Sunday, 11 May 2014

Strangers on a farm (well not really strangers….)

Last week I was planting some Brassica waiting for my brother and his boyf to show up. At some point it got too late to wait and we went in for lunch which is when the boys decided to turn up. Gabriel was driving Connor’s car and *surprise* my cousin Yuval was in the back!
The first thing we had to do was get some farm appropriate wear (well done Yuval for wearing correct boots). Gabriel was wearing Connor’s trainers but we would be wading through thick, wet mud…. Luckily Meredith kindly leant Gabriel her wellies.  Connor was a lot less complaining in general and just got on with the mud.  The main problem with clothing was a lack of gloves. I guess my hands have just got used to it but army-hardened Yuval and Gabriel’s soft and sensitive little fingers (again Connor was uncomplaining) had to share one glove each or switch off 10 minutes each.
We all did the barnyard chores which included feeding the goats, filling up their water and cleaning up their poo. Of course Gabriel and Yuval opted for getting the hay whilst Connor was stuck with shoveling the poo which he did a brilliant job of.
We then went back to the farm for planting and aside from the complaining about cold hands, getting dirty, constant worrying about ticks and some swearing in Hebrew, they did do a good job and provided plenty of entertainment for the rest of us.  Gabriel even got to play doctor as he did a quick examination of a rash on one of the guys working here.
The one hairy moment (which I missed) was when we sent Connor, uncomplaining and good at getting on with things, with Gabriel to do compost.  It turns out he doesn’t like chickens so it wasn’t his happiest moment when he dumped fresh compost in the heap and all the chickens, who love afternoon compost, ran at him.
We finished the day by Gabriel doing what he does best – taking us all out for dinner to the local town (Connor let me drive his car there!) They dropped me home, had some fresh goat milk with maple syrup and an hour lecture from me about the benefits of local produce before heading back home after an exhausting 3 hours of farming.

It was a pleasure having you all and thanks for my presents Connor!

Next –Josh! It makes me feel less irrational about my own neurotic behaviour that when I told Gabriel, Yuval and Josh about ticks, their reactions were to freak out and constantly check themselves too. Anytime Josh felt anything on the farm or in New York he was convinced he was being eaten by ticks even though I promised him you couldn’t feel them – you would only know if you saw them crawling on you or stuck headfirst under your skin.
Anyway, Josh arrived on Thurs evening in time for us to put the chickens to bed and have a jamming session -me on the ukulele and him on the guitar – LOL, no- really.   We woke early on Friday to let the chickens out and get on with some cucumber planting. As a real animal lover - Josh got on really well with the chickens, the goats and all the house cats that live on the farm. We got to finish early on Friday for Shabbat and we had a pretty chilled out weekend making bread with Meredith (using yeast she had harvested from the air!!), cycling around, talking about new excel formulae and Josh listening to me reciting a poem about a cherry tree.  Aside from Josh’s general frame being sore from biking a small bit (the bike was too small, handles too low, yeah, yeah) and a bit of farming, we had a great time and spent the whole time planning our future brewery, harvesting our own yeast and growing all our own food. 
New York, we stayed in Chelsea, was of course Fabulous. We spent the whole time eating the most amazing vegan foods (except for Josh’s pastrami hit in Katz’s deli) and (Josh) drinking beer.  
We had a delicious dinner with Eitan and Marisa (and then walked 70 blocks home!) and managed to catch up with Howie who looked super sharp – see below.
Restaurants included: Blossom, Ellery Green, Peace Food CafĂ©, the Wild, The grey dog – I would highly recommend them all.

Gabs, Connor, Yuval, me and my hat/scarf

with eggs

A house cat in a box

Remember the greenhouse we were building? Finished, Hand tilled, and planted

putting away the chickens means you always see sunset

Meredith and Connor 

Josh the tourist

Day drinking

Vegan brownie

Vegan 16 handles trip

Looking sharp

Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding - VEGAN

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