During the waning weeks of summer and early autumn, it takes so many pairs of hands to get done everything that needs to get done on the farm. The windfall apples and pears have to be picked off the ground and stored to wait their turn in the cider press. There are still things to harvest – namely tomatoes (don’t forget to check in to see how I’m doing on the 30 Days of Tomatoes), beans, potatoes, onions, corn, and broccoli. And I have to hold memorial services for the millions of cluster flies that decided to make the Beekman their final resting place right before I suck them up into the Hoover.
This weekend, Josh has stayed behind in the city for an appearance at the Brooklyn Book Festival. So there is only one pair of hands available to do this weekend’s many chores – my own. And because the left arm is still not 100% from its bout of tendonitis (thanks for all who sent well-wishes), it’s really like having 1.5 hands.
I knew that Jolene would be there to keep me company. Someone dropped her out at the farm a few months ago. She lived under the porch for several days. When we finally coaxed her out, she refused to come near us for at least two weeks. My how things change. Now she’s literally underfoot anytime we are outside. With SEVEN toes on EVERY foot, she will one day take Bubby’s place as Barn Mouser Extraordinaire.
“TO” TRAIN REPORT: (Each week I’ll give a quick status recap of the train trip to and from The Beekman)
Another train was having engine problems, so we had a layover in Poughkeepsie while we waited for it to arrive. All of those passengers then had to be loaded onto our train. Of course, there were not enough seats or baggage racks, so you can imagine the amount of negative energy circulating about.
One hour late
To make matters worse, all of the work on the farm this weekend had be done in the rain. The clouds did not break until I got in the truck to head back to the train station on Sunday.
After stopping by the soap factory to check on the production of the Month of September soap, I made a quick stop by the Sharon Springs Garlic Festival.
We will plant our first crop of garlic this fall. Maybe we will have a Beekman 1802 booth at the festival next year.
Braided garlic—next year we’ll store all our onions and garlic this way)
Simple, beautiful gifts from the earth
This booth reminded me of the outdoor markets in Provence. Harvest festivals are a huge part of the summer and fall social scene in rural upstate New York. It’s wonderful to see the whole community coming together to celebrate our agrarian roots. People who care for the land are the true Masters of the Universe.
Oh, well. I ate it before I could get a picture of the actual fluff.
Here is part of the harvest that I’m carefully escorting back to the city. We love to see how creative we can be at stretching the harvest for an entire week. Our grocery bill for the last 2 months has never been more than $30 per week – and that includes paper and cleaning products.
But being at the farm by myself for the weekend was not all work and no play. It did permit a few soul restoring moments.
For instance, I put on several show-stopping numbers in the grand hallway (which has acoustics even better than the shower!). When I’m alone, I have a predilection for moody, rock songs and power ballads. These are always best when you can emote them at the top of your lungs.
Perhaps I am embarrassing myself with this, but some of the songs on my set list: (usually I only know the refrains, and I sing them over and over again)
Clocks by Coldplay
Bittersweet Symphony by the Verve Pipe
Baby, Now That I’ve Found You by Allison Krause
Goodbye, My Lover by James Blunt
This is How You Remind Me by Nickelback
Hemorrhage by Fuel
Zombie by the Cranberries
Landslide by Fleetwood Mac
Possession by Sarah McLachlan
Gulf of Araby by Natalie Merchant
Baby, Can I Hold You Tonight by Tracy Chapman
Wicked Game by Chris Isaac
Lose Yourself by Eminem (this number involves dancing)
Wonderwall by Ryan Adams
Walkaway Joe by Trisha Yearwood
White Flag by Dido
Oh? You are laughing now? I hope that all of you will reveal which song you sing into the hairbrush whenever you’re at home alone or when there’s no one there listening. If you do, I promise to clap really loudly for you
This is where I made my grand entrances. The applause was for me. All mine.
Thankfully I had ended my performance and had started to pack up before two surprise visitors came knocking on the door. They were all the way from North Carolina and on an RV tour of the Northeast doing a little antiquing and site seeing. They are frequent readers of the blog and stopped by to see if we were at The Beekman this weekend. How neighborly! They got to taste my favorite tomato from the garden, and I got to learn all about their recent travels. They are weavers, spinners, and gardeners, and I’m hoping that once they get back home, they’ll submit some pictures of their handiwork for the ReadersShare section of the website.
“FROM” TRAIN REPORT:
On time!!!! The young man sitting next to me was watching Season 2 of The West Wing on his computer. He did not hear me humming On My Own from Les Miserables as I was typing this blog entry. I always use that song as my encore