Sunday, August 10, 2014

The grass is greener where the dog took a crap

When I became the steward of Falling Downs six or seven years ago, mortgaged up the wazoo and then some, I had all kinds of fancy plans to make this venture pay off.

After all, I had a barn and a woodlot and a hundred acres. The possibilities were endless.

Free range cattle. Free range hogs. Free range chickens...

Start a vineyard on the hill in the corner field...

A portable sawmill to cut that red oak and black cherry into jumbo slabs for my Big-Ass chairs...

A market garden that would generate a few hundred a week at the local farmers' market...

Did I mention the pear trees and the partridges?

We've yet to get around to the free range beef, pork, chickens etc,. although some of my research on the heritage pork species makes me feel optimistic. Chickens could be viable but you have to keep it small scale unless you have an egg quota, which we don't, and never will because those quotas are premised on factory farming standards...

The vineyard was put on hold after I did one plow run down the hill in that corner field and pissed my pants thinking the tractor would tip over any second.

Cutting slabs of black cherry and red oak to craft those Big-Ass chairs has to take a backseat to cutting firewood, and I can hardly keep up with that.

My one foray into market gardening sold out the currant jam we jarred up a couple of years ago, but that barely paid the rent for the table at the farmers' market, let alone providing a return on our labour and various other inputs.

As for the pears, I was going to press them last year to make pear cider; my dear mother has a recipe from the old country for "Birenwein" that I must get from her again...

So six or seven years into this operation, things have not quite gone according to plan. The Farm Manager claims that this is largely due to the time I squander on blogposts that nobody reads. While that may have a vague ring of truth about it, the real truth is that I've always been a news junkie, and firing off those spitballs of righteous indignation only takes a couple of minutes more than reading whatever I was outraged about to begin with.

She is obviously barking up the wrong tree.

Yes, it's tough to see success when you're mulling your manifold failures, but I was settled on the front stoop this afternoon, nursing a pint, having just cut the acres of lawn, and feeling pretty damned good about things in spite of this litany of despair. The lawn would be near perfect, except that the carpet of medium green has random splotches of dark green scattered throughout.

That's where the dogs have shit.

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