Thursday, May 18, 2017

Stay Cool

Sweat was dripping off my face and onto my hands as I planted the Cherokee Purples in the kitchen garden. The heat came fast, overnight, and was taking no prisoners. In a few hours a thunderstorm will canter through here, covering the newly planted vegetable starts with a good shower. I hope to be outside for the first clouds and rumbles, in the hammock, under the king maple that has watched over me and my home for seven years now.

The only things left for me to plant are butternut squash and basil. I have my gardening efforts down to the things I eat the most, and nothing else. So my kailyard in the woods is lettuce and spinach, kale and broccoli, rocket and arugula, and other colder shady crops. By the farmhouse are the nightshades like tomatoes and potatoes. And I also plant my standbys I like to grow and store like the butternuts, onions, and garlic in the fall. Besides that the farm isn’t much of a vegetable producer. But even that small amount of options makes endlessly good meals all year long. It is worth the work, especially on hot days like today where the big event is a cold drink swaying above a tingling earth, pre rain.

I think one of the pigs is pregnant, a first for this little farm. Pigs have never been born here, just bought. I am excited and a little nervous. I am still waiting on a ewe to lamb, but all the goat kids have been born and sold. Morning milking is back into my daily chore list and the milk is setting off my own grocery costs and helping feed the summer pigs, too.

Yesterday I tried to take some photos with Aya Cash, my redtail. She’s molting right now and at a heavy off season weight, so she wasn’t interested. That photo above is from a hawk outtake, a nice wing in the ear. I was taking photos with her while I had her out of the mews for her daily weighing and feather check. She seems to be doing really well and I’m proud to carry her into the next hunting season together this fall.

I am a little sore from yesterday, as I have started a weekly workout goal I call Skadi Day. Skadi was a warrior goddess of long ago, a huntress and archer. So on Skadi days I set goals in distance running, working out, archery and riding. After the morning design work is done I get into a long run, do some sit ups and push ups, and then set an arrow number to shoot and end it all with a trail ride with Merlin. This is fitting because after yesterday’s 12k run, 125 push ups, 125 sit ups, 125 arrows, and a farm to manage I was ready to be carried. Merlin is also just getting back into shape and was huffing and puffing as he ran up the mountain. It still feels like home on that back of that horse. He is the best mistake I ever made.

So things are okay. Working like mad to promote design, illustrations, and classes on twitter. I have three people signed up for archery days this summer and hoping to get more people to come to the farm for that or fiddling. The farm isn’t in dire straights, but like most of us out there working for ourselves, I’m always right up against it. It’s a fight worth staying in the ring for. Seven years, and it’s still my home.

Stay cool out there. Be nice to each other. More soon.


Blogger dc said...

It was in the 80s here this past weekend but it started snowing at 8 AM this morning and hasn't stopped. I'm glad I didn't have time to plant my veggie garden this weekend and sad for all the farmers, orchards and trees here in town. :(

May 18, 2017 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Hi Jenna, I agree with you regarding selecting the foods that you grow. I only grow the things that I like, and that I can, freeze or store for the winter. I fill the extra areas with flowers that my honeybees enjoy. The weather has been unpredictable here, getting cold and sometimes frost at night. The tender plants are not in the soil yet. It is a bummer, but I have learned to be careful.

May 18, 2017 at 10:10 PM  
Blogger adirondackdreamer said...

yes it was relentlessly hot here yesterday too...I have to admit I
didn't get anything planted, just purchased. I too have come to
the conclusion that if I don't eat it, I'm not planting it -- as I live
alone and only cook for myself. Good luck with your squashes - a
very crafty groundhog (whom neighbors feed and treat like a pet) kept
getting into my patch, so I've decided to just use the farmer's market
instead. Being 63, I've taken to supporting farmers as much as
planting my own vegetables, but gardening is still so enjoyable - as
they say, cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes -- not squashes
however:) I hope you keep writing - you have a gift there - I read
your first books during a difficult time and they completely took my
mind off of things as a good book should:) Don't get too discouraged, like
anything some days will be better than others:)

May 19, 2017 at 1:14 PM  

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