back from the dead, the Lazarus chicken!
Hello, blogging world! It has been, ahem, a few years since we’ve spoken. But I’m hoping that, like good friends, we can settle back into a routine and start talking up a storm… you know, in that way that good friends forgive you for falling out of touch because when you finally do reconnect you’re just so damn comfortable together. Like that perfectly worn-in pair of jeans, or the sneaker with the hole in the sole that you just can’t throw away — though your mother says you should — because it’s just so wonderfully comfortable. Even though it gets your sock dirty every.single.time you wear it. Yes. I am calling myself a crummy sneaker. I stink; I have holes; I will wreck your socks. But for all that, I hope I’m a little bit lovable, and that you won’t toss me into the trash… just yet.
So, salutations! Hi, hello, howdy, and ahoy! I’m here. I’ve returned. I’m back in the saddle again.
To get you up to speed: Yes, we’re still farming. Yes, we’re still learning. From April 2010 to June of 2013, I worked at our local newspaper part-time (and occasionally full-time), which pretty much ate up all of my writing energy. Between weekly deadlines at the newspaper and weekly deadlines on the farm (markets, CSA), I had zero free time. OK, I usually had about one hour of free time late in the evening, which I without fail used to watch either 45 minutes of whatever movie Emmett and I had managed to rent for free from the local library… or The Daily Show. (Yes, I am a liberal who was born in 1983. My watching of The Daily Show is predetermined by those two facts.)
But! I am no longer working at the newspaper. I am full-time on the farm. Partly because in November of 2012, we welcomed a new little farmer-in-training into our family and into the world. Part-time reporting + full-time farming = madness. Part-time reporting + full-time farming + motherhood = failure on all fronts. Farming and parenting is still a challenge, but falls into the more familiar “madness” category. Miss G, our wee milkmaid, is now 14 months old and walking and talking up a storm. She loves her goats and chickens and turkeys, and eats her fair share of dirt. We’re looking forward to seeing her toddle around the fields picking her own cherry tomatoes for the first time this summer.
But there’s a long way to go before we get there — “there” being that miraculous part of summer where the farm brims with produce and the bounty we are lucky enough to consume begins to consume us. Seeds must be sown in thousands of tiny plugs of soil; two greenhouses must fill and empty; a new field manager must be hired; row cover (if any grows in the drought) must be tilled under; goats must be born and turkey chicks must hatch. An off-kilter blue-eyed Catahoula dog must run alongside an old Toyota pickup truck, down a long dirt road between some grapevines to a barn some 840 times. Then, the toddler can have her cherry tomatoes.
Oh, and the Lazarus chicken? Yeah, I learned a few things from the newspaper business — sometimes your headline doesn’t have much to do with your article, but if you write a good one, people will click on it. So, for the PBS documentary on the Lazarus chicken (a rooster that lived despite its beheading) click here.