It was an email in late March that set the stage for an all-out master cleanse of the barn.
Two brits, Matt and Will came all the the way from the England to become our first major volunteers on the farm.
Last year, we had posted our farm as a host site on WorkAway and that’s how Matt and Will contacted us.
Their plans are to do a 6-month tour of the USA and New York is their starting and ending route.
Having two strapping young lads on the farm for 9 days, it was a good time to tackle the barn and begin to restore E.V. Baker’s start-of-the-art gem of Willsboro.
After a day or so of cleaning up around the pole barn and gathering up garbage inside the stalls, I rented a mini skid steer from Taylor Rental for the weekend to clean out the stalls and floor.
We took turns operating the skid steer and after a while developed a good rhythm working from the back to the front.
Even Kimmy got to ride it!
Two days later and with some severely sore backs, the barn was 95% of the way mucked out.
Now that’s a big pile of compost.
There were some spots where cows must have been depositing layer upon layer of their natural fertilizer and hay
These stalls proved to be wet and too heavy for our little skid steer to lift.
We ended to trying to get the dry top layer off with a pitchfork so that the heavy, wet matted layers underneath could dry out.
Both Will and Matt are university trained woodworkers and they built a sink cabinet for the tiny house.
On the left-hand side they added a relief carving of Lake Champlain.
For the remaining few days we did some odd jobs together and they helped me move a bunch of stuff out of the garage into the barn.
As part of WorkAway guidelines, volunteers work 5-6 hours per day, 5 days a week and get room and board in exchange.
We took the last two days off together and explored the Adirondacks and the Vermont side of Champlain Valley.
Matt and Will were awesome and we wish them well on their journey exploring America!