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As I write this morning, I am still wearing my wool hat and vest, anticipating that warm weather and some well needed rain to get the gardens growing is on its way. With my three interns here for the season, we tackled some of the planting after a few hours of spraying the second of five biodynamic preparations for the season.
I have yet to devise a sprayer that will go on the back of a vehicle and or on our backs, so for now it is all muscle power. Lugging five gallon pails half filled with spray and spreading it with whisk brooms over a 15 acre area. Obviously the more hands the better.
This being the first task for opening day is a make or break deal for newcomers; they ended the day still wanting to stay, so a good sign that I have a great work crew for the season.
My friend Robin joined in for the day and worked with Zsofia in harvesting sheep sorrel roots in preparation for tea, Sarah (my artist in residence apprentice) was acclimated to the rabbitry as she will be responsible for their care while here and the harvesting of their wool. Emma, the other garden manager for the summer spent the morning spreading preps and then convened with the crew and Mackenzie, to work on the design and creation of farm scarecrows and a mural for the exterior wall of the greenhouse.
As for myself, I spent the day preparing beds, planting root crops (carrots, beets and radishes), and planning out the rest of week.
Yesterday was my anniversary, so I feel compelled to share the story of how Gregg and I met 29 years ago. I was living at my family farm, commuting to and from college (UMF) and working for my father who owned and operated a customer butcher and slaughter house in Livermore. On one particular winter evening, I was out late doing my chores which consisted of feeding my horse hay and water, and few other general barn tasks.
On that particular evening however, I had a sense of being watched. After tossing the bale, I looked down and there were two men in a truck parked in front of the butcher shop looking up at me. I kindly asked if they were being helped (clearly they did and clearly no one in the house was aware of their needs either.) With wool hat pulled down over my ears, coveralls and rubber boots as dress attire, I met them at the door and helped load their beef into their vehicle before sending them off.

The rest of the story:

He did call me up for a date a few months later. Six months into our relationship, Gregg’s father Warren shared our first encounter at one of the family gathering dinners in this manner. He and Gregg were sitting in their vehicle waiting to have someone help them with their beef that they had butchered, when all of a sudden, a door opened up on the second floor of the barn across the pathway. The person grabbed the side of the door with one hand, and with the other hand tossed this 60lb bale of hay at least 100′. Gregg, looked over and said “Dad, I think that was a girl.” “So I noticed son,” was his fathers response.

Personally, I think it was an arranged marriage between both of our fathers; a good one at that. The rest is, as they say, history at best.
My daughter Mackenzie asked what we were going to do for our anniversary. “After chores, we are going to go for a walk down along the river,” I said. ‘that’s it’? But, after seeing the pictures we took, she believed that it was far better than anything she could imagine doing and or going.

Until next time, put on your rain and sun dancing outfits.

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