Oh, April…

April is such a goofball month. She stretches her days out and teases us with warm afternoons that invite lazy siestas, while whispering: Hurry, hurry – everything needs to start growing Right Now, don’t waste a moment of sunlight! And we race to get everything in the ground, planted, mulched, trimmed, caged against the deer,…

“I hear there will be goats…”

We wanted to get there a few minutes early, because we suspected there’d be a crowd. Crowds are still a bit unnerving in this peri-pandemic time, but we weren’t going to miss this one. Because the Uptown Farmers Market is an almost religious observance in Port Townsend, and the first market of the year, with…

The Second Best Time

The old saying goes that the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago, and the second best time is now. The problem is that with farming, the second best time to do just about everything is Right Now. Yes, the farm blog has been quiet for almost six months. I assure you…

Natembea Closed to Farm Tour

With Jefferson County infections and hospitalizations higher than they’ve ever been, we’ve decided that it is in everybody’s best interests if we withdraw from this year’s Farm Tour. We are grateful for the enormous amount of hard work that the Jefferson County Farm Tour staff have put into this event, and hope we are able…

What’s Shakin’ at Natembea?

Cars. Pigs. Cows. People. Ternate, Indonesia. A couple of small islands north of Tonga. Surprisingly, not the gun club just down the road. Wait – what? Well, yes – literally. Years ago, when Devon and I were looking at moving back up to the Pacific Northwest, some of our friends pointed in horror to an…

Fish Pond Fish

What’s in a name? Back when Devon and I were courting and found ourselves (long story) in the Kenya’s Samburu Valley, she described a minor revelation that the place had for her. Years earlier, when she was reading Deliah Owens’ Cry of the Kalahari – yes, same Deliah Owens – she’d been annoyed at the…

We’re Going Nuts Here

Four years ago, there was a hailstorm the morning we put in all those chestnuts up on the hill. Next spring, on the morning of our hazelnut work party, the skies also opened up with hail and sleet. So it was only fitting that, with spring less than a dozen hours old, we’d wake to…

An Evolving Cast of Characters

The last time we had pigs on the farm was…not an optimal experience. It was a learning opportunity. It was a shining counterexample to the dictum that everything is either a good experience or a good story. But that was years ago (by using the plural, strictly speaking, I mean “more than one”). And I…

Windfall

If you were to ask the storm, it would probably say it got held up in traffic. Fall technically arrived yesterday morning at 6:30, but didn’t start in earnest until somewhere around midnight when everything blew sideways with scudding low clouds and drenching rain on a southeast gale. By the time it got light this…

Get Lost

Between the drive south, the week on the ship, a week in Palo Alto, a week driving Jem out to Missouri, flying back to California, driving back up the coast – (whew – I’m tired just thinking about all those miles!) – I managed to spend pretty much all of August away from the farm….

Meet Mitzi!

It’s not really a farm unless you’ve got a tractor and a truck, right? We bought our adorable Little Tractor That Could three years off a friend of a friend, but have been kind of scraping by on the truck front. No more. A couple of days ago we took delivery of Mitzi, a Mitsubishi…