The week started out dry and parched and ended with soaking rains and some golf-ball sized hail! Yesterday we finally got the rain we had been praying for, over an inch total. The garden and lawn just seemed to perk up, except for the beet leaves and fragile peonies which took a beating from the hail. Everything looks fresh, green and revived.
I’m eating a bowl of fresh strawberries from our garden and bananas with a glaze of raw honey. So good! Strawberries and bananas are like peanut butter and jelly or tomato soup and grilled cheese: the perfect pair! Nathan likes to “help” me pick strawberries which basically means I pick them and he eats them. He quickly learned where the goodies are, and can get in the fence to the strawberry patch by himself, but due to some thistles doesn’t usually get very far into snagging some berries. So he calls for help.
Our little guy is on the move! He is walking, full speed ahead! Every morning we do our “rounds” which involves checking the asparagus patch, saying good morning to the goats in the pasture behind the strawberry patch, letting the chickens out, picking spinach, finding and chasing the cat, checking on the hen and her 11 chicks, saying good morning to the other goats in the big pasture, harvesting garlic scapes which Nathan eats (I figure it’s good for his immune system!), and smelling the flowers. This morning after a group of the hens came out he took off following them, waving his arms like a conductor to keep his balance. I was laughing because they were actually going where he wanted them, like he was some kind of chicken herder! Then he remembered the cat, and took off for the machine shed to chase her and find the kittens, which she moved for the millionth time.
For me it was a morning of fixing and rescuing. The strong winds had blown over one part of the electric fence near the chicken coop, so I very carefully got it up again without getting shocked. Then a baby goat got herself trapped between some fencing and I had to maneuver her out, which resulted in crying from both kids! I think her crying startled Nathan, which made him cry and I was in the pen instead of nearby. Both kids have been comforted by their Mamas and are happy.
Friday we did our rounds, but usually I beeline to the safety of the garden after I open the door, because this particular rooster is so mean. I had looked at our sad little rhubarb patch briefly before Nathan and I walked to the garden with a plastic bag full of garlic scapes. Out of the corner of my eye I saw movement. I looked behind and the rooster was running after me! The feathers on his neck stood on end and he made aggressive attacking movements toward me. I literally threw Nathan over the fence into the garden for his safety, and since my only weapon was a plastic bag, I started swinging. My heart was pounding and the adrenaline pumping. I hit him in the face about five times, but it’s a plastic bag, so it wasn’t exactly going to inflict a wound. I just wanted him to back off. Finally he did. I had to catch my breath, I was pretty sure I put my back out, and swept up my crying baby in my arms to let him know it was ok, and Daddy was going to come home tonight and kill that rooster!! I texted Dan right away and told him. So Saturday morning he met his Maker. What a relief! We can play in peace outside again.
Our plans for the weekend were to visit some friends in Marshall, go biking, out on the lake and just relax. Well this friend is also a midwife, and she had two Moms go into labor, so that got canceled. Friday night I met Dan downtown at Breadico, who then informed me that the whole work crew and families were going to be joining us! How fun! Breadico is a wonderful little shop/restaurant that makes breads, pizza, sandwiches and pasta from sourdough starter the family brought with them from Italy! The fermentation process involved in sourdough makes the grains easier to digest, and many who are gluten free can eat wheat products this way. Last summer after a hot Farmer’s Market we had shared a pizza, and I was excited to try it again. I picked out some multigrain bread and cherry-almond biscotti to bring home. I don’t know how biscotti, which just seems like stale bread, can taste so good! But it comes out all sparkly and delicious and I love it dunked in my iced coffee!
It was an experience. The woodfire stove made it feel a little tropical in there, and with a 40 weeks pregnant friend, and three little ones, we were all pretty sticky. I also thought they had high chairs, but they did not, so trying to rope in three kids under 3 was challenging, but all in all they did well. I loved the apple pancetta pizza and washed it down with a black cherry soda, while the boys downed beers from the brewery next door. As we waited for the food to come, it was decided we should all take a trip up to the cabin at Lake Shetek for the weekend. Saturday afternoon on a whim, we packed up and headed to the lake. Nathan had his first time swimming, in a lake, and then riding on a boat and a jet ski. He LOVED it! And he also loved the two other little kids and four dogs running around. It was a great weekend, and it ended even better with a huge thunderstorm on Monday!
And that’s the news on this we-went-to-the-lake week on the farm!