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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Gloomy Saturday. And yet.

Tom and I were just fixin' to head to the cinema for a mindless evening of The Avengers, when I was paged, on the phone, and Jeff the Barefoot Farmer and his Oregon friend Jim barged in.  DiAnne was here, having brought her sweet-woodruff-infused May wine, and we had just watched I'll Have Another in another spectacular run--the Preakness, this time. 

The cinema lost out to a pleasant hour by the koi pond, talking about running cattle on grassland--Jeff was fresh from a lecture by a South African farmer, who described intense grazing, with animals packed for short periods sequentially on tiny plots, and how they trample the grasses, graze their fill, manure generously, and scuff the soil, all of which results in rapid soil rebuilding for several months before the herd returns for another brief bout.  Monsanto, corporations, blackberry vinegar, small communities, Jeff's hat, which might be in one of our bedrooms, how to cook a whistle pig, the fact that Whistle Pig would be a great name for a band, a brief tribute to the great banjo player Doug Dillard, who died this week, and social networking.  Eclipse of the sun.  Succulents.  Girl fiddlers.  Love life speculation.  All grist for our happy hour.

Jeff's band is playing at Richard's Cajun up the road.  We might go.  Or not. 

An excellent end to a day that had already included long hospital rounds for me,  gardening with a couple of Oaxacan helpers  for Tom, and Robert stopping by to discuss the pool pump.  Heather came for laundry, and the washer is burning rubber again, certainly NOT fixed by replacing the belts last week. 

And topped off by towering purple clouds, patches of thundering rain, lit by a small yellow sun off above the hills.

And I completely forgot about, since I was unable to attend, the morning's community planning session at Bell's Bend Park, with lunch provided by our own Rachel.  It's always something.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

More May.

Today is first CSA pickup, and, for a change, I'm home, and plan to spend a little time at the shed, communing with our produce, our producers, and our customers. 

First square dance of the season this weekend, while Tom and I were in Wisconsin celebrating the last of the college graduations.   Apparently it rained, but Keith saved the day/night with an improvised tarpaulin over the dancefloor.   EricTheFarmer says that Balthazar Jack, our newish B&W hound, got a bit sloshed, drinking the tag ends of beer out of discarded cups.  We love us some Yazoo, but will have to speak to them about marketing to our canine population. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Last week our farm proletariat created our own Maypole, a giant bamboo pole with a tuft of leaves on top, tucked into a cable spool.  After dark, there was semi-organized dancing, wrapping the streamers around the pole, and semi-organized music, and semi-organized potlucking.  All good, although the adorable quotient was certainly well below Martha Stewart threshhold.

This week is the first square dance of the season, T-Claw calling.  Plan was to build a dance-floor, but marine plywood is very very expensive, so options are being discussed.  Around a late lunch table, as it happens, with Eric, Rachel, Heather, Scott, Loren, Dylan, Andy, Ayla, and I don't know who all. 

Tom picked out a black-and-white houndly mutt as a second farm dog (Balthazar Jack, whose schizoid moniker reflects unresolvable conflict in the family), and then came home with a third dog, the adorable but very destructive Thelma.  The farm crew wanted to see her flying over a cliff in her convertible Caddy, but our good neighbor Jim has taken her on, to see her through her puppyhood.  Into a grave and philosophical middle-age, we presume.

Our frighteningly changeable climate has, this spring, been perfection for truck farming, and the gardens are perfectly beautiful: onions, tomatoes, peppers, okra, rhubarb, and lettuces all crisp and shining.   Tom has temporarily retired the spader for repairs.  I've weeded the driveway bed and called in reinforcements to beat the pool bed into some semblance of horticultural order. 

There is no other news.  Oh, wait--Tom, Keith, Jim, and Joe put up the huge posts you can see down at the corner--the first part of our new Scottsboro/Bells Bend sign.  Can't wait.  We're so proud!