Today around noon, I was out watering some green bean plants in the heat, in vain, thinking, I should blog about this…and then thinking no, people don’t want to hear me bitch all the time. I swear, everything I want to write about is how the weather SUCKS, and is uncooperative in the summer. It’s depressing fighting the good fight. It was so hot earlier, that I would spray my feet here and there, because it was too hot to stand on the dead grass. Occasionally I’d step on a tiny pebble and jump, because the pebble felt like a hot coal. Too hot to stand on the dead grass!!!! We took a break around 2pm, to grab some late lunch. Out of nowhere, clouds rolled in, then rolled through DUMPING RAIN (!!!!!!!!!!) all over this region. Good thing I watered! I was so happy, I almost cried. We needed the rain. And by we I mean for all of us Northwest Arkansas, this rain was for all of us! Thank you rogue storm, now my rain barrels are full and the ground is well watered!
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 : (
Team WWOOF planted sweet potatoes up in the front and had to construct a fence to keep out the deer. Deer will wipe out your sweet potato crop if you don’t protect it. The Missouri Angels and Annie D worked on it during the morning, before she took off.
Go team go!
Blessed rain! Enough to soak the ground and cool things down. However, the next day it was so humid.
Swallows hanging out during the downpour.
Missouri Angels picking blackberries in the rain. They wanted to.
The 4th of July. Jr. Soapbox y’all. I felt so American. Thanks to Cody Russell for organizing a fantastic group of musicians to come and play in the yard during the fireworks. It was so awesome, you all should have been there! I’m adding all of these pictures even though they’re blurry. I can’t thank all of the musicians enough for coming out. Thank you Cody, Clayton, Chad, Stacey, Jr. Soapbox, Bayard and others who jumped in here and there. I’ve joked about Jr. Soapbox playing in my yard since the winter, so it was a real treat to have him.
Thanks Paul B. for the harmonica stylings!
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.
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 ; )
Our first Farmer’s Market experience was a fun one. There were only a few vendors there because there was rain in the forcast. We decided to go to break the ice and meet some of the vendors. The rain kept the folks away, but there were a few diehards who came out, umbrellas in hand. We mad a whopping $25. It’s no fortune, but it’s a start.
Here is Rose, volunteer extrordinaire, milking “Girly” Friday. I wasn’t out there while she did it, but looking at these pictures, I enjoy seeing her confidence. I’ve milked that goat once, and let me tell you, you get hand cramps…it’s not easy, atleast not for me.
Let’s also pay a visit to the American Red Cross website, and see how you can help those affected by the storms this week.
Last week a series of thunderstorms rolled through these parts of Arkansas and beyond. Tornadoes touched down further south across several states, the hardest hit being Mississippi and Alabama. Up here, it rained 10″ in 24 hours. The next day more rain fell, causing flash floods in NWA. On the farm, the rain washed down our footpath to our house, which is its natural draining pattern, and washed over my bed which was planted with carrots. It washed over it so much, that eventually cut channels through the bed, washing the soil into the onion bed. We tried to alleviate some of the damage by putting straw bales into the path of the water, but when thousands of gallons are running off of a large roof over a matter of hours, you just can’t compete. We tried, but it did no good. It was interesting talking to some of the farmer’s at the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market today, listening to their stories of what the rain washed away. One farmer said it washed his topsoil away. Another mentioned, how his topsoil didn’t leave his property, but that it had washed to the bottom of the hill. That’s something to think about, right. Your dirt. And how important it is. Treat it well.
Here is a link to the American Red Cross, to see ways you can help those who were affected by the tornadoes in the south this week.
NWA has had an unbelievable amount of rain over the past few days which has caused severe damage to infrastructure as well as personal property. Here is a link to KNWA which has a few albums of photos showing flooding all across the region.
Do something with it! For all of you local Fayettvillians, here is a link to the Eco Passport with scheduled events around town.
Have a good one peeps. Hopefully in this neck of the woods it doesn’t rain!