Hello! Did you miss me, farm-blog followers? I missed you!
I just returned from my victory tour of the Caribbean in celebration of completing my Master’s degree in sociology. I spent the week with my fabulous, generous, amazing, dare-I-say marvelous Aunt Jeanne on a giant boat in 70-something degree weather, devouring fish and tropical fruit and soaking up sun and poetry. I saw a humpback whale tail waving off the starboard side of our ship, frolicked in the ocean and met some really interesting people. I also got more practice in fielding responses of surprise and incredulity when I talked about leaving the professional world to become a farm apprentice. (What? I don’t look like a farmer? Wait till you see my work boots…Both pairs.)
The cruise was an amazing experience and a nice change of pace. It gave me a lot of time to think about my personal life and my goals in working on the farm, and I am so grateful that my aunt gave me the opportunity to go with her (and the opportunity to sunburn my so-white-they’re-actually-reflective legs).
But in the spirit of honesty, I teared up with happiness the moment I saw the high tunnel from the road on my drive back to the farm. I broke into full-on tears when I got out of my truck and Rufus and Gretchen (the rooster and my favorite hen) came waddling excitedly towards me, clearly not having forgotten my food-bearing capacities. I was outside working as soon as I could be, and I went ahead and burst into tears again when Patricia and Elliott came home from running errands.
I’ll spare you the photos from my trip (but only for the moment) and leave you with some images to which I was thrilled to return: soil blocks, and dust-bathing problem birds.*
*If you look carefully at the dust-bathing problem birds, you’ll see rocks and a grapevine wreath behind them. That’s the flowerbed they thought was a great place for dust baths and I thought was a great place for some flower bulbs (not your lilies, Mama). The grapevine wreath, a broken terra cotta pot, and a old split-in-half cutting board successfully convinced the problem birds to move their dust bath to a new spot. Petulantly and predictably, the new spot involved tearing up the lawn instead of the flowerbed.
Some of the dust-bathing problem birds went to new homes recently, and I have a few good stories to tell about catching them—including my solution to unsuccessfully chasing chickens around the yard like an overgrown primate and the moment in which I took on the rooster like a bamf, but those will have to wait till the next time 90 minutes of evening yoga leaves me more wired than a thirteen year old with her first set of braces.