My goodness gracious. It has been so hot and DRY lately, things are dying all around us. Lawns are brown, trees are loosing their leaves, the people are wilting themselves. Team WWOOF is so bored, I can tell. They spend a lot of time, all day usually, watering. You see with the CSA, we can’t let things die on us. Our customers are depending on a crop. Let me rephrase that. We could totally let it ALL die and the customer would have to understand, because they signed a piece of paper, and something like drought is part of the liability. But we’re too nice, and since we have a lot of help and it’s too hot to do much else, we put a hose in their hand. It’s funny, because as I type this out, it is currently raining. The rain, which has only been going on for about 20 minutes or so has prompted me to write about the dryness, because I’ve been needing to. One of our CSA members asked me the other day how things were growing. I let him know how tough it’s been and how some things are just wilting away. He totally understood if the bags were empty for the next few weeks. He shared the story of his garden with me. He said he and his wife had been gone for three weeks. Even though they had someone watering it for them, they returned and their garden was dust. This “heat wave” that the weather man has talked about has lasted for two months now. It’s more like a heat tsunami! This wave won’t leave. I guess my message to you dear reader is respect the fact that there is produce at your grocery store, and there are many, MANY factors that go into its survival. Uh oh, the rain knew I was talking about it, it just stopped : (
We have lost Annie, but gained Jake and Patrick, brothers from Springfield Missouri. The brothers have been here a week now and are enjoying their time here on the farm. They have a fun story, sorry guys but I’m going to tell it. They both worked for Expedia, the travel web site. They worked in the call center to help you book your trip. Well, they both got fired on the same day and decided it was time to move on. They said that their higher-ups did them a favor because they saw how unhappy they were. So they started to travel themselves , instead of helping all of you book your vacations. They also drastically changed their lifestyle choices, including their diets. Jake was over 400 lbs. Through good old eating right and exercise, he was able to drop over 160 lbs! Talk about a monkey off your back! I’m so inspired by their enthusiasm and will power and in turn they are inspired by ours.
Annie D’s last breakfast with the team. We miss you already, happy trails.
(L-R) Jake, Patrick, since nicknamed the “Missouri Angels”.
The greatest job on the farm.
Oliver likes to hang out while people are working. He makes sure this ship sails smoothly.
I’m glad he does, because we can get cute pictures of him doing super-cute things.
Paul put him to work picking green beans.
Jake displaying his tomato harvest.
We are currently selling produce through numerous avenues. A few local grocery stores are the proud recipients of Ozark Alternatives potatoes, as well as a few local restaurants and of course the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market. The tomatoes seen here were sold through our CSA, Northwest Arkansas Local Harvest. We also have sold some through the Farmer’s Market.
Father’s Day, does it always fall on a Sunday? Sundays are our Farmer’s Market day, so we watched all of the daddy’s with their children, young and old. Channel 5 news was there, a local news outlet here in Northwest Arkansas and they interviewed Paul, Oliver and Isaac about Father’s Day and what they were going to do for their Dad. I have a link posted. We were the first to this market with tomatoes. Lest you forget we sell at the Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks, every Sunday, from 9am-2pm. Also, I take that back about the first with tomatoes, that accomplishment was shared that day. Another vendor had tomatoes also, they weren’t quite ready, but it’s important to be first. The people are tomato hungry right now and I don’t blame them.
Paul and Isaac at the farmer’s market on Father’s Day.
Later in the day we sat and prepared garlic to cure. Here is Shiori doing an amazing job.
I was really pleased to know that a neighbor of a friend of mine reads my blog. When I saw him recently the first thing to come out of his mouth was how I had a “buy local” sticker on my foreign automobile. The second thing was “You need to update your blog, and with close-ups of all of your hot volunteers!” I’ll try my best Dale, and for the record I think he meant hot, as in it’s hot outside and therefore they are hot…it’s just a guess. Like I had said before, on day one of the CSA we received Nora and Will from Brooklyn. Shiori and Keyohei were here as well. A few days after Will and Nora’s arrival, Hayley also arrived from Albuquerque.
Everybody, this is Will. He’s planting cucumber seeds.
Crew cleaning onions while Oliver just watches.
These were some great people and great volunteers. Thank you Will and Nora for bringing Brooklyn to the farm, and to any future Brooklynites who are interested, BRING IT!
Today we were supposed to welcome two WWOOF’ers coming from Little Rock area, originally from Japan, Shiori and her friend Kyohei. Unfortunately someone hit her car as they were preparing to leave town. So, we will welcome them on monday instead. In other news, Farmer’s Market take two tomorrow. Paul, the kids and I will b e standing out in GORGEOUS weather hustling. I’m so glad the weather will be nice. Last week, if you read, rained and only a few people showed up. Hopefully the crowds manifest themselves tomorrow. Also, to all of the Mother’s out there, Happy Mother’s Day! I can’t forget to call mine tomorrow, I’ve been so busy, I didn’t even mail a card…I feel bad Mom. I LOVE YOU. It’s because of her that I have a green thumb. What a true inspiration she has been in my life. Shiori, Kyohei, we will see you Monday afternoon. To all of my other WWOOF’ers past, I hope your journeys are going well. Thanks for the post cards ; )
We welcomed another WWOOF’er into the fray on Saturday, his name is Jason, he’s from Brooklyn. He has WWOOF’ed abroad, but this is his first tour in the US and we are glad to have him.
This is Eric, he’s from Chicago. He’s been here for a few weeks already. You’re a hard worker Eric! We like you!
The rows still left to dig.
The man, the myth, the legend.
Onions and leeks.
Hoop at large.
Jason. New WWOOF’er. Brooklyn represent!
Eric’s Skylark. It’s not blue, if fact some might call that color black. I have a special place in my heart for Buick Skylarks.
I was listening to the show “Living on Earth” today while I was making dinner, and I heard this story about humanure. You should give it a listen, or a read, whichever you prefer!
Synergy, in general, may be defined as two or more agents working together to produce a result not obtainable by any of the agents independently.
We had an unbelievable day today. Well, I cannot speak for Beth and Franchy, but to me it felt good. We finished what we started yesterday. We were widening a row by a few feet. That’s how Franchy had his accident : ) We pitch-forked the Bremuda grass up and then shook the soil from the roots. This morning we finished that chore. Franchy continued to work up the grass the next row over and finished it. Bet raked the first row to even it and we started planting more cilantro seed. It felt great getting dirt jammed under my fingernails. As Beth and I were scratching dirt over the holes we drilled with our fingers, Beth said “Scratching Mother Nature’s back”. How apt. It felt really good to have my hands massaging the warm soil. You should try it sometime. Then we watered in all the seeds. Good work team! We broke about 1:00pm for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a salad. Never had a meal tasted so good. I felt so exhausted and dehydrated. I had to sit still for a while because I had too much sun. I don’t know about the weather in your neck of the woods, but in my yard it’s in the high 80’s/low 90’s…it’s brutal out there come 12:30 pm. We took the rest of the day off. Still ore to do, but tomorrow is another day.
As I sit here, drinking my morning cup of coffee, letting my interns get their last ten minutes of sleep, I’m just realizing all of the work we still have to do before we can plant any seeds. Trying to write it down on paper, to have some sort of game plan, so we’re more efficient out there. Today, I think Franchy will wear shoes. He learned a lesson yesterday and I didn’t have to talk to him like his mama…I can come off that way a lot, (right Monica). But, I just thought I’d drop my readership a line to let you all know there is hard work to be done today, so please come over and show your face, pitch in if you wish! TTFN.
Today Paul took Franchy to the farmer’s market to meet with Patrice Gros about the hoop house building that will be commencing here in November. Patrice, a fellow Frenchman was excited to know about our new French help. Pleasantries, pleasantries. When Franchy and Paul arrived back on the farm, Beth and I were in the north rows weeding and attempting to make them larger. Franchy stepped in and began pitch forking the ground, while Beth shook the soil from the grass roots. I was a row over returning mulch to the row. Franchy turns to me, and with his French-English says, “Uh, I need, how do you say, uh…” and he lifts his foot which is covered in blood and dirt. “A Band-Aid” I say, “Yes! A Band-Aid, yes.” He replies. “What did you do?” I ask him. He motions that he stuck himself with the pitch fork. “Okay, go back to my house and show your foot to Paul, and he’ll take care of it.” I tell him. After he walked away Beth and I giggled. His first day on the job and he stabs his foot. I think it’s noble of Franchy to travel with the WWOOF program, however, bless his little French heart, I don’t think he has ever worked on a farm before. I sat tonight down at the home with Mrs. Barbara, doing some care giving and told all of the old ladies at dinner about this episode. They all had a good laugh. Hopefully tomorrow will bring less injuries.