Yokna Patawpha Bottoms Farm
It stormed throughout the night, and we slept deeply, somehow comforted by the sounds of wind futilely battering the house, and rain sheeting down on the tin rooftop.
“Come see the fog,” Kristin whispered, marking the first waking moment of my day. Fog is beautiful, fog vanishes quickly; I was up, clothed, and out the door within seconds of opening my eyes to her whispered invitation.
before the sun rose and burned it away …
On our way back toward the house, we went through a grove of trees that, the day prior, had hosted a huge flock of some kind of chirping bird. We’d walked across the field toward it, hoping to see what it sounded like beneath such a gathering, but the swarm saw us coming and wasn’t ok with it so they flew away before we could get anywhere close.
Anyway, that was yesterday. Today, we were already in that same grove of trees when the flock came in to roost – they blanketed the tops of the tall trees, and groups took turns dropping down to the forest floor, to drink or to feed.
It sounded amazing.
After breakfast we got to work on the raised herb beds. Three of them hadn’t been planted the previous year and had been overtaken by Bermuda grass. We had to dig up and turn over all the soil in each bed, essentially, and pull out every possible scrap of grass root – any piece left behind would likely grow right back.
Bermuda grass is aggressive and the conditions had been awesome in the boxes – so there was an incredible amount of the tough, stalky root masses to work free from the thick soil. It required a lot of effort – there were ways we worked out to do it better and more efficiently, but no shortcuts to avoid a whole lot of digging in the dirt.
Kristin and I got through most of the first box with some help from Doug, and then Tom From the UK and Jason From Virginia joined us and the next two beds came under control in short order with all hands on deck, so we also cleaned out a bunch of dead plants from the other beds. Afterward, Doug gave me a tour of his permaculture hilltop water reservoir swales, and we all ate warmed up leftovers and freshly baked apple sauce oatmeal muffins Kristin manifested, complete with dried cranberries and banana chips.
Then it was a couple hour siesta until it was time to go to a potluck birthday party – where we ate good food, drank, got bonfired & s’morsed and birthday caked, and played or watched ping pong.
Yep – both parties we’ve been to out here have featured ping pong tables – this one was a lot more casual – just a table out in the garage that had just been given the kids for Christmas. We drank quite a bit of “wassail” – a mulled hot cider drink that everyone but me seemed to have at least heard of before, until I was woozy and sleepy and glad to agree when it was suggested we head back to the farm for the night.