Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Yesterday I was working on juggling chaos and order...decanting 55 gallon vats of fermenting cucumbers and tomatoes to extract their seeds, pouring off the fleshy slop to reveal the beauty of accumulated seeds that settle to the bottom. I'll paint a visual image if it helps...55 gallons of fruity and cheesy smelling cucumber brew pours into a countoured swale to avoid erosion as ducks quack and dibble ankle deep (do ducks have ankles?) in the muck happily foraging for immature seeds, rollicking soul-jazz pours forth from the barns' stereo in time with the rhythmic whacking of Amy's machette as she chops open basketball sized Green Hubbard winter squash, scooping out their seeds into buckets for water processing, the sun's going down and the late November frost is settling, particularily noticeable on wet hands, and wait, low and behold, at the bottom of one of the seed barrels I am pouring out, LEGO guys emerge from the ooze along with about a dozen rocks...alchemical additions to the cauldron from my 4 year old son, Jasper.
As darkness settles in the flood lights illuminate the work area as the projects near completion (a laughable prospect on a farm, as the next projects eagerly jockey for position to be next in line), buckets of wet tomato, pepper and cucumber seed await being spread onto drying racks, a sticky paste of potentiality that will dry into seed "cookies" that must be crumbled and rubbed through screens to render them plantable in any practical fashion. And then there's the reality of my limited drying rack space and lack of sunlight for drying sufficiently in the greenhouse....the next project shuffles to the front of the agenda...build a seed drying rack system next to the barn wood stove and get a fire built, fan positioned and screens in place. Ahhhh...momentary completion...it's 8:45 pm, 27 degrees out and another day on the seed farm comes to a close, as I walk home breathing in the incredible array of starlight streaming into my eyes from millions of light years away as ducks quack awaiting food and shelter from predators and sheep shuffle into the barn for hay and I amble home for wine, cheese and olives! Living the good life, never a dull moment!