It's hard to believe it, but this farm is nearly built! An amazing team of people have amassed to see this thing done. It hasn't gone according to plan, but plans are overrated. We've got some motivated, dedicated, smart folks here at Seven Arrows. Without them, the farm could have been dead in the water....because frankly, I know precisely squat about building and power tools. Me with a chop saw and some measuring tape could have been a disaster without knowledgeable folks here to pick up the slack. Like Mae, Lucas...and my dear friend Ryan, who I will write about this weekend. He's like an angel in a tool belt that descended upon this farm. Truly. Without him here, we'd be in a bit of a predicament.
In the three or so months we've been here, so much has happened. We expanded our flock of chickens to about 60 (we lost a few to weakness, hawks and a bout of coccidiosis along the way), started raising ducks, got three Nubian/Alpine dairy goats, started the very challenging and sometimes frustrating task of training Maremmas on a 20-acre yoga retreat. We've even planted a kitchen garden and sold some veg to a couple local cafes just to get our foot in the door for next season.
Most importantly, we have planned and nearly completed construction on three outbuildings: A large coop, a goat house and a rabbitry. I was worried about their completion before the cold weather arrived but it's done, they are livable! All we need to do is make them look pretty.
The next critical task will be to turn over the sod in the field, add compost and manure, smother weeds with jute sacks and plant a couple of beds of garlic before the killing frost sweeps through. That sod needs to be toast by March, when we plant the first of our early spring crops. We've got some veg planted in low tunnels currently and our rolls of agribon are at the ready so we can enjoy cold hardy crops like arugula, mache, turnips, carrots, kale and tatsoi from the garden for long into the fall, perhaps even into winter. I'm doing what I can to keep the food rolling in for as long as possible this year. Eliot Coleman's books are getting a lot of wear this fall.
Every day the vision of what this farm is to be becomes more clear. There have been many times recently where I feel as though I could be in over my head, but those sorts of thoughts are self-fulfilling. I'm going to have my work cut out for me, sure, but I have to allow myself to ask for help when it is needed. The one thing I've learned in life is that people, friends, can be counted on to help when it is absolutely necessary. I have faith that whatever comes the way of this farm will be greeted with the resolve to conquer it and move forward....because I am not alone. The truth is that to farm means to never be alone.