Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September Morning

It was foggy again this morning, and when I went outside the air was heavy, warm and still, with the undulating thrum of insects in surround-sound. I flashed-back to when I was a little girl, visiting my grandparents' farm in late summer in southwest Minnesota. I am sure that is where my life-long farm-yearning originated.
Foggy sunrise over the garden, birds on the wires.
Last night I weeded the former garlic bed, hand-tilled it and planted rows of mesclun and beets for fall. So dismaying that it now gets dark at 8:30.  I love gardening in the cool of the evening and could get so much more accomplished if there were a couple more hours of light...
Took a little walk around the farm in the fog before letting out the  demanding poultry from the coop.  They follow me everywhere like the pied piper. I love that, but they are always underfoot. Here is how the front of the barn looks now that the commercial kitchen project is complete. Still have to paint a bunch of doors, put up some window boxes, and install some exterior lights.
The big head planter now covers the well so no cars drive over it. Rog noticed he is facing toward Mecca.
The fairy garden has been totally neglected the past busy month but it still seemed rather magical this morning.
The wild chickens came running down to the fairy garden to fetch me to get them some breakfast and cows were waiting impatiently at the gate, so had to end my walk and tackle chores.

Monday, August 31, 2015

August: Audacious and Auspicious!

After last week's CSA box (contents shown here), one of the members emailed me and asked if it was the last box of the Summer CSA subscription. So, I looked on the calendar and was stunned to discover  August was pretty much over!  I cannot believe summer is over-- it whizzed by too fast!

August has been a crazy busy month with many eventful moments, a few of which I will note here.
First, we said good-bye to a wonderful man, our friend Chris Shomenta, who had been battling cancer the past 5 years. You may have seen this joyous  photo of him as my spokesmodel for our CSA a few years ago.
We were honored to be asked to host a Celebration of Chis's Life at the farm after the funeral service. A huge crowd came to show their love for his wife Julia and the rest of his family and to share stories of amazing Chris. What a poignant and special event. We will miss you, Chris.
The celebration we have been anticipating all year was the wedding of a darling couple, Diana and Ryan. Despite threatening forecasts,  the weather cooperated and  the wedding two weekends ago was stunning.

I can't wait to see the official wedding photos, but I sneaked a few shots before the ceremony.
During one sweet moment in the ceremony, Diana and Ryan combined their own small fishbowls, each with a single fish, into this large fishbowl with a replica of the living room of their house. The two wedding fish are now happily residing with our goldfish, koi and tilapia in the Aquaponics pond.
We were grateful to have had our most recent wonderful WWOOFer, Kait, for a couple weeks to help us spruce up the farm before the wedding. Besides tackling plenty of weeding, chicken coop cleaning, potato-digging and power-washing, Kait outfitted Gourdita the scarecrow in fresh clothes for the wedding.Thanks for  your hard work and delightful nature, Kait.
And now, for the most long-awaited news of all:  Our commercial kitchen is complete and has passed all inspections and is officially approved!  We served our first  offical Pizza Night on Sunday.
Here's to the next thousand or so wood-fired pizzas and  sourdough breads to be made in our beautiful new kitchen!  It has been such a long, arduous, costly, exhausting, exciting project...now the real fun and the real work can begin!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Hothouse Day, Literally

How the heck did we get blessed with so many awesome friends, such as these folks who offered to help work on the greenhouse today? Did I mention that it was  over 90 degrees and tropically humid today while we worked in a space that increases the effect of  heat and sunshine?  Here we are this morning, just getting started - with 15  panels to install (7 of which were installed in April but blew out in a huge windstorm.)
Six hours later, we were  sliding in the final panel!
Interior view of sliding in the last panel. It takes a minimum of six people to safely slide in a panel, including two to hold the ladders steady.

Dave working at the peak, at the very top of the  14-foot ladder.
Ira intrepidly working at the top of the extension ladder tied to the frame of the greenhouse.
Rog atop the scaffolding, viewed through the inside of the greenhouse.
This gives you an idea of how high up we were working.
Admiring our work, after installing the final panel.
Thanks, Randy, for spending your birthday doing sweaty, hard, physical labor!
Cake break.
A toast to Randy the birthday guy, Ira the WWOOFer, and our wonderful greenhouse crew.
Assemblage of ladders.
Significant progress also made on my farmers tan today.

Thanks, kind, hardworking friends!