Sunday, January 19, 2014

Eating pizza at the dump crying like a baby.

Every hear a song and for some reason it just floors you? The first time I ever heard this song I lost it. Its just a song about a man and his mule but for some reason every time I hear it I cry. Today we went to Stewarts to get some cash and a little lunch so we could take the garbage to the dump. As I was sitting in the car waiting for Tommy to finish throwing the garbage into the dumpster the song came on and as I was chewing my pizza I started not only to tear up or cry a bit but to bawl like a baby spitting pizza out because apparently I cant chew breathe and cry at the same time. I love when songs hit that nerve hit that button on our shared universal unconscious that brings us to another time and makes us feel anothers pain. Its when art does its job. Its not always just about beauty i think its also about tying or bringing us to something that is bigger than ourselves.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

time to start looking forward but for clarity's sake need to take an honest look at the past.

Its one of my favorite times of year well besides being in the middle of the dregs of winter but its planning time for the upcoming planting season. I love the planning part its so pure and innocent, I think, I scribble, I look at seed catalogs I make my plans and as of yet I haven't made any mistakes...yet. Something to be said about no mistakes....yet because there will be mistakes and plenty of them trust me. Next week I will attend an organic farming conference in nearby Saratoga for the 4th year. I love the NOFA-NY winter conference its maybe the one time of the year where I drop the snarky attitude and become part of a larger group or movement. Its a great place to learn and I really cant wait I am going to take classes in growing wheat on a small scale (I hope its really on a small scale hate when someone says small scale when they mean 5 acres and I am like um oh I thought you meant 1/8th of an acre) a class on growing flowers for market which would be great you can charge a premium for flowers at market and it makes a nice addition to your normal vegies etc, what else? how to build a small greenhouse using cover crops and so on and so on. I think I will take about 8 classes in all and I am really excited its a great trade show too where you get to see great stuff from seeds, to tools to books to machinery and where I believe you can even get a new scythe just in case you were in  the market for one. 

In other news I have decided to launch a side business off 3 Dogs Barking Farms called 3 Dogs Barking Designs. I am excited for this Tommy is going to teach me photoshop so I can really get going on designing my needlepoints but then I had the idea of taking some of the themes I plan on using for needlepoints and making notecards. Now a perk of working for a paper company I got free samples so soon I am going to launch a store on etsy selling the kind of notecards I would love to buy. I'm excited to see what I come up with my little brain is bursting with creativity lots of goofy ideas for the legions of goofballs out there (i hope) that are my tribe. I love when one idea leads to another then to another and to another so here's hoping the designs in my head come out like I want or hopefully come out better that would be nice for a change right? 

Okay so lets acknowledge the elephant in the room.....last years growing season.. Argh what can I say it pretty much sucked. There were a few things I achieved on the scale I wanted to like lettuce mix and arugula but to be honest that was pretty much it for success. If it wasn't for lettuce I would not have gotten to market at all. I hope I learn a lot next week because I have to get better at this if I am going to bother trying  to farm at all. Its just too much heartbreak to take without a little reward now and then. Another (successful) farmer said last year that farming was like playing the slots you keep putting your quarter in and getting lemons but every once in awhile you hit a jackpot. Last year was just a nightmare it rained incessantly and it was a struggle to get the seeds in the ground then most times than not if it did dry out enough to prepare the beds the tiller would break and that would just mean more and more delay. There were a few bright spots my green beans were a huge hit at market and I already mentioned the salad mix. I keep holding onto the salad mix what else can you do when it was pretty much the only thing you did right you keep talking about it!

The tiller started costing us so much money our John Deere dealer actually refused to fix it anymore and made us deal with the fact that if we wanted to start farming smarter we needed an upgrade in equipment. So now in the garage is the fancy italian walk behind tractor that should fit our needs just right. I need to start working smarter I don't have enough time working a full time job to be wasting what time I have working inefficiently. Farmers must be the most optimistic of people I mean they keep at it year after year even when they get their butt handed to them time and time again. The thing that really gets me is that you can do everything right and still fail you just never know especially in today's crazy weather pattern its not climate change my ass world we live in. So as I sit and type and dream of the upcoming season I try not to think of floods or drought or crazy plagues of insects you have never even heard of before and try and make myself believe that the success is totally up to me and all it will take will be to learn the lessons of the past to gain new knowledge to farm smarter to be dedicated and do things when they need to be done and to hope against hope that this will be enough. Mother Nature please be kind to me. 

P.S. I love living here I just went out to take care of the chickens let them out of the coop give them fresh water and feed and little scratch etc in my barn coat a t shirt and shoes no pants for me! ha!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Pictures from a trip to the grocery store. A winter day like I like it.

Stayed home from work today threw my back out Friday morning. Its getting better but one more day taking it easy should hopefully fix me up. Even though my back was out I still needed to do some chores letting the chickens out and going to the store. Its nice out today the sun is out and its not very cold winter days like I can handle. The grocery store is about 10 miles away but the scenery between here and there is pretty damn great here are some shots.

chicken enjoying the sun having breakfast

clive the rooster seeing if its safe to come out

one of my favorite views looking at washington county and vermont beyond

the pig literally crossed the road never seen that before

frozen hudson and the sun finally

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Baby its cold out there and oh by the way happy new year.

pic nothing to do with blog but i like this pic of Booker

Happy New Year. Personally I am looking forward to this shiny new year so far all I have managed is to watch TV make and eat food and nap. Hey not a bad start right? Last night Tommy and I went to my parents house to their annual new years eve party. They are really special people and have a great group of friends the core group are a handful of guys my Dad grew up with (how cool is that they are in the seventies and still hang out and love each other) add their wives and people they have met along the way and you have a really great group of people. Artists, retired businessmen, writers, teachers, a retired doctor thrown in what a fascinating crowd. I love to cook and love to cook for a large crowd so after work yesterday I came home to change give the pups a kiss and pick up Tommy and off we went to cook dinner for 18. Dinner went well everyone seemed to enjoy it and the best part was that I made roast pork and we had plenty left over to make Cuban sandwiches today for lunch. Now that's how you kick off the new year dammit. It is cold out and a storm is coming could be anyway from 7 to 15 inches of snow over the next few days. I love snow but I don't like taking care of chickens and battling my way to the coop or trying to get to work over 40 miles away. But that's life.

Chili is on the stove as I mentioned its cold outside and what is better when its cold out that chili? Got me. Spent a nice day today just totaling relaxing making food watching stupid TV and napping with the dogs just what I need to recharge for a new year. 2013 ended with sad news my grandmother Dot died on Monday but more sad for us than for her she was 102 and had wanted to die now for a few years. She was a great lady and lived a hopefully fulfilling  life. She was one of the most practical down to earth people I know so practical that she said she wanted to "go" before the next billing cycle at the assisted living home she was at. Now that's my Grandma Dot wish I was more like her hopefully I will have time to try to be.

Looking for to the future the vegetable growing enterprise went less than well last year and I am already planning on this upcoming year to try to do better. We invested (okay really my dad) on some new equipment which should help and Tommy has promised to be more helpful this year so fingers crossed some crazy weather plan wont present itself and I can grow some decent food for people. Cant wait to keep creating I love writing this blog, taking photographs, growing vegetable and raising chickens but hope to branch out in a few new directions to ramp up the creating. I am really seriously beginning to think that the key to happiness is creating. I think its essential to the soul. So here is to the new year with all its promise.
Many blessings peace and light to you and yours.