Sunday, May 3, 2009
Pulling Myself up by the Bootstraps
Slowly recovering from a near deadly case of 'bit off more than I can chew' flu...and feeling like a little reflection and posting about it might be a soothing balm. The renovations in the house and reordering of chaos earlier in the year made room for a HUGE surge of ideas and creativity these past two months. Ideas easily turned into an organized 'to do' list. Step by step lists for each project followed. Inspiration and energy came from all directions and I rolled with it: tablets by the bed, sleepless nights, quick sketches everywhere. To add to the excitement was the inclusion of an extra set of hands this summer in the form of a WWOOF volunteer . In exchange for room and meals, our 'WWOOFer' would help with work around the farm, in all it's many aspects. We had spent a few weeks interviewing and speaking with a motivated young fellow who planned to take the next year to learn about all aspects of food growing and homesteading. His future goals in farming and food growing were admirable with a plan to spend six months in the north and six months in the south. But alas, just when we were confident that we had found a great match, he chose to take his helpful hands and good energy to another farm in Minnesota. While I am truly happy he found just what he was looking for, my disappointment at our potential loss for this summer was big. A few other WWOOF applicants suggested arrival times to the farm in July or later in the summer but opportunities for learning and help for garden prep and planting is long past by late July. Back to square one. It was my hope to alleviate some of the MAN's angst over coming home to a constant, looming project list. He already puts in a goodly amount of hours working off the farm with long stretches of travel at the start and end of each workday. Having an extra set of hands would remove some responsibility from his shoulders and also meet my desire to get projects done in a timely manner (and more importantly, not wholly dependent on asking help from someone who just put in a 15+ hour day!) Aye, it is one of of the few dances of committed relationship that I do not wholeheartedly enjoy! The Iceman has been a tremendous help while he waits for job calls. Searching for employment has not yielded anything so far, despite a bevy of inquiries and applications. In the meantime, I greedily accept his few hours of help every day, all the while hoping that he gets a 'real job' soon. The four foot square raised bed boxes have been painted, sunk and leveled into the garden. Farmer Tom was kind enough to help by bringing three loader buckets full of black and loamy compost gifted by old hay bales from the pasture. This saved many long walks from the pasture pushing heavy wheelbarrows full of the stuff. The compost was mixed into already great garden soil to fill the boxes. Wow! So happy about the quality of the soil this year and so are the worms! Good stuff. The next project on the list is to enclose this garden with wood and wire fencing. After long and hard internet surfing I found the type of fencing that I wanted. This old fashioned double loop ornamental variety is twisted and heavier weight than what you can procure in the big box stores. Isn't it neat? Need to gather a few more fence posts and with the help of the MAN and the Iceman should get it in place this week, barring more heavy rain. I am really looking forward to a vegetable and flower garden space free of chicken scratching and dusting holes! Over the last two weeks, I have finally given myself permission to scratch some things off this year's massive to-do list.The impossible must be discarded. The unnecessary, put off until next year's list and next year's WWOOFer volunteer. The list already has many things checked off, which I can feel proud about accomplishing. However, the fencing was not among the things to be put aside. It had already been ordered and shipped with an appointment set to drive to the trucking company to pick up the pallet in order to save an additional $70 in freight charges. No going back now! The shrink-wrapped, two hundred pound roll still sits on my truck since Friday, awaiting a few grunting people to unload it by the garden. oh well. The Biodynamic calendar says today is an optimal day to plant fruit.....so off to plant some strawberries in the rain. More later.