A Day in the Life: Farm Dog Edition

There is frost on the ground and it is feeling like winter at the Well Fed Community Garden! But the activity does not slow down here; there is always work to be done. As always, we start by feeding the chickens. As the farm dog, I keep a very close eye on our coop to make sure that they stay safe.This could be my full-time job but there are more morning chores to get to.

Next stop is the greenhouse. In this cold weather we give the plants a little more insulation and heat to keep them healthy, and every morning we open up the greenhouses to let some fresh air in and we water the plants and check on our hydroponic lettuce.

Farmer Janette and her new puppy, Theo

We value teamwork, so today I showed puppy Theo how to help our produce assistant, Janette, take care of things in the greenhouse.

After that the morning chores are done and we move on to harvest!The cold weather means we’re growing lots of greens, such as arugula, kale, and our mustard mix. We need to be efficient when harvesting, but we also have to take our time enough to make sure we are thorough in every step. Greens can be delicate, our team is careful to not damage the leaves as we work, and we are meticulous about our sanitation practices while we clean and package the produce.

I like to keep a close eye on things just to make sure everything is done correctly.

After we finish with harvest there are always a number of tasks that need to get done. On any given day we might be planting, weeding, pruning, building a new compost fence, checking for caterpillars, and more.

Today we’re prepping beds for planting. We always add compost to our fields before we sow the seeds to increase the nutrient content in the soil. We try to keep things growing at all time, not only to increase our production, but also to have roots in the ground to prevent the soil from eroding and to feed the soil microorganisms. That means that all year long we are constantly turning our beds over from one crop (or cover crop) to another.

After planting we are done for the morning and it is time for lunch. There’s more work in the fields to do this afternoon but I usually need to use that time to keep the squirrels out of the farm.

About the blogger:

Bella Pepper Malone has been the full-time farm dog at the Well Fed Community Garden since August 2016. Her main focus is pest control but she also helps with quality assurance and community engagement. Her favorite treat from the garden is sweet potatoes.