• Accokeek Foundation

Decking the Stalls with Oats and Barley

by Polly Festa, Livestock Manager

As 2012 comes to a close I find myself reflecting on the past year. As always, when working with animals and the unpredictability of Mother Nature, there have been many ups and downs.


Polly finds time to play "dress up" in period clothing even when it's hot.

Polly finds time to play “dress up” in period clothing even when it’s hot.


The biggest down of the year was this summer’s drought, with its extreme heat. But both the animals and the staff came through it just fine. Only one case of heat stroke all year, leave it to the darn Yankee (yes that would be me) to think that there is no difference between 70 and 110 degrees. I have learned that the weather must be respected. This is not a new lesson, but one I seem to need a refresher in every once in a while.

There have been so many ups this year it is hard to pick which ones to talk about. The births, of course ,are on the top of the hit parade. I will never see too many baby calves or baby lambs. I love to sit by the pasture and watch the mommas with their little ones. To me there is nothing more calming or relaxing than that. (Come down to the farm this coming March and April; we have seventeen expecting mommas–nine cows and eight sheep.)


Kevin prepares Bliss for the County Fair.