Went to Colorado for a few days, visiting farmer John. It took a little discussing but at 3 am we came to the conclusion that there is no meaning to life other than the one we put into it. Where I usually get stuck in Ecclesiastics: ( enjoy life, strive to do good) Johnnie uses the header title. Watch out, crooked sentence coming up... He has the title to 10 acres in Trinidad Colorado (first I thought I had a pulmonary embolism because I was out of breath (eapnic) but then I realized I was at a mile and a half higher altitude than Missouri.) where he used to really grow things, now he has it scaled back to a beautiful garden with a few apple trees and a a big field of alfalfa which he gravity flow irrigates.
So in a previous life I studied irrigation water management in the tropics, never did do me much good in the USA, but at Johnnies' place my heart ached for the carreer I missed. Wageningen, my student stumping grounds blundered through my head. "Art de la localitee", French for: every small farm is unique and every farmer does it a little different and there can really be an art to farming. So Johnnie lives on an irrigation ditch, the Lopez ditch, it has 20 some people on it, you get water maybe 3 out of 10 days. The canal/ ditch was hand dug in the 1850 ies and water rights have been handed down from that time on, tied to the land owners. There are the usual top/tail end problems and maintenance issues between 20 owners. The ditch has to be maintained to keep the water flowing. I walked it through to the end, and like so many things in Colorado, you can feel history. Look at those beams, the work it took to make that, and a mile or 2 at that. Any time you see something green around here it is irrigated. So Johnnie has scaled back, he still irrigates his alfalfa but has someone else cut it and deal with it. He fell of the wagon and now is a working stiff (except he doesn't have a job right now and is participating in an Indian Sundance, so not that stiff really), has a garden for the relax and the fresh.
So being the good tourist that I am I wanted to see something. I thought it would be nice to take Tim's kids, 5 and 8,to a big sand box. "The beach is just over the top of the next dune". Them dunes are 800 feet tall and they are killers to climb on less oxygen, breathing treatment and alcohol. ( Have since laid off on the smoking, again, so told Ma she can't come in September unless she quits, because last time I hadn't smoked in 3months and it took my ma about 12 minutes and I was hooked again). There was a little issue with a parkranger and a rental car that was on a dirt road where you could only get with 4 wheel drives in low and good clearance. I had seen just part of the sign that said something about tire pressure, which I thought was just for woosssies, Tim and Johnnie were kind of nodding off in the back while I was racing through them potholes and sand dunes so they never saw the sign. 3 milles in a parkranger suggested a 100 dollar donation to the local law enforcement for encroachment or he could call the towing company for a discount and get us out for 500. Talked him out of it, it was tense driving on the way back, 600 bucks if you get stuck, and it was fishy terrain. Extra handicap that the ranger deflated the tires to 10 psi, so now we were really bottoming out, but we actually never did get stuck.
The rental car people never did notice the missing exhaust pipe or the fish sandwich that Tim stuck under the front seat when we turned it in (standard operating procedure according to Tim). Delightful trip altogether. Oh, did visit someone with another garden.
People have a different idea about gardening in Colorado. Everyone and his grandma go to a medicinal dispensery for breathing products but a lot of people also grow their own, plant a cabbage, plant a pot plant, plant an okra. They are so creative in the camouflage of plants, the helicopters are a little frustrating, but other than that everyone seems to be happy.
Anyway, I came back on Sunday, worked days and today am home. Locked the grant chickens up and will move them to greener pastures tomorrow. I am really thrilled with how destructive these chickens are. Camera jammed otherwise I would show you, but really, they clean up 3000 sqare foot between the 250 of them in a bout a week. Neary a sprig of grass is showing, where I will be sowing next. I see it in the greenhouse too, the weeds that did survive after the hoeing hens are dark green, a sign of nitrogen fertility.
It was nice today, weeding a little bit, walking around enjoying the chicken feeding, some music playing, the dogs playing catch, picking some tomatoes.
it doesn't mean anything, but I enjoy it.
Pieter Los, born in Scotland, raised in the Netherlands, lost in the USA. .