Time really does fly when you're having fun. Well, mostly fun.
It has been an amazing year of hard work and changes on the farm. Though we often can't see it in the moment, when we reflect on our first year at our farm it is amazing what can be accomplished with a little imagination and elbow grease, all while maintaining full-time work outside of our farm venture.
In true "Keith & Chris" fashion, our plan for phase one on the farm has gone from a relaxed, ease-in approach to full-throttle! I mean, who were we really kidding. Loyal readers may recall that our intention was to get 4 alpaca and a guardian dog to start. Our running total includes 14 alpaca (3 of whom we bred and hope are pregnant) and 2 guardian dogs (see previous posts), 14 chickens, 3 somewhat useless house dogs, 4 ducks, and 2 barn cats. Do we count the racoons as pets too?
We have over an acre of lavender going in the ground this week, and Keith has planted approximately 5 acres of glorious sunflowers. As it turns out his previous career as a NHL Zamboni driver has really paid off as a farmer- those are some nice, straight rows! We have another acre of smaller sunflowers to plant, and though we are a bit later in the season than we would like for this, we remind ourselves that this is our first kick-at-the-can on such a large scale. Fingers, toes, and eyes are crossed for a successful growing season.
The tulips we planted in the fall faired very well (given that, as it turns out, I planted them in an area that water drains to in the spring). We will locate our bulbs this fall on higher ground. Our garlic is currently bordering on unruly.
Our Boutique Farm-stay site is cleared and a massive 6'x 10' netting hammock hangs high in the tree for a relaxing nap in the shade with a view over the wet-land. We have planted the beginnings of a small orchard that contains apple, cherry, and pear trees along with wild plum bushes, and a variety of berries native to our area. We've also planted approximately 50 willow trees to someday grow into a luscious willow glen perfect for picnics. This all in addition to all the brush clearing and tree trimming and general maintenance of the property. We get tired just listing it all.
On the roster this summer, fencing, fencing, and more fencing. T'was ever thus.