Today was kind of a rough day and my conviction and faith were thin. Why am I even bothering with doing this, this gardening thing? It is so much work, everything breaks down, I am wearing myself out, it is expensive and who gives a rats ass?
Then Joey calls, she has delightful left overs, that lifts my mood, she came by the other day and lo and behold I am eating some of my homegrown fresh cilantro Then I come home and there is a present from Tim Soete from London in the mail, a book bout Bob Marley and then for the triple crown I got the following note:
"We had some of your strawberries for supper tonight and they were sublime! Some riper than others, some not, the texture, the incredible taste, and the aroma, just the way they should be. It took me back to my days on the farm when Granddad John would bring in his bounty from our garden for supper".
Thank you all!
Fine, I'll be open for berry picking tomorrow after all. (and eggs, and spinach and lettuce mix).
No one died today. It was a good day.
Chainsaws were ran, greenhouses climbed, ladders mounted.
There was a small incident with a tree accidentally downed onto hwy 19 but no cars were hit.
I have a walnut tree in the field. It is in the process of dying. It will still be dying by the time I am buried underneath it. I asked my neighbor permission (so much better than forgiveness) if I could take some other trees down that were obscuring my view on the oncoming traffic, leaving my driveway. Which is true, but it also blocks the view from the road onto my proposed bill board. Now that they are cleared you can see a prospective sign a mile away, really all of 5280 feet. I plan on moving Lincoln's cabin and use it to put a bill board on top of it. My neighbor borrowed that building once, so it must be movable. ((He came by one day last year asking if he could buy the little log cabin and I declined. Then he asked to borrow it, to use it in a 4th of July parade. "Hey dude, can I borrow your garage for a couple of days?". So one day I came home and the cabin was gone, and a week later it was back, he'd put it somewhere else, but anyway, it was back. )). But how the hell did he move it? It is cute and I think I could put an easy sign on top of it, but how did he move it?
Thinking about ideas for texts... You can do some serious damage, it really is a prime site for a billboard. "Got okra?", "Wil farm for food", "God hates "family values"", "Strawberries!" " I pick you pay" "You dig potatoes?", "Shoot the NRA" etc. I'll wait till Math an Ma are here so they can prevent me from dastardly drunken moments of radicalness, relcalcitrance and mayhem. I got a good location for the second billboard, right in the bend of the road, can't miss it. I am going to put on that 1952 chevy pickup truck.
A road side stand... what the hell was I thinking? Just in the last year I have worked on hooking up electricity from the meter, tractor engines, hauling lumber for building, seeds for growing, billboard designs, planting things, harvesting strawberries, chickens, electric fence, grants, concrete, farmersmarkets, oh and now the process of moving a little building. Just a dumb gardner with a masters' degree
I do have a fine location, I think, on hwy 19 between the suburbs of Big Spring and the metropolis of Hermann. Maybe god can give me a sign some time that I am on the right track.
Less then 10 words... like a mini haiku.
_______________Wil Farm Fresh_____________
________U pick, I pick, U pay______________
________ Left here_______________
Dad and Orval
The above video is by the 4tuoze matrozen, a dutch band. This particular song is about the process of dying, where will you go, who will show you the way? " when you sail away from this life who will tell you?" . "No one knows the answer."
The first photo is actually taken last year, at the date line, 0 degrees in Greenwich Village, Greenwich mean time... going from East to West in a simple step. The other photo's are from the day we drove around Holland, spreading dad's ashes.
This evening, Orval came by. Orval is 9 months older than my dad, he lives in Big Spring. He and my dad got along, they enjoyed each other, children of an era, they understood each other, knew each other. Orval almost died this spring, pneumonia or some such, and no, he won't make it another 5 years, but right now, he lives. No matter , he shows up, and he is in bad shape, but like he says: I am in good shape for the shape I am in.
I try to make it a point to visit him every once in a while, did so today, and lo and behold he took me up on my offer to pick strawberries, and there he is. In a previous post I referred to what it meant to me to plant strawberries, one of the first jobs my dad worked, just as a sign to my dad. Iit's not even about the money. But today Orval took me up on my offer. We walk to the strawberry beds, slowly, together. He has brought his own little tin bucket with him, he told his wife he was going to my place, getting her something for desert.
He picks some, I pick most, trying to get the ripest ones. The weather is sweet, just right, like my dad likes it. We walk back, I watch him, follow him, and I feel emotions coming on, smiling through my tears. I guide him back to a chair in the shade of my new building. He compliments me on it.
I feel like my dad came by today.
And not to get too sappy: of course he didn't have any money on him, so I'll put it on dad's bill.
Odds and ends.
* Blek and Dekker are still playing from sun-up till sun-down. Blek ( the black colored one) surprised me the other day. She does like attention but she outdid herself as evidenced by her dive into the hottub where she came and sat next to me and laid her head on my shoulder. A truely romantic dog moment. Great...
I love these quantum physisists.
Some high foreheaded mensa person will develop a theory and it will describe a small particle that has to exist. And then the search is on. My dad actually understood some of these things, to me it is like reading a thriller without any understanding of the plot but still wanting to know how it ended. Well, Higgs Boson, is one of those particles, they built an 8 billion dollar particle accelerator in Switserland, and there is on e in the USA too. Paradox of paradoxes that you need a 12 mile tunnel to find such a small particle.
But more beautiful is the Ettore Majorana particle. The particle is its own anti particle (?). It was predicted by an Italian genius in 1937, who one day bought a ticket to Palermo and then just disappeared in thin air.... Maybe Ettore is his own anti Ettore. At any rate, Dutch researchers found it with the contraption shown in the photo above. Fascinating, especially the different kinds of duct tape. Makes me proud of my homeys.
Talking about particles, been cleaning the shed... found a few parts and a pound of dead mice. Making room for the chicken project: as soon as I see some grant movement on the bank account I'll purchase those day old chicks. (still wondering what I am going to do with 200 laying hens).
So things are coming together, at its own speed. There are all kinds of plants in the greenhouse, nothing new there. Growing transplants is the easy thing, from then on it is an uphill battle. Into the field, watering, weeding, harvesting... oh and selling.
The strawberries are looking good. Out of the 3400 there are probably 3200 plants alive. They were about 3 weeks ahead of schedule, flowering and fruiting, done ate two berries. There was ice on them a few mornings ago, wonder what that will do. The average frost free date for here is April 15th, so I hope that is the last one.
The raised beds i made last fall have made it possible to plant in wet field conditions, that is encouraging.
The massey tractor is back home and chomping on the bit. Johnnie is in the shop yet, did get a new tire, general love and affection and a new starter, so that 'll be another paycheck and a half.
The pavilion/sales shed is coming along, needs cooler hook up yet but that will take some doing.
Oh and last but least let me do some bitching about the damn economy that always has to grow. Because growing is good except when it isn't. Last I checked growth was defined as "to spring up and develop to maturity". Which to me means that eventually growth stops and then you go into maintenance mode. Really, apart from the crap pile in my shed and the information on the internet, what does grow forever? But no, the economy must grow. Please can someone explain that to me?
In many ways I resemble my father:,critical, good with numbers and a dog lover. My dad only dated my mother because it was, even in Holland, illegal to marry your dog. Since living in the US I have had Rosie and Soks. Rosie was like a cougar, married to a younger man. They were a fine couple, but so absolutely different from Blek and Dekker... who are brother and sister. I couldn't say I like one more than the other, or one dog better than the other (although of course Rosie is the one I love most). But Blek and Dekker take destruction to new heights. It came to me today to write some about it while I was planting some shrubs and little trees. I'd dig a hole, put the tree in it and go to the next hole. I look back, and see Dekker languidly on the grass, chewing on a tree. Blek was just pulling the next one out. Jeez already.
I really had had it the other day: I can live with the occasional cream cheese scooped from the table, even the trash can thrown over in the kitchen I can forgive, but eating the incubator, no. We have to draw the line.
So yes, I was trying to hatch chickens, again, in the bathroom in th is small styrofoam incubator. Well the dogs heard the chicks hatching and took the incubator outside and ate it, including eggs and freshly hathced chicks, they ate it!!! They love chickens: they are delicious after all, so I cannot, cannot let the chickens out of the coup and go somewhere. Massacre ensues. However, I must say, at least they kill the roosters first, probably because they are more of a sport than the laying hens. I lost 4 of the 5 roosters in the last week. So no more free ranging without a supervising adult present ( oma is coming May 2nd!).
I finally have the house dog proof. I have a latch on every door, and a latch on the outside of the front door. SO maybe the egg cartons are safe again on the counter. These dogs are strong, and I have seen them take a run at the door to get in, and somehow they do get in.
I will drive up and they will show up seconds later.... big eyes: " no we were not in the house, we are good dogs". I walk in, and the trash is all over the floor, the back door is wide open. Paw prints everywhere. Anyway, they give me such joy, to see them playing allllll day long. They know eachother well too, they will nod to eachother and take off in a full run, and 5 minutes later they are back, all wet from swimming in the creek. Ah well, you have to see em some time, they are the bomb.
Pieter Los, born in Scotland, raised in the Netherlands, lost in the USA. .