There seems to be a confluence of mystic energy at the farm this week: not one, but THREE of our previous interns showed up for a few days. Ronit, who was with us two years ago, is going to UMass. This is her fourth post-visit. Caroline is a wildlife biology major at Colorado College. She spent last summer with us, left, then came back for a couple weeks. Now she’s back again. And Ella drove up from CT to hang out with us for three weeks before she starts to think about going back to UMaine. Ella’s a repeat offender. I’ve lost track of how many times she’s showed up (5 or 6, I think).
The concept of future time is still a bit nebulous to these young 20-somethings. Caroline gave us two weeks’ notice, Ella four days, and Ronit 6 hours. I once counted an extra car in the driveway as I headed out to the barn one morning. Turned out it was Ella, who had, on a whim, decided to visit.
As we’ve told them many times, come visit whenever they want. Our home is always open for them. And to borrow a phrase, “We’ll leave the light on for you.”
(Or we would if they’d let us know they were coming).
The soil is too dry and grass is not growing. I’ve been looking around for any neighboring fields we could hay. However, there are none available. A friend knew of some in East Barnard (about 4 miles from the farm). We drove around one morning with his two little kids checking these out. Unfortunately, most were very small. All were sloped (not an exciting characteristic for round bales).
So this week I started haying one of the larger fields on Balla Machree Farm on Broad Brook Road -i.e. 25 minutes by tractor from the farm. About half of the 12 acres produces hay; the other half produces an extraordinary amount of ferns.
I was hauling the bales back to the farm yesterday when a tire on the hay wagon blew and shredded. Arrgghh! Wait. Do we have another 15” tire somewhere? Yes, on the little blue wagon. I try to take one off, but the lug nuts are seized. Arrggh. A torch to the nuts finally loosens them. Okay, good. Load the tire, wrench and jack in the car and we’re off! I take the wheel off the hay wagon, go to put the temporary tire on and…. The lugs are not in the same place. More aaarrrghhhh!
After more trials, which all fail and I’m intentionally trying to forget, I'm reduced to hauling two bales at a time, which is as many as I can take with just the tractor. And after sending out this blog, I’m back on the tractor to fetch the last 6 bales from the field. Lisa will wrap bales while I’m doing this. Then she’ll spell Ida in the creamery and I’ll try to get a new tire. The joys of farming!
We’ve had another first on the farm. One of Heather’s sisters and her boyfriend came up for a visit. Unknown to the sister, her boyfriend had planned an outing to a local flower farm, where he was going to propose. Heather, who was in on the secret, was to be the photographer.
However, they first visited our vegetable, herb and flower garden. All the colors, varieties, sizes, and shapes fill your senses. The parallel rows of plants, the morning glory trellised gateway, the electric fence surrounding and defining the garden, plus the green hill and blue sky in the background set the scene. The cows, who happened to be grazing nearby, along with a killdeer on her nest of four as yet unhatched eggs witnessed what happened next.
Seems that both Mollie and Sami thought it was so wonderful that he went off script, got down on his knees, proposed then and there in the garden.
So feel free to stop by, check out the garden, and propose! Ps – she said yes.
Randy Robar, co-owner of Kiss the Cow Farm