Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Waiting on the Locusts

When the sun and humidity levels are up it really feels like summer is here. The solstice is a few weeks away (as is the true heat and storms) but I got a taste of it this holiday weekend. All the trees are in full bloom, hell, everything is in full bloom. A walk down the road is a scene from Jurassic Park. There isn't a stone without moss, a corner without sweaty mushrooms, and all the flies are hatching and bees buzzing. Cranes and red tails alike are coming off their nests and fluffy Canada Goslings are waddling behind their fussy parents. The only thing not pregnant with pre-summer is the locust trees. They are always last to show up t the party.

The three-day weekend still has a hold on me. I try not to stress or work to much during weekends everyone else is on vacation as well. So I attended some work parties and did a lot of farm repairs but I stayed away from the computer. It was wonderfully humid here for a few days and I lapped it up. I honestly think the only reason people dislike humidity is because they are fighting it. You have to if you are any sort of professional. You can't show up to the office drenched in pit stains and frizzy hair. But since I have no one to present myself too but the staff at the hardware store I just let the heat have its way with me.

This weekend the weather howled. That humid always brings short-tempered storms and this weekend brought big growls. A tornado ripped apart a home south of Albany and caused serious damage to surrounding property. There was a hail storm that destroyed Nelson Greene's corn crop. And the same time some farms and homeowner are struggling others are dancing. Cold Antler got through the weekend with nothing but smiles and fat hawks. The Stannard Farm Stand down the road had their best weekend of all time. That's the crapshoot that is agriculture. One farm just a few miles south of another thrives while the other looses thousands in the same three days. Some times it seems like if you're into any sort of financial security you're better off buying lottery tickets…

But if you are into actual security, as in shelter, water, food, and human flourishing than farming has that in spades. That dopey photo up there shows a lawn with some birds and hutches to most people. But what I see is a barn that has provided a half-ton of pork, countless eggs, hundreds of gallons of milk, rabbit, chicken, and livestock sales. I see a lawn with egg and meat futures, Thanksgiving Dinners, a forest full of game, and can hear the bubbling stream around me. On paper this place is a loss and the mortgage is always behind. In reality I am one of the wealthiest people in Cambridge. That's a humble brag for sure but I'm fine with the accusation.

P.S. To those asking about the kailyard fence - so far I am lucky. It's in the middle of the woods and the wire has kept out chickens and geese. But if deer came by it wouldn't stand a chance. Thinking about running electric around it but right now I just sprayed some liquid fence (AKA coyote piss) around it. I'm hoping its proximity to the barn and all the ruckus of the house keeps the deer at bay since a lush forest is all around it. Hope being the key word.


Blogger Bex said...

If you look into the Mother Earth News archives, there should be a couple of articles on multi later fences to keep out deer.

May 28, 2014 at 11:37 PM  
Blogger Becky H said...

It looks beautiful, I'm amazed at how much work you can do on your own. My insides get unhappy just thinking about all the responsibility. Are those door pyramid things rabbit hutches? I've never seen any like that before. Did you make them yourself? Any tutorial you can direct me towards?

May 29, 2014 at 1:31 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Thank you Becca, I will look into it. Not used to fighting off deer because my gardens have always been so close to the house.

May 29, 2014 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Becky - It is a lot of work, but not overly taxing on the body. The hardest part is just being there all the time and understanding your limitations of travel and distance. The hutches came from critter cages, a store online and cost around 80 bucks I think? I use them to keep young laying hens or meat birds on grass when they are first ready to get out from under the heatlamps

May 29, 2014 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

and Bettie, I deleted your comment by accident! please repost!

May 29, 2014 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger ~Bettie said...

No problem, Jenna.
I was saying how picturesque your farm looks, but I can understand how you see it differently than others. It has provided so much for you, and I don't mean just food.
Right now, my "homestead" is just a home in the woods with a pretty yard, but I envision the living, breathing creature that I know it will be one day.
To keep the deer from your kailyard, could you drape bird netting over the fencing or would the deer just trample through that along with the fencing? I'm afraid we're going to have problems with deer in our garden since last fall all of the apples from one of our trees disappeared in one night. I think deer were the perpetrators.
I also wanted to share that I'm going to the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup this weekend. I am sooo excited about that. I've never been to anything like that and know I'll come home full of ideas!

May 29, 2014 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Thank you Bettie! Enjoy the fair!

and thank you also for the kind words about the farm, it is far from perfect but it is working, the animals are doing great, and slowly I am catching up on old bills. It is coming along!

May 29, 2014 at 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jenna - I was wondering if you could give us an 'Italics' update - maybe I missed it, but I haven't read much about him recently. Have you had a successful hunt with him yet?


May 29, 2014 at 6:13 PM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

"But really Mr. Wildlife Ossifer, it was an ACCIDENT! I *MEANT* to shoot over the deer's head just to scare it off, but I guess when the local gunsmith put the scope on there, he adjusted it about 6" low...."

May 29, 2014 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger edh said...

Bird netting! Here in the other Washington County (Maine), we can buy it in rolls of 7'x100', and it's the only reason we had anything to eat last year. Ever since they effectively banned hunting in town, our deer population has exploded; we pretty much had a herd of about 7 living more or less in our yard last winter and while I like looking at them, I'm not good at sharing. The grass is fair game, but the green stuff in the beds, and the fruit trees are MINE.

May 30, 2014 at 1:14 PM  

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