Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I moved into the farmhouse today.

I sit now at the kitchen table, writing in my journal, which I'll transfer to my laptop computer and the Internet later.

This house has been lived in by generations of interns before me. I'll have it to myself for the next seven days. In one week another intern starts – a former computer programmer from New Jersey, I'm told – and a few weeks after that a farmer from Nepal is to join us.

I am glad to be here first. It gives me a chance to snoop without boundary, and I'm also happy to observe that I have landed in the best bedroom (and by best I mean warmest.) The second bedroom in the house is both smaller and colder, and the third bedroom, while larger, is a floor higher and coldest of all. I'll take the heat.

My room and the rest of the upstairs is strewn debris, as if this were a grungy frat house at a farming college – with layers of relics left behind by past inhabitants. I plan to push back against the mess, but first I thought I'd document some of it:

-Two exciting posters on my wall: "The Evolution of Agriculture," and "The History of Farm Implements."

-On a large mirror, a message written in permanent marker: "Scream Vodooo!!"

-On top of some drawers: A camouflaged bag with a long zipper, perfectly sized to hold a rifle, and a large piece of black cloth on which is printed a colorful scene of four karate masters jumping and kicking one another.

-On the floor: A well-worn soccer ball.

The room attached to my room is a common area with a couch and a TV and bookshelves. On inspection, the shelves are dominated by classic tomes of agricultural wisdom, such as "Genetics of Livestock Improvement," "The Finest Fowl," and "Leather as Art and Craft." There are old CDs scattered everywhere, and old VHS cassettes tapes, too. Judging by its proximity to the VCR, the last tape watched was, "Scooby Doo and the Alien Invaders."

I'm hungry and tired, so that's all for today. But first one more list. Concerning free food, I was told this morning that I have access to all of the following:

-A practically unlimited supply of fresh farm eggs.

-A practically unlimited supply of potatoes, as long as I eat them within a month, after which they will start to get soft and disgusting.

-A large cabinet full of jarred tomatoes and tomato sauce, canned sometime last year.

-A large bag of frozen pesto.

-A heaping sack of dried black beans.

So far, I'm most excited about the sauce, with the eggs a close second.