Monday, July 29, 2013

Celebrating a donkeys 30th bday and other news.


My husband is one tough looking dude lots of tattoos bald head big beard but the thing you probably wouldn't realize in looking at him that he has one of the softest hearts around. Now don't get me wrong he turns into "captain asshole" on a dime but most of the times he is a big softy. Case in point I got a text on Friday from him saying lets play hooky from market tomorrow and instead drive up to Shelburne Farms its their donkey Dudley's 30th bday and they are having a party. Now my first instinct was of course to say no I am a gigantic rule follower but then I checked out the website and realized that not only was it the very cute donkeys bday but it was a day celebrating draft power. Now that's my cup of tea! So off the Vermont we went what a beautiful day for a beautiful drive here are a few pics.
not kidding really had a bday party for a donkey but hey hes 30th that's no small feat!
Birthday boy getting some well deserved scratches
great team discing away

Now why was I willing to bend the rules and skip market? Truthfully because I didn't have a hell of a lot to bring and I figured by taking a break for a week if would give everything a chance to grow. Good news looks like my plan worked and this week we should welcome beets beans and potatoes to our little offering and maybe just maybe I wont want to hide under the table like a little kid embarrassed by what they brought to show and tell.

I'm glad we went I love love love Shelburne Farms if you are from the area go and if you aren't next time you are remotely in the area go its absolutely lovely and they make some damn good cheese to boot. Tommy just keep shaking his head at me every time I ran back to him like a little kid and said babe babe guess what they are going to plow now and off I dashed with my camera to take too many pictures then back again babe babe they are going to disc now omg I am so excited. I am afraid my husband was looking at me like it was time to go to the booby hatch but what can I say I love farming I love watching people farm and even better maybe the best ever I love watching horses farm. What a great day it was.

P.S. the cake for Dudley was carrot cake (of course).

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hoping things get better while waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Sounds like a waste of time right? Hoping against hope that things start to grow nice and strong while worrying about what is going to go wrong. Or maybe once again that is just one more parallel between life and farming. The sun is finally out and now I fear a drought. No real reason I fear it wont rain again I guess I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop. The sun is finally out things are starting to grow but I am getting paranoid about bugs again waiting for the other shoe to drop. This is a pins and needles kind of season. Its so ironic two years ago when I first started I was planning on getting to market but because of the epic flood of spring 2011 we didn't make it but things grew that year better for me than they have had since. I guess we can chalk it up to beginners luck I wasn't worrying about flea beetles cucumber beetles squash bugs powdery mildew or any of it. Why wasn't I worried because friends I was the epitome of ignorance is bliss. I didn't know so I didn't worry where they out there probably did they ruin my little world? no. 

So as I did my tour of the "field" aka my back yard to see what I would have ready for market this weekend and realizing that again it wouldn't be much maybe a few bags of salad mix some zucchini a few cucumbers a broccoli and I started to panic feeling like I messed up again and when if ever was I going to  get my shit together I took a deep breath and realized I did have my shit together and it wasn't my fault if the sun didn't come out in June. So I grabbed a glass of wine and jumped in the pool for a moment or two of relaxation and while I was standing there a huge beautiful heron flew about 20 feet over me and I just called out "hey beautiful good journey" what a beautiful thing he was I am taking it as a good omen why not he could have crapped on my head but wait isn't that a good omen too?

So hoping against hope the things I have growing that are almost ready will pop the beans look amazing and so do the potatoes and the tomatoes are right behind them. Frankly I was embarrassed at market last week I even became paranoid that the market manager who is my secret mentor was disappointed in me. I tried not to take it to heart and chalked it up to my own paranoia. I even envisioned her moving me to some discreet part of the market where I wouldn't embarrass anyone. I just realized how many times I say hoping against hope in writing about our little venture man I guess it says it all.

Happy growing everyone!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Raining again looking for approval and trying not to give up.

When I started this small micro-farm I knew it was going to be hard I knew there would be times when I would feel like giving up now is one of those times. The rain has been relentless and the small amount of machinery we use keeps failing us my hands are so stiff from weeding the joints in my fingers are becoming disfigured and I feel like we are falling further and further behind although I have never worked harder in my life. I am trying not to feel sorry for myself and I am trying even harder not to congratulate myself on how hard I am working.

Funny even at my advanced age of 43 I still find myself looking for approval. One night at dinner I was trying to hint to my dad just how HARD I was working and just how PROUD he should be of me. Do you know what he said to me? He said look at it this way if you weren't doing what you are doing you would probably be 20 pounds heavier than you are now. Not exactly the praise I was looking for but our family doesn't really do that. Hard work is to be expected and handled not fawned over. But sometimes even if you know your not going to get the approval you are craving it doesn't stop you from trying. Some lessons never learned I guess. Nothing is more annoying than trying to point out to people how wonderful you are. Ha I am only kidding and yes I am more than aware that I am being juvenile. I hate when you know you are being a baby but cant stop yourself. One of the cool things about being 43 is although I have come a long way human being wise I still have a way to go. Looking for the meaningful life if you know what I mean.

The real problem is how can you complain about something you don't really have to do that you want to do because it makes you happy? You cant can you? So even though I am sitting at my desk job and can barely hold a pen my hands hurt so much and I have mosquito bites over 75% of my body and I am so overwhelmed with being behind I have to keep telling myself that this was your idea and nobody else's so you better get it together and stop whining. And no you are not going to go home after work and go straight to bed and bury you head under the covers you are going to go out to the yard dig by hand if necessary and get the stupid crops in the ground. End of story. And yes I am talking to myself (again).

Wish me luck I think I need it.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Remembering our good and noble fight against Tyranny and waging a war of my own.

Happy 4th. I like this holiday this day of celebrating  I like when you really think about what we should be celebrating brave people standing up for themselves and their beliefs and telling big brother to go fuck themselves. I like that I like that a lot. I am lucky I am sitting on my couch in my house that has special ties to the war for independence. My house was built in 1775 and on a day like today the feeling of history is almost tangible. I was kind of missing that today until my friend Missy reminded me in her blog post today. I'm EB by the way dont know if I have ever introduced myself.

My house now the Hudson and the dredging in the background.
So far today I have waged a battle all my own not against tyranny well maybe but the tyranny of weeds. Man weeds what can you say I only wish that my plants grew like they do. You almost have to admire their tenacious ability to survive. You can admire something you dislike right? I have kept up so far weeding between and around plants but without our tiller the weeds in the paths were approaching waste high levels. So I drank a strong cup of coffee this morning and went out to do battle. I managed to weed the lettuce the chard and the beets but my hands are starting to show signs of damage from all this weeding and I knew that I was not going to be able to handle weeding 10 or so more rows so instead we decided to weed whack them. Oh it worked so well and this way the plants get air and sun but I am not disturbing their roots by pulling the gigantic weeds. So I am going to put a point for us in the win column probably a small victory in a small battle in the midst of a larger war. I am sure the weeds are plotting right now as I speak.

before (there are potatoes in there i swear)

So now the weeds have been subdued a bit and maybe just maybe if the sun stays out we can dry out the rest of the field and finish planting. Fingers crossed. Here are a few more pics.