Hiccups, Fried Chicken, and Wind July 22, 2015 05:45 2 Comments

Remember when I mentioned in my last blog post that sometime I would talk about the “hiccups” we’ve encountered on the farm? Well, I have been reading Southern novels this summer and this activity has inspired me in two ways:

1. I want to eat fried chicken…all the time.

2. I am reminded that through adversity (aka: hiccups) human beings either crumble or get stronger and smarter. 

Fried chicken aside (for the moment anyways), I want to talk about a few of the struggles we have faced as we have embarked on this farming adventure and how they have made us stronger. 

 

Struggle 1: The Weed Cloth

When we were researching about how to plant our lavender we discovered that there were two schools of thought: weed cloth or no weed cloth. This may sound silly, but when you are talking about an acre of heavy duty weed cloth, you are talking about an investment! 

The pros of weed cloth: No weeds...well, way less weeds. Those suckers can grow in the craziest places; you kind of have to admire their perseverance. 

The cons of weed cloth: Cost, time to stake cloth down, figuring out how to burn holes in the cloth just the right size for lavender (Brent’s issue), a field of weed cloth just isn’t “pretty” (my issue).

We decided to heed the advice of other lavender farmers and go for the weed cloth. The weary way they spoke of weeds was quite motivating.  After it was all in, I didn’t mind the appearance of it as much as I thought that I would. Brent rigged up and ingenious device with a  propane tank attached to a metal ring by wire to burn the holes in the cloth so we could plant the lavender. I won’t lie to you…I lacked the courage to watch as he burned the holes. My job was to roll around the propane tank behind him, look away and think happy thoughts. Brent would like me to point out that it was 90 degrees outside while he walked around with a blow torch spewing high levels of kinetic energy into his face…sheesh. Big baby. 

                                                                       

 

When we finished, we were quite proud of our successful instillation of the weed cloth. You know what they say about pride right? Well, one major thing we didn’t take into account, was the Whatcom county winter wind (like the alliteration?). The gale force winds we got during the winter ripped that weed cloth right up and over our lavender babies in giant strips. They were like sails of darkness, pirate ship style, that created about as much foreboding by their presence. I spent hours (like 8 at a time) in freezing rain and wind, soaked to the bone trying to stake it down again. It might have been fun the way the wind would whip up and pull me along as I clung with a white knuckled grip to the weed cloth, if I hadn’t been so desperate. I realize that this sounds overly dramatic to you as you read this in the middle of the summer. Trust me, it WAS overly dramatic!!! I prayed, I sobbed, I sang Christmas songs at the top of my lungs (I honestly don’t know why). It wasn’t pretty.  Here is the kicker…it happened AGAIN! As a matter of fact it happened three times. Brent, started refusing to look out our window at the field. He told me he was “done, just “done” with farming, which stoked the fires of my stubbornness (maybe that was his intention all along…stinker), and I decided that the wind wasn’t going to win this battle. Our wonderful neighbors (two different sets) offered to let us have or borrow paving stones that they had in their back yards. I know…what are the chances? I also borrowed some of their sons (and their friends) to help me haul pavers and heavy bricks all over the weed cloth to help hold it down. I held my breath and waited for the next storm. It came, and when the clouds cleared, we discovered that the paver solution seemed to work. Hallelujah! I love a happy ending. Just to ensure we will have another one (happy ending that is) this winter, I am buying more pavers before fall. If anyone is interested in weight lifting, you can come help me spread them out around the field. 

I have written more than I intended about weed cloth, who knew it could be such an inspiring topic? I will save our other struggles for another post. I know you are just dying to read about bee swarms and moles, but it will have to wait. I need to go make some lip balm. I will however,  leave you with a quote that I love; Insert “lavender” for “apple tree” and it is exactly how I feel. 

 

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” 

Martin Luther

 

Click here for a recipe for fried chicken…just kidding. If you want some too, just go to Safeway or Food Pavilion because their fried chicken rocks.