16 August 2017

Soul Of A Poppy. Thinking of Mindel.

By: Jon Katz

Soul Of A Poppy

Some poppies came up in the wildflower garden today, this one caught the mid-day sun and sent me running for the 100 mm lens. The poppy reminds me to be strong, be positive, to do good rather than argue about what good is. On today, of all days, I recommit myself to living my life fully and meaningfully, and I honor my grandmother and grandfather, who risked their lives so that I might be safe and free.

Today, I give thanks for them and christen this poppy "Minnie," in honor of my brave  grandmother, Mindel Cohen, who lost everything, and then gave rebirth to herself and her family.

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Maria and Fate On The Mountain, In The Pasture, “C’Mon Up, Gus”

By: Jon Katz

"C'Mon Up, Gus"

Vince Vecchione left a mound of gravel in the pasture which we're going to spread to give the water and snow a chance to run off in the winter, it gets intense and boggy there when it rains or snows. Maria, of course, a Pagan at heart, climbed right up to the top and said the soil felt great on her feet.

Who else walks barefoot in a pasture?

She asked me if I wanted to take my shoes and socks off and climb up. I passed. She called to Fate who scampered right up to the top. Fate looked down at Gus, gleeful and taunting challenging him to come up if he is such hot stuff.

Gus gave it a shot but didn't get far. Like me, he thought better of it. It seemed the perfect image to me of the farm. I imagine next time, Gus will be right up there.

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The First Bedlam Farm Sunflower

By: Jon Katz

The First Sunflower

The first sunflower in our gardens popped up this week, we barely noticed it, but it is pretty sweet. I am a follower of color and light, it speaks to me of hope and promise.

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Reshaping The Pasture: Last Step To Winter

By: Jon Katz

Last Step To Winter

Our hay is in the barn, our wood is stacked in the woodpile. The last step to winter is putting fresh soil into the Pole Barn and re-shaping the land around the Pole Barn where water and ice pools in the winter. Our friend and neighbor Vince – one of my favorite big men in big trucks (he does not have a small dog)  – came and is spending the day working on a number of things.

First, he is scraping out the pole barn and putting some gravel in.

Then, he is bringing a second load of grave (this with rocks) to create a new grade along the side of the Pole Barn so the water will flow down hill instead of turning into a mud bog for us and for the dogs when it rains or snows.

Then, he is moving the hay feeder and bringing some rebar to plant in the ground to anchor it, so the animals won't keep moving it when they scratch themselves or gather to it. It is heavy, but the sheep and the donkeys manage to move it around all the time, it  travels all over the pasture.

Scott Carrino is taking our large pile of horse/donkey and sheep manure and Vince is putting it onto his old truck Sarge so it can fertilize  the Pompanuck Farm gardens. Scott came over this morning, got a full load and is bringing it back to Pompanuck. Maria and I get a free lunch.

Vince is also planning to scrape out the dirt around the Three Sisters garden and dump some manure in there for next year for Maria. We need more space for corn.

Every August, Vince and I talk some farm management – Maria has absolutely no interest in this subject at all, and I love plotting the details of the farm – hay, water, land management, rotational grazing. Who would have thought it?

Vince is one of those men who moves the earth around, building a new water drainage system is not difficult for him. When Vince finishes today, we will be 100 per cent ready for winter. That always feels great for me, but it does require a good deal of planning and experimentation. We've been trying to get the dirt right out there for some years now, we are close.

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It Looks Like A Pumpkin

By: Jon Katz

Like A Pumpkin

The plant growing in the pasture looks like it has decided to be a pumpkin, not a watermelon, probably not even a hybrid. It is turning orange and getting big, there are a dozen like it. Now, we have to figure out what to do with it. Our neighbors and some farmers have pronounced it a pumpkin, perhaps not one we would want to eat, but a pumpkin nevertheless.

Last Fall, we gave the donkeys some watermelon rinds, and it seems they got planted in our manure-fertilized pasture.

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