Category Archives: Living off the Grid

Cue the Banjos #2

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I just got back from the spot where the hoop stood.  There was a break in the rain, and I felt brave enough to see the carnage for myself.  It’s funny how you think you are prepared for things sometimes, I saw the images, I knew what I was about to see, but it still didn’t stop the fact of the gravity of the situation washing over me, and me weeping uncontrollably for at least five minutes.  I didn’t realize all of the attachments I had connected to that structure, and it all came out.

This is what I walked up to, snapped the picture, took a deep breath….trying to hold it all in, and sniff…you know the rest.

This is incredibly sad to me.

I knew the wind was strong, but to walk up to this and see the couplers twisted like this, it…..yeah.  WOW!

sniff sniff. : (

Incredible.

This image is of the pipe that anchored the whole ship to the ground, bent up, but the earth augur is still in the ground.

The North side hoop blown and twisted toward the east.

Mother Nature straight up body slammed this hoop!

The chard is still delicious!

I’d like to mention that when I said I cried uncontrollably, it was more like angry weeping, It sucked…it still does, but we must move forward!

Here is the Mothership in happier times! R.I.P.

She grew a lot of food last season, and she will be missed.

I would also like to add here some thanks: Roy, thanks for being here to be a chaperone for the kids, and you forgot the blood soup in the fridge.  Paul Z, thanks for coming over first thing and asking what do you need to do first, much appreciated.  Grace, thanks for taking pictures this morning and having nice hugs.  Cody, thanks for calling and lending your help when we need it…I’m thinking farm aid!

 

 

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A little Orr-chard maintenence

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Our neighbor, Sir Richard Orr (The lion-hearted), is a certified arborist.  We needed his help the other day trimming trees, specifically the fruit orchard that we put the chickens on.  Those trees had never been trimmed and were in need of serious help.

Richard’s advice was to get Zen with it.  Here he is telling Jake about the exciting world of tree trimming.

Richard let everyone have an opportunity to make cuts.

Phone went ding*

As you can see, these trees got a TRIM!

The Master at work.

Grace is taking a picture of her feet right here.  I found it funny to look over and see this happening.

The chickens were eating the blossoms.  It looked really pretty to see them frolicking among the downed branches.

This was a different kind of tree than the others.  It had a whole new set of challenges, but remember: ZEN.

Almost done with this mad tangle of a tree: zen zen zen zen zen zen zen zen zen!!!!!!!!

And last, but not least, Isaac showed up to hold a chicken.  AAAAWWWWWWWWWW.  That chicken was very zen.

 

 

 

The Pirate Ship

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A recent turn of events has brought a new (old) hoop house into our lives.  These pictures tell a story of their own.

Paul and the boys went to go look at it, and this is what they found.  This vessel has definitely seen better days, but it’s still seaworthy!

I feel like we need Linus to come over and wrap his blue blanket around this and tell us it just needs a little love.

Paul, Jake, Patrick, Grace, Yosha, and Paul Z. went to the site to take it apart, and were able to get the whole thing down in one day!  The hardest part will be where to put it!

G-Hock and ADUB= REGULATORS…the Bros. Jones too!

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My hands hurt.  This morning I was determined to revamp the ol’ herb bed.  It had been neglected and the crab grass, real name escaping me from sun/ wind whipped brain.  Anywho, the grass, grew great, and was choking out my herbs, so Grace and I used  compost forks and dug the whole thing up and weeded it.  We removed all of the plants and replaced them when we were done.  I split her away from the other work that was being done in the hoop and beyond by the brothers Jones.  I told her, “This will only take us an hour or so.” No one should listen to a word I say…ever.  It took forever.  And the bed isn’t even that large, twenty feet or less.  While we were keeping it real up front, the bros. were in the back planting carrots and kale and laying drip tape.  Busy day, I felt so accomplished and to top it off (by midday), Paul made cilantro pesto for lunch!  He took it to another level folks by blending it with avocado and adding lime…HEAVEN IN THE MOUTH!!!!  Scroll down and get the recipe!  I posted it a few days ago.  The photo of Grace and I in all our glory is currently being held hostage on her cell phone, but here’s a pic of the bros. working their magic.

You’re welcome!

Up and Over Rover

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Today it was 60 degrees.  Now, some of you might be thankful because in general people are winter shy.  Me however, am mourning the lack of winter, and have nothing but complaints over the beautiful, gorgeous, epic day today.  One thing I can’t complain about however is the lack of wind.  Why?  Well, because we’ve had this hoop house going up, and have been waiting all month, or longer possibly to get the plastic up and over the top of this behemuth…it’s been a long wait, but TODAY was the day.

In other news, a side note that helps propel this story forward, we received a new WWOOF’er yesterday, around evening time.  His name is Damian.  He comes to us from the great state of Texas, Dallas area (represent).  Now that you all have been introduced to him, the pictures that he’s in won’t seem so unfamiliar.  Moving on…

Why don’t I just cut to the chase and start feeding you pictures with captions.

Everybody, this is Damian.  Damian, this is everybody.  I’m assuming by this picture, I didn’t take it, that he has a sense of humor.

Whilst I was at school, the crew was working on finishing the south end wall construction.  Patrick, I like that you’re wearing the sweat band I crocheted.

I like this shot a lot, I titled it in my folder “Intimate Hands”.  I feel like we’re peeking in on this intimate moment of teamwork.

Whoa, the pull back reveals that it’s the brothers…that would make for an interesting plot.  I say this in jest men, thank you so much for the help.

Here is the finished end wall.

This is my artsy end wall shot from the other side.  This right here, is exciting!  Not the shot, although I think it’s neat, but the end wall.  It’s almost finished!

Forgive me, I was premature, I should have put this picture in the mix a little earlier.  This is the finishing touches to the end wall.

I like this little series here of Paul cutting the door out after the construction was complete.  I must admit, this has been a long road, putting up this hoop.  Even though the top is not on at the moment, this cutting of the door plastic, felt like a ribbon cutting of sorts.  Enjoy.

Suspense building…

HERE WE GO.  This means that the top is near.  A quorum of farmies came together to pull the plastic.  A lot of the faces were the same faces that helped us last year when we pulled the plastic on our first hoop.  Last year it was soooooo windy.  Not as windy as it has been lately, but windy none the less.  It seemed really frantic and critical to get it done and get it done quick.  This year, today, it was so calm and work at your own pace-like, totally a different mojo.  It made this process a whole lot easier.

Here’s Patrick.  Patrick is laying out wiggle wire.  The wiggle wire fits into a c-channel, which attaches the plastic to the structure.

The posse assembling, getting a tentative set of instructions.

Laying out the plastic.

I think this picture is neat.  I couldn’t decide between this one and one that turned out a little warmer. But, I like the coolness of this one.  Since it is February, we should all get the illusion that it’s cold outside…unless you’re standing underneath that plastic.

Photo credit: Mark Landry.  Awesome shot!  Richard Orr, prepare to become a star my man.

They are attatching the plastic here.  Working on the wiggle wire.  Most people are holding up the plastic.  For a time they were working in a bubble.  A few of us bystanders helped hold up more of the plastic so those guys could breathe.

Hi.  I was there too.  I pretended to be a tough girl and helped hold the plastic.  I almost dropped my camera trying to get a shot of me being tough, but this is what I snapped.  It’s tough to maneuver a camera with one hand.  But now you know that I was there too, and did some.  Thanks y’all who did most of the work, ahem*, Patrick, Jake, Paul Z, Barry, Pauly…and for those of you I’ve forgotten…I’m getting the flashing light, I’ve got to go…I love you all!

Patrick sacrificed and climbed up on the wall to cut the plastic to lay flat, so as not to interfere with the top plastic.  Hardcore Patrick…really hardcore.  Someone agree with me.

Here it is.  It’s happening.

Holy moly.  I can’t tell you how happy this makes us.  This was a feat.  Like the building of the pyramids, just not on such a grand scale.  High fives all around!  That’s Jo-nathan Bame down there.  He’s the CSA manager for Northwest Arkansas Local Harvest.  He’s giving a thumbs up, which you can’t see, but now you know.

There.  It’s up now.  This is EPIC.  A humble thank you to everyone who was present today, as well as throughout the entire process.

Christmas into the NOW

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I know I said that I got a banjo for Christmas, and if you didn’t know that, now you do.  That’s what I’ve been up too, no pictures though to share, I’m shy.  However, I DO have other pictures to share with you, you know, to keep you all further kept up on the happenings in this endeavor.

Christmas day chess match.

Santa lettuce beard.

Carrots out of the Missouri Angels’ garden.  If images like this don’t tickle some sort of feelings within you, then I don’t know what will.  These are BEAUTIFUL!

We grew a lot of leeks this year, and are very proud of them.

#LEEKS!

I think I’m going to create a website of pctures of Isaac holding produce.

Carrot harvest.

Does this make you want to plant a seed?

Pickin’ and grinnin’.

I’m not so sure what caught his fancy.

This one always has a smile.

Seeing this makes my mouth water.  Wouldn’t it be great if fast food restaurants served this through the drive-thru window?

Ok, ok, here it is…the BANJO!

You want to know what else is going on that some of you have been waiting so patiently to see?

The new hoop.

Make it happen!

There you go dear reader, this is pretty current.  If any one in the regional area feels like helping to pull the plastic up over the top of this rig, let me know.

Small world

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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.