Monday, March 26, 2012

Farm first

We have experienced a few big milestones here at the farm. We refinanced our two loans from Farm Credit for our land and house and got out interest rate down to 4%, a twenty year loan instead of thirty years. Basically we saved ourselves close to 100k. So that was something to celebrate, even though these things are so anti-climactic. There is perhaps nothing as dull as going into a lawyer's office to sign a bunch of papers that are really only good for lighting fires and making recycled toilet paper. We've been working with them for about 8 months to get it done. Not so easy for farmers with a newborn!!! But it's done now and we have signed the dotted line. We could save even more money if we pay it off sooner, but I've come to realize that it's hard to not put all our money back towards the farm. I look at everything we could buy now in terms of what we could get for the farm with the same amount of money. That Patagonia jacket I've been wanting all winter??? 128 asparagus plants!!! Those hot Dansko clogs (wait, can clogs be hot??), 20 tree peonies!!!! The frames for two hand-painted prints from Italy I got as a present seven years ago??? 2 bags of endomycorrhizal inoculant!!! That's enough for 3 acres of production folks!!! Needless to say, it's been hard to indulge in consumer goods lately. Except for goodies for my insatiable sweet tooth, but we don't really need to talk about that in detail.
Another big milestone is Ruth going to sleep without crying! Hallelujah, may we rejoice in this blessing for some time to come!!! It is SO nice to reach this point. May it continue always. Speaking of my girl, she wakes. Til next time!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

wedding season begins

and of course to start off the season I drop our camera into a bucket of water. pure genius, I know. ruined.
did we mention it's been unseasonably warm around these parts? we're talking mid-80s when it should be mid-60s. our flowers are going bonkers. and global warming is the white elephant in the room that no one likes to acknowledge. i don't like to carry fear around with me, but climate change and it's potential and seemingly inevitable impact really freaks me out. on a very deep level.

March Madness

It was written in the stars that Stuart's birthday would fall just around the time of the NCAA tournament. This year, the beginning of his 34th year, the tourney started the day after his b-day. Most everything else in our life (besides the farm and Ruth) gets written off and the TV is on more than any other time of the year. Brackets, bracket bleeding, and lots of sh*t talking ensue, and it's pointless to discuss anything else.
"Stuart, a groundhog is eating all of our lettuce!!!"
"That's great honey. Did you see that Norfolk St. power forward? Damn!"
"Stuart, Radiohead is going to play in Bushy Fork!!!"
"Cool. What time is the Kentucky game?"
"Stuart, Conrad Hall has been resurrected and is working on a new film!"
"Neat. Let's hurry up with this so I can see if Crazy Foot is still leading the bracket. Can't believe Marquette won."
And so it goes. And about that last picture....came home from market and Ruth was dressed (by Dad) in that awesome outfit. Hellz yeah.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Buttercups at their best

Ranunculus; the buttercup bred to perfection. We still have a long way to go with growing it to perfection. I find it to be one of the more challenging flowers. The goal is to always grow things to their best around here but the more I learn about the dynamics of soil and how every plant has its nuances and preferences, the more I feel that we can improve on things. I find it so fascinating (and frustrating!) that from year to year there can be such huge disparities in the success of a crop. A lot of this is timing, the weather, whether or not the crop is coddled, varieties, weeds, where we plant, etc. And things get more predictable the longer we do this, more streamlined and organized. Thank goodness. But we do have a long way to go, and I guess that is one of the beautiful things about farming---that you are building a relationship with a piece of land and all the things you grow and each year they become more familiar, more defined in their needs, more substantive.