Wednesday, 4 June 2014
Farmer day—I got the “garden” planted—with basil, spinach, and lettuce. It’s so small that we’ll get max 10 plants of each! Kinda ho-hum, except that this planting rejuvenates The Botanist’s garden mound.
We also did once-removed farmering, visiting Spinner’s End Farm while the alpaca/llama shearers were there.
Four guys, each knew his job. They worked on two work spaces they had set up, alternating with balletic precision. Green Shirt is the head guy, doing the most delicate shearing, with the most junior fellow (it seemed to me) as his assistant—lots of head management for his helper. The second team did the wrangling (fetching and releasing), the foot management (front feet bound and stretched one direction; back feet the other—leaving the body-barrel poised for attention), the toenail trimming and shot (brain worms if I remember correctly), the teeth-grinding (special grinder for those lower front choppers), the cleanup trimming—I’m not sure whatall.
Interesting to watch—all four shearers knew their job and was so fluid at it. They had begun the shearing season somewhere in the south, working their way north across the Midwest, and from here were headed west in the next week or so toward Wyoming (or something).
There’s an unusual occupation for the income tax form: itinerant alpaca shearer. I wonder what they did for the rest of the year….