Tim, a fellow farmer from two valleys over stopped by a few nights ago for dinner. I had ground up a beef heart and fixed us both burgers on the grill to go with his, as always, excellent salad of spring veggies. He made a nice fresh raspberry salad dressing that I wasn’t sure whether to drizzle on the salad or add rum and ice cubes. I opted to use it as a salad dressing.
After dining we sat on the front porch and spoke of weather, vegetables, pigs and Billy Bragg as we smoked cigars and sipped our drinks. It was nice to sit with a friend and watch the sunset over the next ridge and not feel in any sort of hurry. He pulled out his banjo and played while we talked. A couple of hours later we moseyed out to the barn and put up the animals for the night before he headed down the road and over to his own valley.
That night it rained. But, like a slightly soggier version of Camelot, it let up by sunrise yet remained cloudy and misting all day. Hannah, our farm volunteer, part of the WWOOF program, popped out of her apartment around 8 ready to work. She has been on our farm for a week working for room and board and learning about farming. She will stay for a couple more weeks. In one short week she has resurrected the garden after a couple of weeks of heavy rains and knocked out a fairly heavy to-do list. And by all appearances seems to have thrived with the work load.
She and I loaded up our work sled, a truck bed liner abandoned in a back field that we repurposed fourteen years ago. It now serves as a convenient way to haul firewood, equipment or stones anywhere on the property. Pulling it with the tractor we hauled it up into the back forty where we put in a hard mornings work setting t-posts and digging post-holes. As you are now no doubt tired of hearing this ongoing project of rebuilding or repairing every fence line on the farm is now in its third month. Perhaps in fifteen years when I reach retirement age we will have completed the project…in time to start again.
Last night a trip down the hill to our neighbor’s house with dinner prepared by one of her daughters, good conversation, good food, nice wine and when stuffed I trudged back home and was in bed by ten. It was a nice way to cap a day of hard labor.
This morning with rain coming down Hannah and I turned our attention to domestic skills making lard and some mead flavored with Tim’s strawberries and ginger. I await Cindy’s return from her parent’s home, a semi-annual visit, by fixing chicken sausage gumbo for this evening’s dinner. And that is all from the farm this week.