Jason and Eric sailed off into the wild blue yonder today upon the wings of a graceful, black Skylark. It was interesting dinning alone tonight. We’ve had house guests since February, it’s lonesome, one gets used to having all that company. The last set of WWOOF’ers, Courtney and Grace headed west, Eric and Jason be headed east. Jason wants to see more “southern” farms. Around the campfire last night he mentioned how he hasn’t heard a single southern accent since he started his trip. He had been in St. Louis, Springfield, to Patrice’s farm and here. I respect that he’s trying to find a black owned farm and get the stories of those who stayed opposed to those who escaped to the cities. I hope you find what you’re looking for. You were a good worker Jason and Paul’s a little misty you took off, but life goes on and you’re always welcome.
On one of their last days here, Jason and Eric stuccoed the inside of the greenhouse, and it’s almost complete!
Paul was asked by a professor at the University of Arkansas to give a presentation to his class on Friday. I feel silly not knowing the professor’s name (even though I’ve met him), or what class he teaches. I’m assuming it is a cultural anthropology class, because he showed them the movie Food Inc. and their discussions are focused on agriculture in the industrial age. Paul and Johnathon, (intern), have been working on a presentation for the class. The professor said that on a good day there are 200 students present. In other news, the CSA is comming along swimmingly. We had another “Know your Farmer” meeting at Arsaga’s on Mission and Corssover, giving a presentation to court new clients. This was the second one we’ve held and at each one we had people sign up and pay in full which is awesome. We have been getting a great response with this venture. I guess, like with anything, there are going to be those who are totally on board with the idea, because they believe in it, and there are those who need more convincing…and that’s America for you. BUT, everyone should get on the bus because it’s about to leave!
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.
Click on this to view our upcoming 2010 workshops!
The Farm will be hosting a series of workshops that are all coming up for the Fall season. You don’t have to live here in Northwest Arkansas to attend. Tell your friends!
OA workshop flyer
Paul signed our farm up with an organization called: World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, or WWOOF. I added the link on the side of the page so you can check out the details. Today, Paul i going to pick up our first WWOOF volunteer, Franchy. Should be interesting. He will work 4-5 hours a day for us, which if it works out will be HUGE! There is so much going on right now. Even though we have had the most awesome volunteer base, there are still chores to be done. With our shift in focus to planting fall crops, there is the issue of pulling out summer crops and prepping those spaces for planting. It is such hard work, I thank my volunteers with my whole heart. And I have a mess of chores for you come tomorrow. Please check out the WWOOF link, it’s a really great organization. I first read about it in Mother Earth News, then was told about it again by a young woman in the organic gardening club on campus. Now, a bite, Franchy will be here today. It’s exciting.
We have had a wave of exceptional help lately that has been a positive force in this whole circus. I can say “Thank you” until I’m blue in the face at them, I still don’t think it would do justice to the amount of appreciation that Paul and I have. Thank you again though, for good measure.
Everybody, meet Rose.
She has been a tremendous help for us these past few weeks.
This particular day we harvested the seeds from my spring cilantro and seeded a new bed with them.
Everybody, meet Beth.
Also a big help. Beth is interning on the farm.
Everybody, meet our county fair Grand Champion!
Everybody, meet our first place winner!
Now in this picture are more volunteers, Jason and Jen. I don’t have better pictures of them, sorry Jen and Jason. They too are a great help. This is a picture of the work party today.
During the dry spell, I also took photos of the state of the Community Garden and our North beds.
Entry, south side.
Path, overgrown, but still there. These next pictures are examples of what’s going on in the community garden as of two weeks ago, give or take a few days. These examples show the effects of the heat and the lack of water.
Our neighbor Cliff planted Zinnias amongst his tomatoes, they were beautiful. Even in this “on the way out” thing they had going on.
These next pictures are of the North beds.
Overgrown, dead, raspberries.
Watermelons, that never got any water.
Example of the heat. Dead grass.
We have received an enormous amount of rain within the last couple of days. It’s great, really…even though it’s a little too late, but I’m not complaining. I’ll take it. Lately, we have been pulling out summer crops, weeding and prepping for fall crops. Paul broke his foot two weeks ago and hasn’t been able to do any work on the farm, so I have been up with the sun and taking care of business…and have witnessed a little “shoe on the other foot” action. I didn’t realize all of the chores Paul did everyday. Kudos. It has in a way made me feel really bad-ass. I have calluses on my hands, blisters upon blisters, I deal with chickens, twice daily……ehehhh. He needs to heal. I keep bugging Paul to blog. He as a page at the top of this blog, but he says that he’s too busy. Mmmmmhmmm. Your foot is broken, you sit…I think you can type down some thoughts. Please leave comments to let Paul know that his voice needs to be heard. Thank you.