Punctuation Marks and the Night Shift
Besides all the normal autumnal events on a farm, we've had a few exhilarating moments and stretches.
Not only is this landscape breathtaking from the ground, but visitors enjoy heading to the skies for viewing. It's not uncommon to see a hot air balloon or two during the summer floating above the Rush River or to hear the roaring of old biplanes as stunt pilots zoom upwards, turn, flip and twist their way through the sky above. These punctuation marks of farmlife and country living make for good reading!
Kia is finding her way into farmlife, and like kids in a Montessori classroom, she's choosing her own work. Last week, the moon was big and bright guiding coyotes to the farm where fat juicy ducks are easy picking. Alerted to their presence, Kia took the night shift to keep the ducks alive and the coyotes at bay. We "enjoyed" a full week of barking from dusk to dawn as she worked diligently to protect the little waddlers. She lost only two over the course of ten days. These last two weeks when we have coffee in the morning, she crashes at William's feet to sleep for a few hours then wakes ravenous and looking for a walk!
While William harvested corn, I dug a mountain of cannas. Many years ago, my Sweet Aunty Hootie (Susy) gave me a supply of canna tubers to enjoy the tropical banana-like foliage in my perennial gardens. That first year, when I went to dig them, I learned that cannas LOVE our soil! These giant tubers had multiplied tenfold. One grocery bag in the basement winter storage tucked neatly away in a corner now sprawled across the floor. That next summer I planted all of them, gave a few to the neighbors and enjoyed the beauty. Then...for some lazy gardener reason, (back to school in the Fall to teach) I didn't get them dug! Yep, I let all of the cannas freeze and didn't save a single one that year. In the world of farming where crops are income, that would be considered an extremely reckless loss. Or, that's what you get when you keep your day job and try to "farm!" I'm the first to admit I'm spoiled.
Completely undeserving, my neighbors took the shared cannas and diligently planted and dug them every year watching in awe as they multiplied. This last spring, they gifted me with some of the tubers I had passed on to them a few years back, and once again, I have enough for a small canna farm! Perhaps I'll share a few with our farm store shoppers next Spring.
The world of Carbon Sequestration and Regenerative Agriculture (friend and neighbor, Mike Ferstle's new adventure Rolling Regenerative) landed on our deck last week. For two days we hosted a crew of soil samplers, scientists and engineers who are using Lake View Organic Farm as a before and after test site. William is contemplating next steps for his farming techniques and Gabe Brown from Understanding Ag was here to offer his advice. Converting from old-school organic farming with a moldboard plow and cultivators in the shed to a system of cover crop cocktails and no-till grain drilling involves not only a shift in understanding, but a willingness to take on new potential risks. The question is - can the account balance support the move, and are we young enough to take the plunge?
Sometimes all I want to do is sit by the fire or join this little worker bee on a pasture walk!
The weather this coming weekend looks to be beautiful! We've had only a touch of freezing temps, so things are still quite lush and green. The leaves are dropping, and I suspect the rain and winds on Thursday will likely wash away much of that colorful palate, but big blue skies and crisp sweater weather are here!
This will be our last weekend of regular farm store hours for awhile. We will open again full-time in the Spring.
WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR TIME AWAY FROM THE FARM?
Snuggle in, relish these short days, and READ a little about Regenerative Agriculture - it's very interesting stuff - a new way to farm is in sight:)
Growing a Revolution Bringing Our Soil Back to Life by David Montgomery
The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers and Foodies are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet by Kristin Ohlson
Dirt to Soil: One Family's Journey into Regenerative Agriculture by Gabe Brown
Sending LOVE from the farm,