The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

He’s Back

October 7th, 2013 · No Comments · Posted in farming


After five months of steady work on the new farm, my wife thought it was time I got some R & R. She cashed in some frequent flyer miles and packed me off to D.C. for a few days to visit the old haunts.

Hanging with friends was like entering a time warp–like no time had passed at all. There was lots of partying and a little too much fun, I’m afraid.

Here I am visiting the Dupont Circle farmers market on Sunday. Compared to the slim pickings we find at the market here in Cambridge, NY, the bounty in D.C. is truly astounding. We took our time strolling around and marveling at the plethora of fresh goods. It seemed like everything in the seed catalogue was represented.

I had a great time dining out with friends. Our old neighborhood is booming, with new restaurants opening at a dizzying pace. You say the U.S. economy is in the dumps? You’d never know it for all the activity in the nation’s capital.

Five days away also gave me a chance to take stock of where we’ve been the last few months and where we’re headed on the farm. A little breather was in order, since I ache all over. I guess I wasn’t expecting this venture to take such a physical toll. My 18-year-old brain is trapped in a 60-year-old body, and the body is showing its age. Conclusion: I won’t be able to keep this up forever. I need to reassess how I deal with certain tasks on the farm, such as how to keep the grass down. I can’t go on scything day after day. Nor can I go on tending the livestock by lugging 5-gallon buckets of water all over the property. I’ve also got to shed some of this body weight I’ve been lugging around. It’s just too tiring.

We’ve saved our pennies not buying heavy equipment and instead poured our money into basic infrastructure such as fencing and water lines. Now it’s time to start thinking how we handle basic chores into the future, like mowing grass and filling water troughs. This trial period has given us a much clearer vision of what we need out of a tractor. We’ll be looking into that much more intensely in the coming months.

But with winter not too far over the horizon, we also have to prepare for new issues: where to keep the animals, how to feed them when the grass goes dormant, how to keep them watered when the water is quick to freeze. The harsh new weather pattern sure to come is my next big concern. I need to make sure I’ve still got the arms and legs to handle it.

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