Saturday, May 14, 2011

the good life (border collie edition)

Soon as I returned to the farm I had my bag ready. Inside the plastic three big rawhide bones rattled like osteoporosized antlers. My dogs had been stuck inside the house on a Saturday since 8AM and it was nearly 4. I owed them.

When I got inside the door Annie instantly knew I had the goods, and sat down in front of me like the lupine cherub she isn't. I tossed her and Jazz their bones and then took Gibson for his walk. Together we padded down the road in a light rain storm and when his bladder needs were satisfied I let him off his leash to romp around the property a bit. He plopped down under the big maple that guards my house and panted a happy pant. A tired border collie on a sheep farm is certainly one version of the Good Life.

The day of book events went well. The plant swap at Northshire was a scattered, light crowd but a few folks braved the bleak weather to pet a chicken and talk landscaping. A fiddle and guitar due played some fine tunes, including Unger's Ashokan Farewell and for the 17-jillionth time I regretting having missed the Civil War. After running inside for a cup of strong coffee, I loaded up the Dodge and headed north to Glens Falls on a series of back roads. After a quick stop for feed (and a badass straw cowboy hat) I was on my way to the big city.

The crowd at Red Fox books was wonderful, a nice showing of chicken owners, chicken thinkers, and chicken lovers. It was an informal Q&A and my three chicks were fairly well behaved. At one point my white Ameraucana flew from the wire cage onto a customer's shoulder, but it came across more like theatrics than chaos. A point I was incredibly grateful for. Red Fox sold a lot of books and I met a lot of kind and interesting people. The folks who run the shop even suggested stopping by the farm when they drove down to Gardenworks and I told them to swing over anytime, just email ahead so I'm not out getting hay or working in a corporate office. I do hope they stop in.

By the time I was ready to return to my farm for a Saturday afternoon nap, it was starting to rain. They want it to pour all day tomorrow and into most of next week. Fine by me, the pastures could use it. The farmer could also use a proper raincoat. All I have is a heavy, plastic tarp I got at an outlet sale in Manchester. But I am going to save up for a proper waxed cotton jacket like the great dog men wear in Scotland to farm in. It seems proper: on this hill with these sheep and my pup-in-training, shucks, a girl's got to be ready for a Scottish rain.

P.S. A dozen people have emailed me about the rabbit workshop, but so far no one has reserved a spot. So if you are interested, please email me and we can set you up with all the information you need for a day or overnight trip to Jackson.

photo taken from Red Fox Books Facebook page

15 Comments:

Blogger doglady said...

Wow Jenna. I didn't realize those trees were apples??? That is a pretty picture. You've got a really neat place.

May 14, 2011 at 7:21 PM  
Blogger Tealah said...

Ah, that rabbit workshop. I would be there in a heartbeat if I didn't live in Arkansas. :(

By the way, how is Gibson's leg? I remember reading that he wrenched it and you were going to bring him to the vet, but I don't remember if you posted a follow-up.

May 14, 2011 at 7:45 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I did take him to the vet, and she said to keep an eye on it and slow down any high-impact dog-wrestling for a while. So he's okay, but being watched.

May 14, 2011 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger SuzieQ said...

I saw on the Agrarian Nation a BBC series "A Farm for the Future." It is a five part series I think you would enjoy. I watched it on Youtube.
Suzie

May 14, 2011 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Your comments about Scottish rain, dogs, and sheep reminded me! My husband & I were in Scotland in April (my 5th trip, his 1st) and we saw tons of blackface sheep and sweet blackface lambs in the Highlands & Islands. We thought of you. :)

May 14, 2011 at 9:56 PM  
Blogger WeekendFarmer said...

Came acoss this pony cart. Did you find a cart yet? This one looks very interesting!

http://cnj.craigslist.org/grd/2380314935.html

Not sure how you will transport to upstate...but I am sure you can find a way.

Regards,
weekendfarmer

May 14, 2011 at 11:14 PM  
Blogger Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

What a lovely time I am having watching you get the farm built, stocked, fenced, barn-ed, planted, birthed....

May 15, 2011 at 1:06 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

Hi Jenna
Your comment about Scottish rain makes me laugh as I look out of my window on the west coast of Scotland to some heavy downpours in May! This is usually our best month of the year but it's been so wet!! Mind you I went to New Zealand this year and discovered what real rain is like on their west coast. It makes ours look pathetic so maybe you need a Kiwi farmers coat?

Ali
(with three hens and an acre of bogland!)

May 15, 2011 at 2:36 AM  
Blogger mandy_farmer said...

About the apple trees...do they produce regular sized apples? Our didn't but I pruned it back this year and have my fingers crossed. I read somewhere they will start to produce regular sized apples after being pruned properly. And mine looks like I destroyed it but it actually looks healthy so far. Just curious. :)

May 15, 2011 at 8:14 AM  
OpenID localnourishment.com said...

I dearly love "Ashokan Farewell" and encouraged my daughter to learn it when she was taking fiddle lessons. I now have that haunting tune wafting through my very own rafters upon request. That's part of the good life, too.

May 15, 2011 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger donna322 said...

Sorry I missed you at Red Fox books..Do you plan on another visit anytime soon?

May 15, 2011 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger kylieps said...

That does sound like a good life. Glad to hear the book talk went well. How could they not buy your charming books? I happen to work at a border collie rescue farm in Morris NY
http://www.glenhighlandfarm.com/
and everyday I think, "wow. They pay me to cuddle/play with/train these awesome dogs."
Life doesn't get any better unless it's on a sunny day on my farm with my own border collie running across the hills.

May 15, 2011 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

We've already had 9 straight days of rain up here in 'New Scotland" and hearing your forecast - in which what you get today, we get tomorrow - has taken the gumption right out of me. Oh well - didn't really want to plant my baby mixed lettuce nor my peas yet anyway. More time to work inside, I guess.
I'm glad to hear your day went well uesterday.

May 15, 2011 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

There is a Civil War concert at the West Stockbridge (Mass.) Historical museum on May 27. Don't know any more about it - just saw the sign on my way past.

May 15, 2011 at 4:34 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Like Tealah said about the rabbit workshop, "I would be there in heartbeat if I didn't live in Washington." State that is, not county. :)Maybe an on-line workshop?

May 16, 2011 at 9:17 PM  

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