Friday, July 16, 2010

Thinking about winter

We broke ground in the fall/winter garden today, brush hogged the weeds out of old beds and mapped out the fall planting. We’ve added a really cool project to the mix, were going to build a garden kitchen with a cob oven. Why not? See all four of us have had a lot of discussion about what it means to us to farm. My interns this season, Nate and Kathleen have just a glimpse of things ahead, while Linda and I have a foundation that we are trying to build on and polish. For each of us it’s a little different but I think the common denominator is we feel there should be a strong sense of joy and peace in our work. No matter what we are doing.
The five acre field we’ve been working at this summer is a very good example of medium scale production. This plot can feed a lot of people, it’s takes a lot of long term work and patience to build the soil, to make it as productive as possible and for many this is the type of farming that can bring peace and joy, or it can be a job and only a job, and both of course. For this farm that scale of farming is just too much, and without a large source of labor it’s just impossible to farm five acres of vegetables, milk goats twice a day, make cheese, move sheep, offer farm table dinners, and of course sell at the farmer’s market. But the thing is I want to do all of that!

Finding that balance. Now it wouldn’t be hard to scale down to an acre in vegetable production, that’s always been my model. An acre can provide an amazing amount of food. There would be plenty enough for personal consumption, more than enough for farm table dinners and I’m sure enough left to sell, and easy to manage. But even more I want to create a sanctuary of things I value most which is nourishment, body and soul. So enter outdoor garden kitchen.

So when we got rained in yesterday morning we worked on the plans for said kitchen and it will be a fairly simple structure, covered but open on the sides. Cob oven north corner open to the south west, a concrete slab with a hodgepodge of tiles and bolts as the floor, cedar posts harvested from the farm and materials mostly recycled. The plan is to do this on a very low budget but still make it really cool! I want it to be a place I can relax with my sweetie and friends, share a pizza or two and a place to have my coffee in the morning look out onto the fertile garden and say ahhh….

So we are starting on it Monday, we’ll set the posts and possibly pour the slab. A cement mixer is $50 bucks at the Stroud rent a tool. Once the slab is poured we’ll adorn it with some random conversation pieces. Next is the roof and then the oven. I believe but am not certain can harvest both sand and clay from the land and buy straw. By the end of the month I might be posting a photo of a wood oven baked margarita pizza.

This might just sound like a pipe dream but we’re going for it.


Linda said...

I like thinking about winter. I like it a lot. :)

Anonymous said...