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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hops. Yazoo.

Hops planting. Yes, it was 98 yesterday, but in the (relative) cool of the afternoon, the crew transplanted our hops, dividing rhizomes and winding the vines up the twine. We are hoping that we can baby them along--this is late in the season to be transplanting.

Keith Loiseau has been the animating force behind this project. Turns out you need really tall trellises--12 to 15 feet--which, a couple of weeks ago, meant some really, really tall poles sunk into seven-foot postholes (thanks to Keith, Zach, Tom, and I don't know who all), then cable connectors and guy wires. Then tying twine to the cable.

Then yesterday. We'll see how it goes.

My day looked a little different: hospital rounds, dental emergency, then home to count workers and do dinner for twelve. Nice to sit in the pavilion watching the fireflies rising in the meadow.

Thanks to Tom, Sydney, Eric, two Kevins, two Evans, Brooke, Amelia, Sabina.

And thanks to Yazoo Brewing Company, Nashville's microbrewery. Yazoo has been unbelievably supportive of local farming, and our fundraisers.

Bells Bend loves Yazoo, and we're planning on sending a few hops your way. Eventually.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Box Turtle Theology

Our old friend, Mac Davis, understood the great questions of life from the point of view of the lovely box turtle: the universe is made up of towering blades of grass, rustling leaves, rivulets of warm water, and on rare occasions, the sudden appearance of a dry hot plain, populated by erratic roaring devils, behemoths designed to crush turtles, specifically, into nothingness. There comes a time in every box turtle's life when this hellish drama appears and must be negotiated.

This morning, just past the country store, a turtle teetered on the edge of eternity, on the shoulder of the road, looking across the five lanes. I pulled over, and so did good neighbor Keith. I imparted a few of the basic principles of Box Turtle Theology, as we imperfectly understand the creed. When I reached down, the turtle instantly pulled in legs and head, clamping upper and lower shells together, and looking for all the world like a charming jewelbox. Not an unreasonable reaction to impending revelation.

Then I, the Hand of God, instrument of salvation, put him up on the bank, pointing back towards his small kingdom of grass and trees, and I , the Hand of God, climbed into my dusty van, picked up the cooling coffee cup, and headed back to my own familiar world.

Consider this a small bit of hagiography, a nod into the eternal computing cloud for Mac Davis, through whom a bit of eternity, if only for turtles, has been revealed.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pig-pickin'. Some call it barbecue. Whew.

We are slowly coming out of barbecue recovery.

The Bells Bend Farms pig-pickin' was extraordinary. Fund-raiser for farming out here. Glorious afternoon, just beautiful beautiful tables with our own hydrangeas, striped grass and Queen Anne's lace in mason jars. It was just a lovely day all the way to the paper lanterns floating into the night sky and the luminarias transforming our driveway into an otherworld fantasy.

Shoutouts first:

Yazoo!!! Donated kegs. Wahoo!

Which brings us to The Riders in the Sky--purveyors of mega-wahoo and fantastic music. We couldn't have done it without you.

Hatch Show Print: We did our own invites, but Hatch donated the cardstock, all cut to size.

Syd: This girl can flat track down beer (as long as it's Yazoo, our very own), Porta-Potties, paper, envelopes, auction donations, people who can whip our computer into submission as detailed below, and on and on. Ice, lighting, you name it.

Casey: Pit-meister extraordinaire. (Of course, Tom was the meister-master, supervising preparations.)

Rachel Lawson: Caterer advice and fab beans. And more.

Max and Ruthie: Layout and computer-tending for invites.

Brooke: Gorgeous, as usual, as was her salad. Brooke was up from picking to pit. We couldn't do it without her.

Patrick: Firewood. Himself.

Jody: Street performer, good time guy, and he keeps our computer running too.

And all our usual neighborhood wonderfuls: Ellen--address-wrangling, tablecloths, tent gear, auction accessories. Sharon--cornbread and a delightful playhouse. DiAnne--flowers and rooster. Emily, Rachel, EricTheFarmer, Peter, Kevin. Becca, Joe. India--flew home for the event!

Artists: You know who you are.

The Slaw Sluts: You know who YOU are--responsible for handchopping cabbage for 180 dinners!

Amelia and Sabina: These guys not only helped before and during, they were up at the crack of dawn the morning after stacking chairs, clearing tables, and generally cleaning up.

Our gratitude extends to those who inadvertently entertain: Zach the Dapper Chopper, chopping barbecue in a starched striped shirt and Panama hat. Lulu, who couldn't decide which table to lie under. The gentleman with the deadly baseball cap, taking out flies one by one.

And Tom, without whom this event would not be--endless months of phone calls, negotiations, consultations about barbecue sauces (tomato or vinegar?), coleslaw, cornbread.

And me--I'll extend some self credit here: invitations, lemonade, ten dozen lemon bars, accounting, auction.

I hope I haven't left you out. If you're like me, you won't care much, at least for another few days, because you're still lying in the hammock with a bad book and a glass of tea, orthopedic shoes sitting side by side in the grass.