Today we had some volunteers come out from the great state of Missouri. Jeff, Rachel and Jessica are their names and the adventures of growing food and life in general is their game. Funny thing about this group, Rachel works at the food co-op in Ava Missouri…yeah, I’ve never heard of it either. Ava, is where Patrick and Jake are from. In fact, they went to highschool with Rachel and Jessica and just happened to go into the food co-op in Ava the last time they left to go and see their folks. They talked about the farm and one thing led to another and about a month later these peeps are eating breakfast this morning in my kitchen. Jeff, who is the husband of Rachel among other things found my blog some how through the interactions between Missouri brethren and read the whole thing. He said he started from the beginning…and read the WHOLE THING! Thank you Jeff, I’m humbled by your tenacity to read my blog, in its entirety…that’s 289 posts people! Good on you Jeff. Thanks for your participation today. It was really nice to meet you. Orion also came today. He’s a student at the University of Arkansas and found us through their volunteer list serve. So if you’re reading this right now, University of Arkansas student, and you need volunteer time…we’re here, for you.
Today! Today, today, TODAY!!!! Today is the final day of our first CSA season. It is quite exciting around here, and yet doesn’t seem real. It feels like only yesterday that we delivered for the first time and said, “Twenty-three more weeks to go.” At that time, the end was not in sight. As the countdown drew closer to the finish line, the sentiment was more like “Pump the brakes.” Now, here we are, at the end. This isn’t the end however. We have committed to ten more weeks, for those who want to sign up for a fall/winter share. The bulk of the work for the season is coming to a close though. A thank you is in order for all of our customers this first go round. Just know that there was a lot of work and effort from both farmers involved, to bring you the best local food experience. Thank you for believing in the value of having fresh, local vegetables delivered. Thank you for understanding the working relationship with your local farmer and how important that is. And lastly, thank you for giving it a shot! We hope to see many of your faces again next year! To Mother Earth, let’s have a more mild summer next year, I missed having copious amounts of tomatoes.
Emily Cumbie-Drake has arrived again! Look back into the archives fans, she was here end of August, early September, and on her way down to the Heifer Ranch in lovely, lively, hopping (please catch the sarcasm) Perryville Arkansas. She came up today with three friends to see the sights and volunteer tomorrow morning. Emily, what a pleasure it is having you back, and you and your friends are always welcome. We’re about to settle-up, for those of you who don’t know, it’s an addictive little game called “Settlers of Catan”. Anywho, always glad to have WWOOF-ers return, Grace : ) , it makes a body feel good to know you had some what of an impression…enough for them to return and give warm hugs. All of our WOOF-pack has been amazing thus far. We currently have a friend of the WOOF-pack here, John. He is a friend of Sarah, who WWOOF-ed here a week ago or so. We’re glad you’re here John. Thank for coming.
What’s here? Where? The frost dear reader, the pre-cursor to the dead of winter, it has finally made its frosty disposition known last night. From an unknown source (weather.com), it said that it was only going to dip down to 36°F last night. However, it dipped a few degrees lower than that. Paul went out and cut basil by the bunches before it turned black. We also built a fire. At first it seemed a bit of a stretch at 8pm to be building a fire, but by 6:30 this morning it made sense. Brrrrr! I asked Pat, one of the Missouri angles less you forget how he slept in the RV. He said it was pretty cold. Jake was unavailable for questioning, for he just got a job in the produce section of Ozark Natural Foods, who by the way just installed 20 solar panels!
I feel like I haven’t been updating because I rely heavily on the images I post. I don’t know why, my teachers in school always thought my writing held its weight on its own, but since my camera has been broken, I’ve been afraid I guess. No excuse though. So, I’m writing today to let everyone know what’s been going on round’ here, without pictures.
We had a wonderful volunteer come and go within the last two weeks, Sarah P. She came to us all the way from the great land of Bentonville Arkansas, perhaps you’ve heard of it. I don’t even have any pictures of Sarah, so I can tell you that she was blonde, had a lovely personality and smile, and was a hard worker. I believe she had a nice time, she said it to my face, so I’d like to hope that it’s true. Sarah, you are missed, thank you so much for your help!
The old birds have been moved to a new coop out in the orchard, to make way for the new birds to go into their old coop…that sounds funny when you say it out loud. The new birds have out grown their apartment in the greenhouse. I for one am glad to see them move, and get the greenhouse back. I just went out to the orchard to see the new digs. The chickens seem to be really happy, they have a lot of space to roam, and they are doing a great service to those trees by fertilizing them. My main reason for going was to see my little angel Spaz. I had heard from one of the brothers that he was a little escape artist. Hard to believe with 8ft. fences. I get out there and watch as all of the chickens run to the fence looking for a hand-out. Hmmmm, no Spaz. Maybe he’s in the coop I thought, then I look down and see him standing right next to me! You ARE an escape artist! I was so happy to see him. I’m still not sure if he is a him, but nonetheless, he has feather…
UPDATE: I had to quit writing just then, Paul had just come home and asked if I had tended to the birds in the greenhouse today. ”No” was my reply, usually the door has been opened by Paul. Well, at that time i was just past three p.m. I walk over to the greenhouse and walk in as Paul was walking out to a death scene. There were a lot of birds dead, some almost dead and some very much alive. It was horrible. At first I felt very defensive saying that it wasn’t my fault. I said “you didn’t tell me to open the doors”. One might ask, Amanda, do you have to be told everything? Well dear reader, I guess I do. You see, I hardly ever tend to those birds. I tend to things like my kids and the WOOF-pack. I went back into the greenhouse to wrangle the birds that had escaped their enclosure. I struggled putting them back in their pen. I went to Paul and asked for help, but none was given. Oliver said he would help me catch them. He put on gloves, but I couldn’t let him, it was pretty bad. I grabbed a big container and started to pull out the dead ones. I stopped counting at around 15, at that time Paul came and helped me. I would say at least thirty perished today due to my negligence. It was absolutely awful, I was traumatized. I hauled the container to the driveway and asked Paul if I should dig a hole. He told me to leave them, I had to go to the nursing home to sit with a friend of ours, Ms. Barbara. When I got to her place, she told me about her day and asked how I was doing. I told her not so good, and let her know about the birds. She said “Oh, that’s awful!” and then asked “Did you get crabbed at?” I said sort of, if you consider the cold silence similar to being crabbed at. And she said “Well, that’s just like a man.” Dear reader, Ms. Barbara is 90, has dementia, but in my humble opinion is still sharp. Then she proceeded to make me feel better, saying that these kinds of things happen, and could happen to anyone. I told her I understood, but it had just happened, and my defensive feelings had turned to feelings of guilt and shame. And being a Christian she said “well, just throw it out there to God then”, and she began to pray:”Dear God, bless Amanda and her family and those birds that are with you now Lord…” I have no idea if birds go to heaven, or if God greeted them today, but when she was finished she looked at me and smiled and said “there, now the only thing to do is go forward with your life”. I wouldn’t consider myself a religious person, spiritual, maybe, but by no means religious, however what Barbara did for me today was awesome. I couldn’t have asked for a better friend to get me through what I was feeling. At that moment, her cell phone rang. She answered it and said “Oh, is this Paul?” She looked at me and winked. ”Yes, she’s right here”, she handed me the phone and Paul said to me “Amanda, I just wanted to tell you that I love you, and that every things all right.” Barbara had brought me up from 10% to about 95% and Paul calling made me feel absolutely great. As soon as I hung up the phone with him, Barbara clapped her hands together and said “See! There’s your happy ending!” I love that woman. I still feel terrible for those birds who didn’t have to die, and the ones who remain have now been relocated to their new home in the old coop…whatever that riddle means.