What a busy, busy week! Generally I would be so happy to board the train and leave city life behind for a couple of days, but today was different.
It must have been something we ate.
I think you know what I mean. I’m still not quite certain what the offending agent was (it’s a toss up between a carton of strawberries and some turkey chili) but suffice it to say, I was not looking forward to a two hour train ride. In other circumstances, I may have tried sipping a carbonated beverage or some ginger tea. One of my friends who works for Body + Soul magazine, the fabulously-named Kiki Paris, suggested a black walnut tincture. However, given the dire nature of the circumstances, I went for the strong stuff…the pink stuff.
One has to keep one’s strength up when there are farm chores to be done.
Needless to say, it will involve making more soap. The response to the soap has been overwhelming.
We also need to install new mailbox posts as the others, which were over ten years old, failed to survive the harsh Mohawk Valley winter. The postman has learned not to pull too hard on the door or the entire box falls off the post.
The farm is in Planting Zone 5, so we are still under the threat of last frost until nearly the end of May. This helps to temper some of the gardening ambition, but we are working on building a stone path in the middle of the vegetable garden out of some salvaged slate slabs, so that will keep us busy and our muscles active.
I also have to do some work in the formal flower garden. There’s a lot of last season’s detritus that needs to be cleared out to make way for summer blooms.
THE TRAIN REPORT (each week I’ll also give you a glimpse on what our train ride was like):
9 minutes late (work on the track)
Surprisingly quiet and not very crowded
The Pepto Bismol worked like a charm
Because we decided to be weekend farmers, instead of something far more relaxing like weekend beachgoers, we’re a slave to the chore schedule. especially this time of year, when if we miss a week of work, we might miss a harvest of something or other. which is why, this weekend, we planted three beds of strawberries, 45 blueberry bushes, 25 blackberry bushes, 6 red currant bushes, and two new mailbox posts.
We are farmers-in-training. You can look to us for perspective, but for much better advice, turn to the blog of my friend Margaret Roach. Her blog is exceptional and exceptionally informative: www.awaytogarden.com
We finally dug ourselves out from underneath the mountain of soap orders we received as a result of the appearance of the goats on ‘Martha’. I am happy to say that all orders were shipped within 5 days with the exception of the June scented bar which is still curing. (June is the month that the mock orange bushes in the formal garden are in full bloom. The June soap carries a light scent of citrus and floral. If anyone can guess the surprising essential oil that gives the bar it’s earthy grounding, I’ll send them a free bar) The June bars will be ready for shipping on May 7th, just as we promised on the website. (Whew. It was close though.) Thank goodness our partner, Deb, is as brilliant at mailing as she is at making soap.
Here are the misfit soaps:
These are perfectly usable (we will use them in our own shower), but they have blemishes or uneven color. If people were to receive these in the mail, they might get the idea that we are less than perfect. Of course, we are, but we don’t want anyone else to know that. Let’s keep that between you and us.
It was cloudy and rainy almost the entire weekend except for the moment that we closed the door to the farm and set off for the train station. There was a burst of sun. Right before I stepped into the truck, I took this photo of the forsythia bush beside the driveway. It’s showy blooms will probably be gone by next weekend.
I can’t help but think that this is what it might look like if I could step in side a sunburst.
THE TRAIN REPORT:
Crowded, delayed, and really quite smelly.