Saturday, December 4, 2010

a modest saturday

I did something this morning I never do. I slept in long enough to wake up to daylight. I needed it. This past week has been an exhausting jaunt. It is a relief to meet a snow-sprinkled Saturday morning with the coffee pot and wood stove and know that for the most part: I have no where to be. I am stretching, sipping strong coffee, and enjoying that lull between feeding the animals and getting a shower. It's a wonderful place to be, that.

I toyed with the idea of packing up the truck and spending my day at a Farm Film Fest two hours south in the Hudson Valley—but last night after visiting one friend's new baby boy, and then driving to another friends place for music and drinks: I realized how extremely beat I was. A girl just can't go from 4:30 to 1 AM. Since our herding lesson was canceled, I decided to just spend the first day of my three-day weekend taking care of the farm, the house, and staring the first round of CSA packages.

There is a lot to do around here. Weekends are now the only time I get daylight outside, so I must take full advantage of it. Today I want to repair any weak spots in the fencing, defrost and replace all the water fonts, and get everything ready for the new flock being delivered Monday. The five ewes will arrive in a trailer, delivered by their breeder and a friend. Both ladies will be members of NEBCA, my border collie association and the group of trainers and mentors teaching me how to go about this new shepherding life. I want them to be happy with this place in every way. I know I don't need their permission, but I would like their approval.

I also plan on returning to work Tuesday with half of the CSA packages ready to mail. But that means I need to spend the weekend working on the welcome letters, price guide, expenses list, and projections for the fall. Each subscriber gets more than just a skein of yarn. They are part of the farm now, and in a way, investors. So to hold true to my word of 5-7 skeins a person (plus some raw wool) I want to make sure everyone has what they paid for, and understands what goes into the production of yarn at this basic a level. I figured if they saw exactly where every penny goes, an explanation of the shepherd's year, and plans for the harvest this spring: they would appreciate and understand this farm all the better. I also can not wait to see what folks create from my sheep's wool. I am fully prepared to be jealous of your knitting abilities.

P.S. I still have two spots left to fill. Waiting to hear from the people chosen (by lottery). Please let me know your decision soon as you can.

21 Comments:

Blogger Janet said...

Hi Jenna: I'm looking forward to my first package from you up here in Nova Scotia. It will be interesting to see the info packet you put together on the Coldantler Farm CSA. I view this membership in your CSA as a way to make a personal microloan. I've been involved in Kiva since its inception several years ago and am approaching my 300th loan with them and I do this not on a CEO's salary and perks but on a retired civil servant's pension and my country's Canada Pension and Old Age Assistance, which just approaches 20k a year - by my understanding that's poverty level or close. It's a matter of priorities and one is empowering African women to make a difference in the lives of their children and communities. I also want to help empower you as a small sustainable farmer to make a go of your journey which I hope will become the way of the future. Best of luck and have a great and relaxing weekend.
Janet in rural coastal Nova Scotia

December 4, 2010 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Thank you janet!

I hope to mail out your yarn Tuesday, with it will be the paperwork (nothing you need to sign or anything) explaining the goals, expenses, and work of the farm. I think you'll be shocked how quick the cash went right back into the farm!

December 4, 2010 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Tobi said...

Please keep me in the CSA lottery, should new spaces open!

December 4, 2010 at 9:33 AM  
OpenID Allison said...

Hi Jenna, I'm wondering if you still have an open spot? I had to stop by and say hi to you because of where you live! I was just clicking through a random blogs (on the Mother Earth Gardening website), and I came upon yours. I know exactly where Jackson is because I live right in Schuylerville. I had also been looking for a local yarn source, so the fact that you popped up is pretty funny.

December 4, 2010 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Allisone, you can just drive over and pick some up! You'll need smaller needles, but it's perfect for socks/fisherman sweaters, and hats. Probably go with a 5 or 6. I am playing with 7s and it's lacey.

December 4, 2010 at 9:35 AM  
Blogger Zoe Tilley Poster said...

I also felt some relief waking up this morning to a frosty, snow-dusted landscape, though it was preceded by a moment of disgust at realizing I'd missed the first precious hour of sunlight.

Always enjoy your updates on what's happening on the farm! They are heartening.

December 4, 2010 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Justine said...

Hi Jenna I was wondering where we can buy the yarn? Also are you planning on selling just roving or raw yarn for other people to spin if they choose? Let us know! P.S. I just love your pics!

December 4, 2010 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger Casie said...

Can you tell me how much a share is? I can't find where that was posted.

Thanks!

December 4, 2010 at 10:47 AM  
Blogger Penny said...

The yarn looks great. I was wondering about the cost of the CSA too. I've looked but can't seem to find where it is posted.

December 4, 2010 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger Penny said...

Okay so I realized I had somehow overlooked a post. $100 is a good price for this type of CSA. I would appreciate being added to your list for future shares. I NEED a CAF knitted hat to wear while doing my own farm chores. =)

December 4, 2010 at 11:22 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

The shares were 100, plus shipping. And I think i'm all sold out? But I do plan on selling some at an indoor market in Bennington if I get approved by the board. I can try to sell some online as well, but not set up for that just yet!

December 4, 2010 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger Floridagirl said...

Jenna, could you add me to your lottery list, if that's possible?

Thanks,
Loretta

December 4, 2010 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

Dearest Jenna,

Three hours of sleep is not a good night's rest, even for a young whipper snapper such as yourself! :) Please try to get more rest, especially since it's the cold and flu season. (Sorry to sound like such a mom, but I worry about you - even if I've never met you :)!!!)

with care and love from a farmer who relies on your posts to read with her morning coffee

December 4, 2010 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Oh Heidi, I know. It's no good.

I slept in today though. 1-7am!

December 4, 2010 at 5:40 PM  
Blogger CallieK said...

Dear Jenna,

I know we like to think we are being strong when we burn the candle at both ends- that 'I can push through this' mentality! But even the young and healthy can get felled when the lack of sleep begins to affect your immune system. I remember all too well a summer of no sleep in my twenties - going to bed at 3am, back up at 7am everyday. I was so run down I caught diptheria- that's right, that disease that has been practically eradicated and for which I had been vaccinated. I was sick as hell for weeks and for number of years later I got felled by every virus that went around. You often mention that you don't have much back up in terms of caring for your farm should you be incapacitated- think what would happen if you ended up hospitalized for weeks? If you must burn the midnight oil and still be up in early dawn to care for your flock, you need to learn to nap in early evening. Because coffee can only keep you alive for so long girl!

December 5, 2010 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger Odd Ducks Farm said...

Is it too late to enter?

December 5, 2010 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Callie, you are right as well. i try to get 5-7 hours a night. I usually am up early, but in bed early too. Late nights aren't common.

December 5, 2010 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger haylie said...

I know I've done this three times now, but I'd still love to be included in the lottery list!

My name is Haylie, and I have Barnheart.

December 5, 2010 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger haylie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 5, 2010 at 12:49 PM  
OpenID safirasilv said...

I missed the yarn CSA altogether (new job with a ridiculous commute--and a pay check large enough for me to buy good yarn again.) If there's a waiting list, please put me on it! (I'm also Teresa Noelle Roberts--comment under both blog-names.)

December 5, 2010 at 8:39 PM  
Blogger Annalisa said...

Jenna,
Please add me to your lottery for the CSA. Thanks
Annalisa

December 6, 2010 at 8:14 AM  

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