What? The farm?

“Your little Senior Citizen adventure. I mean, do you even know how to milk a cow?”

Well, you can’t milk . . .

“And how about slinging those bales of hay?”

Our cows because they’re . . .

“Shoveling out the barn?”


They’re all boy cows. Here are a few of them:


That one — just like little boys everywhere, picking his nose. With his tongue. Cute. One got away last Wednesday and then huddled miserably against the fence when he couldn’t figure out how to get back in with the rest of his buddies.

But,how is it working? Going slow on all fronts just now. Conservation: The application for the grant has been submitted, and a cadre of OWEB folks are planning a walk-about in late June. So don’t be expecting results any time this year. We’ve engaged Jason, Spray Guy, to spray out the 14 acre parcel for F&W purposes. Supposed to happen when the grasses were 4″ tall, or so. They’re now thigh high and growing, but couldn’t be sprayed because, first, all the rain, and now, all the wind. But we are on his calendar to have our dead blackberry vines shredded and, um, and what? What happens to all that chipped thorny mass?

Taking a break in the report to show you a photo of what will be my favorite hang-out spot if and when:


Looking to the west:


A new vehicle added to our fleet: A riding mower.


Experience has shown us that the brush hog behind the tractor is not the solution to mowing the orchard. See last blog. But the orchard is bursting with fruit sets, while drowning in the exuberant clover we planted last winter. Paul-the-Godsend from last year is scheduled to come and mow and till under this “green manure.” When he can get to us, he being very busy and all. So. Patience, while all around us Mom Nature is on the move. The new Baby Deere will help us be a bit more self sufficient.

The house? Multiples of patience required here. The inside painting is rumored to happen this week, which will mean that Cactus can get back to work tiling the bathroom showers. Which will mean that the plumber will be able to mount the fixtures. Inside plumbing! Hooray! We try to manage our expectations of progress each week, and each week we fail. What? Nothing has happened? Why? Do not ask Brad-the-Painter, who will simply amplify your sense of stasis. It is NOT HIS FAULT that the timing was so wonky.

Kate, who has built our city garden so beautifully, visited the farm to give us some help with landscape around the house. Just supposed to be a lilac or two, maybe another apple if we can figure out how to keep it from the deer. No geraniums or other suburban standards, but it’s obvious we do need some segue from the wild grasses and weeds to the house. Maybe some hydrangeas will work, that sort of thing. She doesn’t like the idea of the wood fence delineating that shift from wild to domestic, but Larry and I do, so I believe we’ll stand fast there. Of course, nothing can happen this year, planting-wise, but we’re eager to have a proposal to counter the all-pervasive mud surrounding us now.

And Dennis is supposed to be arriving to shift the construction dirt/mud to some more gentle contours, to repair the road, add gravel to the courtyard and the road to the barn. Dennis works on Dennis time, so we have to be prepared to head south when we get the call that this is the day.

But it’s not this day, so I’ll close this edition with a reply to the initial question: It’s not easy, this being geriatric farmers, we make our mistakes, we feel stupid, we lose things (Larry’s keys, my glasses). Feel overwhelmed and under prepared, but I just got the book I ordered, The Apple Grower, with it’s full page color photos of, for example, the larva of a syrphid fly. Which consumes a few dozen aphids each day. Gorgeous! Owe you an apology, Dad. Entomology rocks!