Time flies and tehn it stops, one day, for all of us.
The intentions were good as ever, we, as in Kerry and I tried to get a Dutch Migrant worker to partially manage the farm. Our legal Mexican Dutchman as it were, but he didn't get through the paper mill and all of a sudden it was March and we had tbooked to go to Ghana, and no Dutchman. Luckily Justin came to the rescue and managed the chickens for 4 weeks. Coming back halfway April was a little roughish, nothing was planted, the tunnel was full of weeds and there were but a few plants in the greenhouse.
4 weeks later the greenhouse is full of plants, and no place to go with them as it is one of these very wet springs, and then at Wilfarm we are below sea level anyway. In our wisdom we applied for the farmers market in Columbia, and got accepted. So now every Saturday we are committed to taking eggs to market. Which means we don't have much time to grow things to take to market... The dilemma's.
So: it is wet, and it will rain again, there are plants but they can't be planted, there is no help, and the grass is taking over, but teh spirits are good.
So where to start?
Why we do the things we do.
The usual midseason crisis is here. Excitement about growing things gets dampened by the never ending realities of hardship of actually reaping monetary benefits for labor and monies put in. Every year it gets a little easier, or does it? Every year there are a few more tools and a few more ideas to thread on. You'd think eventually it would come together, but it is like the coming of Christ, when is that going to happen and how long will we have to wait? In the mean time we just plod on, live life to the fullest, try to maintain our dignity and hoe some more weeds.
In a half year many things happened: for the first time I grew onions, leeks, taters that amounted to something, and taters. First time that I got oats sown that did something. Did sell a ton (2000 lbs.) of strawberries, that is a nice feeling. The chickens are doing well, and surprisingly the eggs just disappear every week, mostly from drive by through the honor system. There were a couple of weeks I lost some sleep thinking about what to do with the 2000 eggs in the cooler, but they have melted away and now I find myself looking at chicken butts and talking to the girls to lay just one more to fill another dozen.
Tractors, a tunnel, a cooler, a greenhouse, tools, knowledge increase, chicken tractors, and now a big dump truck, that needs lights yet, this will all stop. Enough stuff now. (Ok, maybe just one more little van to go to market in Kirkwood). There really is no money in produce to warrant it all right now. But, in for a penny in for a pound.
I know where the progress can be made though: planning and organisation so, as soon as the truck is done, that is where we'll start.
Well, another day over and deeper in debt. Not really of course....
Somewhere I read you can optimize happiness by distributing your money on lots of small item experiences as opposed to a few big ticket items. But to really maximize bangs and bucks: go to the Humane society and get a dog, alternatively you can go the Canine society and pick up a toddler? I wanted a white dog, one you can see better when it is on the dark asfalt. But they were out of them, so I ended up with the sweetest mutty small blackish dog: it came tutored and neutered and housebroken for 50 bucks! Fun, it is 2 years old and it tries to herd Dekker, who is about twice her size.
No name yet, but foton and blekkie are in the running. It moves lightning fast, when it wants to or sees an unoccupied bed. Did find her with a mouth full of feathers while moving the chikens, serious scolding. Doesn't have barkingsons diseas like Dekker, but can really work on your nerves as well.
Talking about chickens: they are still molting. Molting is a natural process that chickens go through yearly to renew their feathers. When molting, chickens gradually lose their old feathers and replace them by growing new features. Molting can take anywhere from two to six months to complete. When a hen is molting, she usually will stop laying. So: piles of feathers and few eggs, them chickens do look like they have been washed in hot water with too much chlorine and than spun at halfspeed in the dryer. While moving the coops, one of the black and white ones got trampled by the lot and it nearly pooched it. I got it out of the coop, it wasn't dead, yet, and I put it on the tractor seat to decide later what to do with it. Because what do you do with a chicken? You bury it? And how deep does a dog dig? In the trash can, in the house? Outside? Stinky business. On the road side and wildlife gets into it? Cremation (really? am I going to burn one chicken? Throw it on the roof of the shed ( the best option as there are at least 6 chicken carcasses upthere? As you can see, it takes creativity to get rid of dead/ almost dead chickens..... Ma and kid came by and we collect some eggs, I pick up a chicken and tell em to greet Charlene. (Don't matter that they are all 200 called Charlene). I now know I haven't lost any to critters because I counted them, right on to 200)
Stranger things have happened than 5 chinese people stopping by wanting to buy eggs, but in this case they also were interested in buying a chicken. Well, did I just have the item at hand! Walked to the tractor, and sure nuf it was still alive although in the final stages of the Chene-Stokes respiration, and not steering. Took it behind the house and 4 minutes later it was skinned, gutted, washed and wrapped in freezer paper. The Chinese bought some eggs, insisting that I not wash them (.... me dragging feet..., NOT), some onions, materes and peppers, and I threw in a pumkin for good measure. Everyone was content, maximizing the mighty dollar.
So let it ride a tractor. Ride Charlene, ride. And to make sure: I had no qualms about eating it myself.
News: the clown is back home, see previous blog. I am going to hang him again: that dirty cheating runaway clown you! (still no clue who pranked it, but I have more then enough rope to make it a dual pinata).
Also, got the most ridiculous package in the fed ex: a chess-set, the pieces are 18 inches tall, the board is 8 by 8 feet. For years I thought about building one, but is like so many other things: yes, you can build something that looks halfway as nice for half the price, or you can just find enlightenment through impulse purchasing. That ought to be a start to the agrotourism trail, especially in conjunction with a clown pinjata.
There is the contour of a building taking shape: it has been named "the house that Justin built". There are 200 bags in it so far, at 60 pounds a piece is that 6 ton of soil! Justin is bulking up.
Strawberries are coming on again, had a few pounds the other day. bed 3 and 8, the everbearings. Was made aware that on the fall berries the tips are always red but ripeness and whiteness is next to the crown, just the opposite of spring berries.
Someone gave me two toilets: complete with flushtanks. Symmetrically this works out because now I can have one on either side of the entrance to the farm at Ebenezer. They are backups for when the one in my house freezes to pieces but for now they are "decorative". (Oh those poor neighbors of mine.) Or, grow pot in pots.
Need to dig some sweet potatoes this week and plant the tunnel, got the stove in the house reassembled and I am close to ready to hibernate the rest of the year.
And for X mas I want a digital camera without a zoom lens that gets stuck every time, if it didn't I coudawouda put some picks in this here blog thing.
Sometimes strange things happen to normal people, but more often than not, nothing much extraordinary happens in Hermann. Hermann.... an honest town, a friendly town. The other day I was at Village Market, it was the last day of summer, before fall kicks in, and looking over the parking lot I noticed that about half of the vehicles has been parked with their windows rolled down. I remember seeing twenty unlocked childrens bikes laying in the grass next to the pool, I am thinking about my honor system cashbox that seems to be working just fine. How the other day I picked up a fixed lawnmower tire at Scheidegger, I didn't feel like waiting and came back to pay next day when there was no line. More honesty: you can leave your boat out on the shore close to the bait shop, or at least that is what I have been told.
The other day I am on the river, and some in the river. It sure is nice to have a boat that floats, but it is even better to have one with a motor that propels. (Like Steve says: Boat: bust out another thousand). Pablo commented that I seemed to have arrived in life, a house, a boat and now also a moat (more later). Those boats are nice but you have to haul them around, and that means borrowing Pablo's car since it has a hitch. Although it is a really low hitch and you have to back the trailer up so far that you know you are far enough when the car exhaust makes bubbles in the river (good thing it is Paab's car). So to make life simpler I asked baitshop dude, who was sitting there like royalty overlooking the river from his deck at the baitshop, if I could leave the boat there. That would be fine he said, and how the conversation went I am not sure, but next thing you know he has pawned off on me this clown that someone had found and dropped off at his place. He didn't have any use for it and so a little while later I am driving back, pushed all the way over in the drivers seat with that 60 pound, 6 feet tall, damn stuffed clown sitting in the passengers side. It was hard to keep a straight face driving through town, but I made it home safe. Next thing of course the kids wanted to practice the shotgunability of said (sad?) clown, but, as part of my new agrotourism endeavour, about which more later, I told them to forget it. I had a long long 3 inch thick rope and Justin knew how to make a noose, so next thing you know the thing is hanging. Someone asked me if I was sure it was a white clown, because we don't want to hang no black clown, that would be racist (?). It was hanging there mighty fine, just visible from the road. I became attached to my clown, and now, my world has come to a screeching Halloween halt. Someone stole my well hung clown! WTF, I thought Hermann was a town where you could hang a clown in your driveway... Nope. So, keep your eyes open and let me know.
Back from Holland, for 5 weeks now, could as well have been a year. I thought about it the other day, even though I strenuously avoid any agricultural activity that could lead to perspiration, I still have gotten some things accomplished, indirectly related to Wilhelminag Gijsbertha van den Hengel farm. When my mother was here she thought it was so hilarious that people would adopt a part of a highway to clean, and frankly she is right, it is way silly. After my return, and before the guvment really shut down MODot did spruce up my road. So .... now ma has her own adopted highway! A mile either way from the driveway, I think the signs are refurbished since they have the big white patch on them, but they are right handy when you buzz down the road looking for proximity. I am thinking of sprucing up the signs with some snazzy graffity. So when ma comes this spring she won't have to clean my kitchen kabinets, nope, we got bigger fish to fry! Here's twenty bags ma, go and knock yourself out.
I remember that th Ku Klux Clan had adopted a piece of hwy South of St. Louis, always thought that would be hilarious if everyone would take their tires, washing machines, and regular trash there. But please do not do that to me. So here is to Ma's highway, now she too has arrived in life.
Another thing done: the bridge deck has been replaced. It was time, it has held up for 15 years and it was down to more gaps than boards. When Justin said we should replace it (He who holds the world record for most miles on a spare donut tire) I did listen. Had the kids help for as much as possible and they really outdid themselves for 3 hours. I did take them boating and kept them lubricated through the whole process. But the bridge is still wobbly but it looks better and you an actually ride your bike over it. And since I was working with wood I rebuilt the deck behind my house, finished the waterfeature (= mosquito pond between the kitchen and my bedroom, and got the hottub working again. A man has to know his priorities. Weeding, mowing, planting? the hell with it for now.
When Ma was visiting she nailed it when she observed that I get the biggest joy out of making something with scrap nothings, the tinkering as it were. That comment combined with my agro refresher course in Holland lead me to some new ideas: I'll be doing even more things that I enjoy, duh. Get a bare foot path going: a walking path over the farm with interesting, funny, questioning objects and activities. You know, just a walk that I will enjoy myself anyway. Still grow things but incorporate them into the path. Zen to the max.
One of the things I would like to do is build my own house on my own place in an environmentally sound and alternative way. Thought about strawbale, cordwood, earthship, rammed earth but have now settled on building just a teensee weensee 10 ft diameter earth bag dome, just to try it. Got me a 1000 bags of poly propylene, and you just fill them with soil and stack em high. Just for the heck of it, and if it works on a small dome I sure would like to expand it into a big something.
There are some cookie people that have worked with eartbag construction, and you can build cool shapes, which suits me just well because the measuring tape and I don't go straight through one corner. This one guy, read it on wikipedia and weep, Khalili, proposed using the techniques of earthbag construction for building structures on the Moon or other planets. Currently, it is quite expensive to lift a positive-mass payload from Earth. Thus, Khalili's techniques would seem to be an ideal solution as the requisite supplies would consist of lightweight bags and a few tools to fill them. He specified that such bags would probably have pre-sewn "hook and loop" (i.e. Velcro) fastener strips in lieu of barbed wire. I however am halfway committed to trying something on earth. So you see, that clown could have been such a nice start of the path. Oh Well.
This year really has had a lot of growth. For the first time that I was actually selling produce, flowers and eggs on a regular basis from my own little honour system (nasty clown thiefs not included) with its expanded room and cooler. So as you can see below: I can grow pumpkins! 30 pounder. I do however have to practice on selecting the seed that gives you the true orange pumpkin, this one here is the Howell variety, which I bought at Morgan County seed because the amish guy in front of me bought them. Well, tell you what: they are an excellent cooking pumpkin. Great for soup and roasting and milkshakes and curries and what ever else you can come up with for 3000 pound of pumpkin. So really, stop on by and get some. Think I'll fill up the cooler with them. But then also, I am thinking, for the Agritourism component about a catalpult, slingshot, trebuchet, to launch pumpkins with. Been thinking about it for a long time, may just get to schelpping some structure together and bomb some cars of hwy 19.
Oh, talk about being stubborn and making items from scratch: Patt stops by, he is a 57 year old couch surfer (if you are not familiar with that term, please google!) structural engineer and general smart and construction oriented. Told him about the sandbag deal and he didn't dismiss it out of hand, merely a thoughtful headshake, a rub of the chin and the "interesting concept" mumble. But in order to put the bags down you have to compact them and you have to have a stamper. Scrounged around with Pat and found some items. He told me you couldn't weld those different metals together... Haha, as if I would listen to an engineer that knows about alloys, metal, iron and steel. Took me a few hours but by the time he got back from Hermann I had put the damn stamper on the front porch of the mobile home: tadaaaaa. Next day he had left me a note instructing me to be careful with cause you could hurt your toe with it when it comes apart and just to show him I threw it on the concrete. And sure enough, it needs a little more welding. Truthfully, I was just clowing around.
Then there is the little landscaping, excavating pond building that occured recently courtesey of a whopping paycheck, visions of grandeur, the redistribution of wealth in the neighborhood and an intense desire for landscape diversification and a starting point for the foot path. Let it just suffice to say that the guys at the gas station have no idea what the hell is happening and what those big mounds of dirt are for. (Neither do I really, but I'll find a use for it.) Now, we'll see if this bathtub/inverted donut will hold water. Right now it is just gorgeous fall weather with no rain in sight.
So the bare foot path.... Help me out and send me some ideas: anything goes that I can incorporate along the path. I want to have at least a section where you walk on your bare feet over different textures, be it mud, grass, small pebbles dirt, mulch and sand.
Right now I am looking at building a 10 foot tall chair
A giant wind chime
A couch and Tv in the middle of the field
A random door you have to go through in the middle of nowhere
A Stonehenge replica
A pumpkin launcher
Assorted metal sculptures
An earth bag house
A big chess set
A big sand box
A hanging clown...
September... September???? And we finally got pay back for that finest of July's: a bingo of three 100 degree days in a row the last week of August. Been back from Holland for a week now. How time flew, how nice it was to be back home in the lap of mother,who turned 75. I was needing a break and some reflective time on my farming enterprise, a re-group as it were. The weeks before I left I did have no joy in it, didn't want to be out there and, since I don't have to I wasn't. I think it was just a burn out, having done this long enough I just had a few too many crop failures, self inflicted because they were crops I don't even like to grow. So being fed up with my own farm I visited two farms, just the same size as mine. Even worked a day at one (silly me)that too was depressing: wow! Organic all around, not a weed to be seen, beautiful crops, all the tools you could imagine, vivacious sales. But it was very good in making it clear that that is not for me either: too rigid, no flowers, very little contact with customers. The other farm was more like mine: a hodgepodge of a shop and a bear foot path. It entails a walk over the property, on bear feet, through different textured surfaces and descriptions of crops and nice paths. Going to copy some of that. Oh I did see one other tiny difference: both farms had 5 full time employees. Definitely a Eureka moment.
Also: they have no idea about weeds in Holland, nothing like here: wet and 90 degrees. On the flipside in Holland you cannot grow tomatoes or peppers or cucumbers outside: too cold. (They did of course have beautiful leaks, lettuce and peas, in August no less.
It wasn't all gloom and doom though! Learned a lot, built a lot of things, grew some fine beans, maters and cukes and sold all eggs laid. Bruce had the bees, had some garden plots rented and will do that again next year, but in a better spot.
So in the next months I am going to ponder the future some more: I'll get my beds ready for next year and I'll plant just the stuff in the high tunnel and keep the chickens going, and start looking for a couple of those dutch organic growers to manage the toko. Vincent, as in Vince, dropped off a farm truck, vintage 1950, with a dump bed that we will use to haul piles and piles of manure in the next months. We'll get that soil fertility cranking!
In the mean time: I finally got the John boat going and took it for its maiden run on the river. Instead of a bottle of champagne for the christening I got a box of wine, not a good idea. Those combustion engines are fun though!
Still got nice peppers, stray tomatoes, kale and chard that you cannot kill, some onions and taters.
Steve and I did hurry through town and when we got to our destination the man was waitng for us and he walked up with his stethoscope around his neck. I opened the hatch of the same blue station wagon that earlier in the morning had carried a repaired rear tractor tire. I had been happy then, just gotten off work, a tire so big it hardly fit in the car, fixed for 40 bucks, heading for home and bed. I told the vet that we were probably too late, but that I would appreciate a pronouncement. It took him 30 seconds and he confirmed. My mind went back to the morning, coming home, splitting a bottle of wine with Steve, sitting on the porch, throwing the ball for the dogs, the usual. Just thinking about it makes me happy, two dogs, brother and sister, inseparable from birth, one black one white: Blek and Dekker, always playing, playing their routine. You hold the ball, Blek yelps, you throw it, they race, one gets it, than they form a tower, leaning on each other, giving the ball back and forth, and Dekker will drop it close to my feet, and then we'll do it again. This morning the "ball" was just a shred of 3 square inch left over from an old basketball.
When I woke up this afternoon I went to the bathroom, numero dos, I sit and sure enough Blek and Dekker come to say hi and inspect progress to see if they can drink from the bowl yet. It happens regularly, they just snuggle for a minute and go their own way again. 15 minutes later Nathan calls me, he was over mowing the yard, and said there was trouble, and there was. Blek had been hit by a car and was laying in the ditch, breathing but not moving. I picked her up, moved her in the shade and she seemed to come around a little. Bruised tongue hanging out of her mouth. Eventually she tried to sit up but surely her rear legs were not moving. She flopped down and I put her in the back of the blue station wagon. I took Dekker along, he is looking lost, and so am I.
I had to go to work and left Blek at the house: Pablo and friends have buried her. Thanks boys.
Bizar weather, 55 degrees at night in July! Whodathunkit?
I really did it this time: I maxed out on the gardening for a little bit, so it is with great joy that I am going to Holland for 10 days to help celebrate my mothers' 75th birthday. Didn't realize it, but even something you really enjoy can get old if you don't take a break. Old... I am getting older and functions disappear, universe looking for entropy. Waterlines break, tractors fall apart, the usual, still. THe question has the answer in it: is it possible to get ahead in strong headwind? Learned a lot again this year, and it is not over yet, and things are getting together, but I AM SICK of it right now, going to close down the shop a lit
Went to kayak on the Missouri, now that does clear up your mental sinusses! Got all kinds of ideas for fun. Trying to get the motor boat going, finally, (BOAT: Bust Out Another Thousand). More combustion engine, more stuff that disintegrates.
Working on fun things these days: building a water feature (= a pond) between my living room and bedroom: reaching new heights of ridiculosity. So from the kitchen to the bedroom there is now a small 6 ft long board outside over water. That should teach me not to drink too much before going to bed. We'll see, it was a skeeter haven anyway so maybe a few goldfish can improve on it. I do have fear of the dogs using it as a their personal hot tub but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. (Tickets on sale shortly to admire the handywork)? The kids are still around, fun to be boss, expensive, but fun. Justin went digging for the latest broken water pipe and did find it at 4.5 ft deep. Just his head sticking out in the distance. They finished building the lean to, put up some more shelves and eventually we'll have us a retail area. Vince, as in Vince, brought over a 1949 farmtruck with hoist bed, (everyone needs one of these), and the kids ripped up the old floor of the bed, it really was rotten. Now the king (that would be me) can pay for new wood and labor to put it in and then we may just get some bulk compost, wood, gravel, straw and other necessities in bulk. We did start fall plants, some of them are up.
The tunnel trelliss system worked like a charm, really happy with that. I had an incling that cucumbers will climb by themselves and that has been confirmed. They do,it picks easy, they produce thickly and straight.
Saving seeds on the string beans, should have plenty for next year to do them outside. Something to be said for saving your own seed, not being dependent on someone else and keeping it local and such. Strawberries, the everbearing ones, are not everbearing this year, haven't seen much of them.
Steve Wood as in he who could, stopped by on his way from Urbana to Dallas. Good to have friends!
Steve had sent me a Coleman Fuel Lamp for my birthday: 04 66 it says on the bottom, and he lit it for me. Fascinatingly bright and the mantle is so delicate a butterfly could fly through it. Also, if you read a post below here , there is mention of a blue station wagon. It has been around since the day of JFK it seems, it was a gift from Steve and it has been around the block a few times now. It has dents that have all kinds of history to me, but the other day it was in that car with Steve in it that we had more history.
Deja poo: where you think you have seen the same shit before.
I call them the kids: they have been around the house ever since Pablo and I have dwelled at Hwy 19. There is David, the kid from Big Spring, Matt, who has moved with his mother to Washington, Justin, who lives somewhere around the Gasconade and recently quit his longterm dish washing gig, a scrawny boy called Robert who just quit his job as kitchen chief, a redhead with holes in his ears who just quit his job in the vintage restaurant, and Pablo, who since he quit his job (rightly so I might add) a year ago never did get another one. They were 9 and now they are 22 ish and going on 40. There is still this ultimate sense that life is there fully for their enjoyment, the unbridled enthusiasm about the future and theconviction that things will work out. An endearing innocence, no planning, no knowlegde and really no goal. Reminds me of myself: even now, I do have this place and this stuff growing but not much of a plan, other than to see if I can grow something, and then sell it somewhere.
We get bigger, older, blinder, richer, smarter, but it remains the same at its core. A bunch of kids, now with cars, hanging out doing stupid stuff late at night, "hanging out". Shoot yourself in the foot with a bibi gun to see if it hurts (YES), have competitions to see who can throw a 14 feet cedar pole the furthest, set up a shooting range with rotten tomatoes, pick tomatoes and throw the rotten ones at eachother, drink till you drop and go and take a walk in the woods.
So Justin is currently the default assistant manager: he kind of just doesn't go away for one thing and he seems to have a fine relationship with the chickens. (They have slowed down to about 7 dozen a day, so the stress of cackle berry moving has eased.) Pablo, hasn't been around much last week because he is taking a realtor class in St. L. courtesey of Rich Lauer. Better in school than hoeing. David, our Afghanistan veteran, regurlarly brings out his stash of artillery, but right now the funds are low and they are target shooting with plastic bb's and an air riffle.
It costs a bit of money to keep those kids on the payroll, but there are benefits. Both Justin and Pablo have been tractoring, plowing, disking, planting and the like, they have started seeds in trays, transplanted them, and today put the driptape out on their pumpkin patch, built a little awning to the pavillion, that kind of stuff. If nothing else, at least they have done it once and gotten some experience out of it. Kind of miss Pablo because I am not going to the markets. And Justin is just plugging along, redirecting after he threw the dish washer carreer out with the bath water.
Oh, another field day, this one took the cake for most ambitious field day from a group from Columbia called Slow Food. Let you not be misled by the name, their itinirary was so jampacked that they had all of 16. 5 minutes to visit the farm. It was fun though: showed them the walk in cooler, which has fullfilled a fantasy of mine. It is 95 degrees outside and I have a cot in this cooler, and 2 blankets and sleep in 45 degrees. SWEET! Needs a flat screen tv yet, and the beer is cold and within reach. And Nathan, the resident maniac mower wants the place to be spotless, so it has all been mowed again to the 5/16th golfcourse green hight. Just as well, because next weekend there is the next tour, courtesey of Shelbie Blank, our local VISTA coordinator. So the grass will be short yet, and I will be officially fielddayed out, enough of it.
Gardenwise, I once again am in the top 5 of most impressive weeds in the county! Cheerios there but really, I need a vacation (and I'll get one too).
Will have a sing up saying Maters and Taters, but the maters in the greenhouse all have some kind of fungus, not good. The fruit is good, but the plants are dying off already, maybe the ones outside will kick start the next week or so. Can't hurt to have doused them with horsemanure. That is really nice, Scott comes by once in a while with a trailer of fresh horsemanure.
Oh and Shoeshine and the fun police dog have left. Eventually it will work out. Only one constant in this whole world: nothing remains the same.
Benefits can come in strange ways: sometimes you have to be ill to get better. He who is "never" sick, was floored by the stomach flu, at least that is what I hope it was. Clustered to bed and the porcelain throne for a couple of days. Actually missed a day of work, the second one in 9 years, quite miserable really. But now I am getting "better". But my mind is dragging behind. Usually have great joy in the gardening thing, but right now I don't really want to have anything to do with it. Maybe it is because the days are getting shorter again, winter is just around the corner... It has been a great blessing to have Pablo and Justin over and carry the weight of picking weeding and selling. Our local VISTA employee Shelbie Blank roped me in to participate in a farm tour, entailing being home for 2 days, talking to strangers about what is going on here. It means you don't get anything done, walk around tell stories about how awesome it all is (and I just want to go back to bed and feel miserable in the AC room). But then good things happen, a family with two little kids come by and have a fine time picking flowers for grandma and picking peas for grandpa, a kid with cerebal palsy gets to pet a chicken, an old geezer, 80+ y/o, tells me how he always wanted to be a gardener but had to provide for his family and ended up in construction and he is glad for me to be able to do do it, he sees how much work is involved, I have to go to the bathroom, again, and Pablo shows up and takes over the tours. And then a lady and husband stop by, they are in awe of the coreopsis, the yellow flowers in the paths in the photo below. The photo is from last year but you can see how dense those flowers were, and they were volunteers in the paths, not the beds. Nathan has spent many an hour mowing them down. Well this lady has connections in St. L. and wants to buy them. So we exchange numbers and all that and on Monday I instruct Justin how to pick em (12 to a bundle, 10 bundles to a bucket, 6 inch of cold water, rubber bands etc.). Justin will pick em and deliver them, but sure enough, he is driving around on the donut and no money for the new tire. So by the time he has made the delivery the coreopsis has paid for his new tire. So here you are, growing things on purpose, and the real money is in the wild flowers that you are mowing down. Go figure. Hopefully they'll be around for a couple of weeks because Pablo desperately needs new breaks on his car. Growing some beautiful kale, but where do you take it? Suggestions? The chickens are slowing down substantially in their laying: going into molting. They will replace their feather deck and rejuvenate their reproductive parts, which they do once a year abouts and these chicks are about a year old now. Nice variety of things to eat right now: I 'll have me some good eats tonite. anyway, just a boring blog, but you are up to date again.
What a relief, the berries are in the bag. Justin and friends made it. Total tally: Justin 500 pound, Paab 300 pound, David 50 and the rest unaccounted. Everyone got their freezer space back. And still, berries are out there, so time to hang the sign back up: now picking strawberries (not me though). To celebrate I took the kids to Endlesssummer winery, pretty rough wake up this morning. Apple wine, blueberry wine, pear wine, blackberry wine, pine apple wine, basil wine, mango wine, and then the lights went out. Fun though.
Went to Jim's Small engine on the hill on 19, wanted a fuel filter for the Massey, check, a vacuumsealthingamejiggy for the weed eater, check, and for the grand finale a part of a part for the riding mower, and check, all done for 6 pound of strawberries. Kind of becoming the local currency. (haven't tried that in the bar yet). So the riding mower is fixed, you can now make right and left turns again, as opposed to slowly disappearing over the horizon, you can use the weedeater again upside down, without losing gas, and the fuelfilter that was replaced.... eh, that wasn't the problem. (going to check it out shortly, since massey is stuck in the middle of nowhere, again. It'll run for 40 seconds and then you have to wait 6 minutes).
No deep thoughts today, just a quicky note so I had an excuse to come inside.
Oh, things are actually growing in the field. Will keep yo
Got the riding mower fixed: replaced a part from a part. 6 bucks vs 70 bucks.
Pieter Los, born in Scotland, raised in the Netherlands, lost in the USA. .