What a month it's been! Since I last wrote, we've moved to a new farm, put most of the seedlings and dahlia tubers into the ground, built trellises and a low tunnel, and moved 30 cubic yards of compost...by hand...the old fashioned way with a shovel and wheel barrow. Luckily, the folks at Asgaard Farm and Dairy came to help with the first plow of the fields and I had my new Mother's Day tiller (when I wasn't breaking it!) to help with mixing in all of the "black gold." Here in the Adirondacks, black gold comes with black flies. I think we have no less than 4 different kinds of family-friendly bug sprays floating around the house.
Our new riding mower arrived about a week ago and soon the pull behind cart will be here to help us move things around faster and easier. In the meantime, some neighbors shared their cart with us, and that was a really good thing. My elbows decided they would not let me raise and push the wheel barrow even one more time. Thank you, friends!
My hands are sorer than they've ever been- my whole body for that matter, but my heart is full and every day there is so much promise in the new space we're building. Others have taken an interest in our project, too. Neighbors stop by often to say hello and see what we're up to. One even brought a bag of her homegrown asparagus for us to enjoy. The DEA seems to be really interested, too. -- At least I think that is who keeps visiting overhead. At least 3 times, 2 low-flying helicopters have come by. Once they came at night and hovered right over the backyard. I could see a little red light on each copter after I threw open the window and tried to see what they were up to. I think they were acting on the scowl I gave them from the backyard earlier in the afternoon. We have nothing to hide, but I do feel violated by their presence. I'd been warned. A friend told us they'd come after hearing about our plan to start a farm in Jay. I thought it was a joke.
For a while, I tried to think of how I might be able to make a really large sign that says, "They're FLOWERS. No amount of hovering and spying on these weeds will turn them into the kind of weeds you are looking for!" Maybe next year I'll get creative and plant the seedlings so they spell out a message for anyone with a copter's eye view.
I don't have much time to worry about helicopters, even though it feels weird to be under surveillance. We lost some plants (dahlias-gasp!) to a late frost. I understand the timing better for next year. Sometimes I have to learn the hard way. I'm also figuring out the clay. It really does hold on to water more than I thought it would. Fears of under watering at the old farm have turned to fears of over-watering. The days of rain we've had recently don't help, either. But, hopefully the compost we've added will create a happier medium. I look forward to building up the beds and amending them more and more each year.
I purchased our first backpack sprayer for spreading organic fish emulsion and compost tea. The kids think it has some kind of ghost busting power. I bought the one that says it absolutely won't leak down my back. Fish emulsion smells so bad. If I can keep warm fish gut-infused water from running down my backside as I'm working in the field, I'll be pretty happy.
New lilac and specialty rose bushes have been planted and they all smell amazing. Everything balances out in the end. Have some helpful tips to share? Don't be shy! We'd love to hear what you think. I know we have a lot to learn about farming in the Adirondacks.
Until next time,