Jul 31, 2011

Leaving the Farm

The only problem with summer vacation is that it happens during the summer. Here on the farm, summer's an awful busy time. Wonderfully busy, that is. Plants are finally growing and need constant watering and weeding. Harvesting has begun - scapes, garlic, berries, cherries, beans... Time to start prepping for winter vegetable planting.

Tomorrow we go away for 5 days of hike-in camping at Forbidden Plateau. Once we're there it will be paradise, but for now I question the wisdom of having to rush through and arrange so much just to leave this paradise. In addition to the usual packing and planning and finishing work stuff mayhem (including patching rat holes in the tent -the joys of storing things on a farm), here's some of the farm tasks we have to arrange these days:
- someone to do the chickens: 3 sets of chickens need food water and freedom each morning, and precisely at dusk to be locked back in safe for the night
- buy enough chicken feed
- someone to water the garden: turn on 3 timers each morning or night, and set up sprinklers in 4 different patches not yet set up with drip tape
- cut the grass paths throughout the garden so they don't overgrow the rows
- dehydrate 5 days of food (sarah started on beef jerky, beans, rice, granola, snack bars... two days ago)
- harvest and process fava beans
- harvest and hang to dry the final row of garlic (25 dozen)
- move the water trough and electric fence so the cows are on fresh grass so they don't try to escape to greener pastures
- set out a fresh batch of garlic at the roadside farm stand
- set up climbing trellises for the beans to grow up onto

At the same time, construction of the cabin bedroom extension has reached another critical point. Today we have to finish "chinking" - filling in all cracks and gaps in the clay/woodshaving walls so that they can dry while we're gone. And order straw, sand and burlap so that when we return we can start the first layer of mud plaster inside and out.

Plus a community soccer game. And oh ya, mom's coming for an overnight, so we gotta make the place look nice for grandma. (Mom, if you're reading this, it actually always looks perfect, not just when you come :) Luckily, that means that at least for a while today the boys will get some parenting instead of just frantic us trying to squeeze a final 2 weeks of Things-To-Do into 24 hours.

When our 10th anniversary came by in early August, we waited until November to have our romantic B&B getaway. Now 2 years later we have our systems and our support network arranged a bit tighter so we can squeeze in a bit o' fun, but at the same time the farm is running deeper in our blood. I am very much looking forward to this annual camping adventure with good friends, but at the same time there's something unsettling and Wrong about leaving the farm when there's work to be done (said in the voice of Almanzo's Pa).

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