October 12, 2010 kitchen staff, farm staff

after several weeks without taking a day off, i found myself a bit burnt, and extremely tired.  rookie mistake, i know.  scheduling days off, after years of strictly knowing five on-two off, is a skill yet to be breached, but newly on my radar.  with no fuel in the tank, and a short, but important list of tasks, i looked elsewhere to find my motivation. 

luckily, it was everywhere.

with hundreds of plants to get in the ground—some for the restaurant to use in the coming months, and some to be over wintered—a few gents from the farm255 kitchen came out to lend a hand and get dirty.  over wintering is exactly what it sounds like—putting plants in the ground now to establish root structure, and allowing them to go dormant over the winter, so they’ll have that head start come the spring flush. 

these plants are babies, and are to be treated like such.  a wide range of factors could cause these plants to die in the coming week. 

another wave of inspiration came from a group of uga students who came out to lend a hand on sunday.  they were taking part in a global work day (over seven thousand gatherings held in almost two hundred countries) organized by 350.org, with a theme revolving around sustainable solutions. 

the event was held on ten/ten/oh ten, and it was exciting to be a part of.  although it was a sunday morning work day at the end of a long month, i had a smile on my face and was thankful for so many things.  first off, i was farming, which is a personal miracle in itself.  but second, to be able to host this work party of young students eager to be a part of what i am now entrenched in was both inspirational and encouraging.

feels good to be a part of something so good. 

October 05, 2010

this is as close as we come to some real deal, yee-haw, cowboy antics.  a three hundred yard cow move, bringing the herd home to welcome the new arrivals.  we are taking advantage of this moment of integration—new steers—to accomplish a couple other things on the list.  one, we are sending them from one side of the farm, all the way to the opposite end of the pasture—grass they haven’t grazed in many months.  secondly, we are providing the herd with an exercise on running everyone to home base.  never a bad thing to master.

several hours of set up, fence checks, watering hose maneuvers, and alleyway modifications resulted in an icy smooth move.  despite all human efforts, however, managing a mini-stampede still requires well mannered animals to prevent potential chaos.

watch the video, our guys are just having a blast.

September 27, 2010 raindrops keep falling on my head

for the first time in what feels like forever a substantial rain has fallen.  in mid summer it seemed like the rain would never stop, and then just in time to get what we wished for, it hasn’t rained since.

bed rows at the vegetable farm are cracked over and crusty.  pork chop hill has a dust cloud swirling over head.  and the grass.  well, let’s just call it thirsty.

all day today, the crack pop of thunder and the drip drap of rain lulled the town to a hushed pace—singing lullabies with the wind and painting the sky a heavy grey.

today made me recall a quote i once read in a piece a friend recommended.  “to know a place, first get out in all weathers.  walk the land at least; at best, work the land.  in this way the subtleties of place become familiar.”  words by brian donahue, from reclaiming the commons—words that deserve another read. 

so i did just that, and i walked.  the cow pasture came alive with the sudden reappearance of water, it’s once familiar companion, and for the first time all month the ground gave a bit as i squished out to check the cows. 

just another day at the office for these boys, though.