Bedlam Farm Blog Journal by Jon Katz

27 September

Neat For A Week: The Barn

by Jon Katz

You can always tell a “gentleman farmer” from a real one. All you have to do is check out the barn. If it’s filthy, rodent-infested, and filled with junk, it’s a working farm of some kind.

If it’s spotless, nice-smelling, and free of clutter it is probably a gentleman farmer or a summer farmer in Vermont.

I’m not into labels, but Bedlam Farm is not a typical working farm, nor does a “gentleman farmer” reside there.

In the United States, a gentleman farmer is a landowner who has a farm as part of his or her estate and who farms mainly for pleasure rather than for profit or sustenance.

Some people have at times referred to me as a gentleman farmer, but it’s not accurate. Maria and I have no estate and have been left nothing by anyone.

And we both earn our living from the farm in differing ways.

I write about it and give away my photos from the farm and collect subscriptions for my writing and raise money for the Army Of Good and its work with refugees and the elderly.

Maria earns a living from the work she does in her Studio Schoolhouse and she also gets paid for the work she does taking videos, photos, and blogging about her art.

She sells her art from there and also sells the sheep’s wool and has it made into yarn and roving.

Our barn is a catastrophe, dirty and chaotic. Once a year – today was the day — we clean it out, toss out the junk, and revel in its very short-lived neatness.

Maria did an astonishing amount of work today, we both are tired and getting ready for early morning medical tests Monday. Hope to be home by late morning.

27 September

Clean Up. Maria’s Hard Work

by Jon Katz

I am still shocked by Maria’s energy, the range of things she can handle, and how much she loves taking care of our farm.

She rebuilt a barn window today, cleaned up the barn, stacked fuel for our Solstice bonfire, dug up the Dahlia garden, sawed some window frames.

Boy, did I marry well this time around. It is hard watching her work so hard, but she loves it and I am still weak from my procedure last Thursday.

We’re having a good friend – Christine Decker, the actress – over for dinner. She is lots of fun. The procedure went beautifully, and I had a great walk this morning,  but I still need a lot of rest. I’m behaving, although Maria might disagree.

27 September

Podcast: Life, Heart, And The Rituals Of A Farm

by Jon Katz

Maria and I did our weekly podcast today, and it was low key for us, but important. I talked about my heart disease and the lessons it was teaching me about aging, Maria talked about her love of ritual on the farm and the very hard but meaningful work she is doing outside of her art.

We had some minor technical glitches but worked through them. The podcast had an honest and revealing kind of feel to it. Come and listen.

We also talked about how each of us is handling the poison coming out of Washington. We are determined that it won’t take us over.

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