final days in Oxford

This was our third and final week spent on Yokna Bottoms Farm, in the beautiful Faulknerian land of northern Mississippi.  Preparing t leave back during the first time we WWOOFed here (January 2014), it seemed weird that we might not ever see the characters here again – which makes sense in retrospect, since fate conspired to get us here again this winter.

Widget does not think the chickens deserve all of the bread.
Widget does not think the chickens deserve all of the bread.

A year later, we’re not thinking about how weird it is that we may never see the Yokna farm and its cast of human, canine, and kitty characters again – because we assume that someday, we probably will.

mixing up worm castings, chicken manure, and dirt into a batch of potting soil for the strawberry project
mixing up worm castings, chicken manure, and dirt into a batch of potting soil for the strawberry project

 

potting up dozens of little strawberry plants we dug up from a crowded and un-loved patch of field, with Jeff
potting up dozens of little strawberry plants we dug up from a crowded and un-loved patch of field, with Jeff
Gabe chewing through wicked blackberry canes with the flail mower

Gabe chewing through wicked blackberry canes with the flail mower

 

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Kristin bashing low-hanging branches from the pines to make way for the flail mower’s passage

 

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Cleo & Faith in their hours-long staring contest

 

Widget hunting wabbits
Widget hunting wabbits
you can guess how Faith earned her nickname, "Scarf"
you can guess how Faith earned her nickname, “Scarf”

 

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Faith does not mind that Gabe is allergic to her. She may even prefer it.

This week we visited Richardson Farm – a startup operation founded by former Yokna intern Nate, who we’d met last year. He is leasing some really interesting land along a lakeshore, and has big plans for what he’d like to get growing and built there. For now, it’s been fulltime work just getting a liveable shack to stay in, a small greenhouse built, etc – things are starting to come together and it’ll be great to see where it goes from here,

and old treehouse failure decorates the woods of Richardson Farm
and old treehouse failure decorates the woods of Richardson Farm

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Another former Yokna Woofer, Reynaldo came to stay at the Farm over the last few days to house & dog sit for Doug, who left for a few days of family time in New Mexico with the ‘old boys,” Merton and Shivas.  We hadn’t met Reyndaldo before, but we’d enjoyed his work – he’d done a great painting of the old farm truck and Missy, which graces the living room wall of the house.

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While staying in the house, he’s working on a new piece – a vortex-looking spiral which is steadily resolving into an amazingly well colored and rendered hay bale.

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When not housesitting here, Reynaldo is WWOOFing on the nearby Canebreak Farm – another up and coming small organic farm. We went to check it out with him – I wish we had a photo of the sweet bamboo cane thicket growing along one edge of the field, where the farmers hope to one day clear room for tables and chairs – a dining space for the Asian farm-to-table dishes they hope to serve from the produce they grow on the land.

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We made cornbread and went to a Chili Cook-Off, where most o the entries included Yokna Bottoms veggies, and longtime Yokna Farm staff Betsey took home the prize … but we felt like the biggest winners, with all the delicious food we got to eat.

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two faces have I
two faces have I

 

At the house, we've gotten into doing crossword puzzles for the first time
At the house, we’ve gotten into doing crossword puzzles for the first time

 

Tomorrow, we leave for Habitable Spaces in Kingsbury, Texas first thing in the morning!

 

we got matching fortunes when we went out to eat at the local Noodle Bowl ... pretty fun on the heels of last year's Cookie Coincidence
we got matching fortunes when we went out to eat at the local Noodle Bowl … pretty awesome on the heels of last year’s Cookie Coincidence

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