TLDR: Sunday, March 12th from 12’ish-5’ish at Natembea, followed by potluck and any music folks feel like playing. But read on for baby goats.
Egad this blog has been quiet, as the kids say these days, for a minute. Not that things have been quiet on the farm. Oh, I can’t begin to remember everything that’s happened since I last wrote. Sure, it snowed a few days ago, but once the night’s chill has passed, you can already feel – and see – the impatient green pushing through the gray crust of this slumbering earth.
It can be hard to muster the sense of urgency that this liminal time demands. When the pre-dawn mornings are still gilded in frost, and you linger at the woodstove, contemplating whether another chunk of madrone is warranted. But there’s so much to do before it’s too late. At times it feels like we’re preparing for a breakfast guest: the house is quiet, but if we don’t get the quiche in the oven, the toys picked up and dishes out of the sink before they’re here, we’ll never catch up. Spring, when she comes, is always gracious, but never minces noticing when you’ve skived.
And with the warmer days, there are so many distractions. Have I mentioned baby goats? Because I promise you, as a world traveler and a man of sixty winters, there’s little better life has to offer than baby goats. And we’ve got baby goats. I mean, Lydia and Julia have goats who have baby goats. And they’re unspeakably adorable. When life gets you down, you can always head over to the barn, sit down in the hay (don’t wear nice clothes), and get mobbed by baby goats who will try to climb on top of you and eat you.
I know, I know, there are better ways to sell the experience. But trust me, it’s delightful. And they usually don’t actually manage to eat you. But they bounce and romp and try to climb on top of each other, and occasionally their weary mothers, who aren’t having any of it, and seem to still be trying to figure out where the heck these little spunkbrats came from.
But when we can tear ourselves away from the baby goats, there are trees to be mulched (thank you thank you Logan, Pierce, Joel, Brendon, Lydia, Cai and Bea!), lines to be cleared, potholes to be filled and starts to be propagated.
And a hedgerow to be planted.
You see, the real reason I’m writing now is that we’re planting an enormous hedgerow, and would love to have folks over to help out for an afternoon.
The backstory is that Natembea pastures are pretty bereft of any windbreaks, shelter or, aside from a few fallingdown old barbed wire fences, partitions. Hedgerows, as a line of trees and shrubs, help partition fields, create windbreaks in the winter and shade in the summer, as well as providing forage and habitat for helpful critters. Hedgerows are good, and Brendon, our tireless keeps-everything-running-here treasure, worked with Joe Holtrop from the Jefferson County Conservation District to secure a grant to start building what we hope will be the first of many on our acres of rolling fields.
Brendon, Lydia, Logan, Pierce, Joel, Matthias and a host of off-farm friends spent much of the winter planning, ordering plants, digging posts, hauling mulch and stretching fencing (we don’t want the deer to eat the hedgerow before it gets established).
Now it’s time to plant. Please, if you’re able, we’d love to have you come join us. The plan is to gather at Natembea in time to (literally) start digging in around 1:00 on Sunday, March 11th. If you have a shovel and/or rake you can bring along it won’t go unappreciated (but mark it!). We’ll plan to go until the work is done, or around 5:00, and break off for a potluck up at the House. Maybe there’ll be music; maybe there’ll just be tired, but animated conversation. There’ll probably be a fire. The intentional, contained kind, I mean.
In any case, we’d love to see you. It’ll be a blast. Ping me with any questions?
[Pics below of our “test run” with Stella and Blue, uhhhh doggedly guarding the mulch and new plantings]
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It looks like you all are off to a good start. I love watching and reading about the progress out there and seeing all the photos. (Thank you for making it so we can enlarge them.) 😊 I love seeing all the animals along with the dogs. Great dog photos.
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