go fishing with the new group that was arriving.
A cub makes a surpise apperance at the farm.
Wild Animal Sighting
Animals sightings aren't common in the city outside of the zoo, but this summer members have been greeted by the melodic singing of a red-breasted robin and also spotted rabbits, turkeys, butterflies, and deer. Young largemouth bass surrounded the pier at Keller Lake. One afternoon, Jacques, David and Tim arrived even spotted a female bear and three cubs by the dumpsters.
Swimming in the Lake
Chaitanya, Maria and Timothy enjoyed a refreshing swim at the lake with hopes of seeing a large turtle shell and otter that Maria had seen earlier or the beaver that Anthony claimed lived nearby, across the lake.
Planting and Harvesting Crops
There were a variety of crops on the farm and when it came to planting and harvesting, members were taught the ropes. They planted seeds and seedlings in the garden and used landscape fabric to conserve the moisture of the plants and prevent weed growth. When it was time, Kate, Bobbie, and Noelqui harvested 14.5 pounds of kale and snow peas. Chaitanya planted squash while Nelia harvested spinach and arugula.
Anthony guided Timothy and Maria as they hilled potatoes to help the crops grow strong. They covered the plants in a high top layer of soil and shovelled according to Anthony's instructions.
Happy posed with one of our llamas.
The sheep are always good company.
Taking Care of Animals
In addition to planting and harvesting, members took care of animals. The culinary unit cleaned out the chicken coops and fed the chickens, who Mario felt acted “like teenagers.” Members also cared for the sheep, alpacas, and llamas, who got along well with each other.
The heavy duty work of hilling gave Maria the confidence to work as a beekeeper. Noelqui and Kate were the resident Beekeepers, and Maria and Timothy assisted. They wore netted face masks to protect them from stinging and used a smoking device to harvest ten frames of honey covered in wax. Next, they removed the wax by holding the frame in place and slicing it with a serrated knife. While the honey melted in a large filter, they squeezed the honey through a smaller filter to extract as much honey as possible.
The First Softball Game
To celebrate the beginning of summer, Fountain House had its inaugural softball game. Members enjoyed the game, clear skies, and delicious food. Iris almost caught the ball and Andrew and Frank made a home run each. We are already looking forward to next year's game.