The last couple weeks at the farm, the garden started producing like crazy. I was so bummed to basically abandon it, especially after all the work we did, but it had to be done. We got a lot of great zucchini, green beans, and good lord, TONS of cucumbers. I pickled about 30 pounds of cukes, a couple gallons of green beans, and froze lots and lots of zucchini. When we left, there were baby melons and the tomatoes had just started producing. If anyone wants to do a drive by, you can harvest our stuff!
We packed up the farm and after several mishaps and some funny farm-style craziness (seriously, I’m going to write a short story about our time up there at some point), we got to our new place without much incident.
Oh, except one incident:
The great busted ankle of 2012
July 7 was my friend Genevieve’s wedding. The wedding was beautiful, I was a bridesmaid, and about an hour before we were supposed to walk down the aisle, I fell in a ditch and badly sprained my ankle. Fun times. I limped around on it that night and by the next day I could not move! I was in bed a few days and on crutches for a week before I could put any weight on it at all. Did I mention the farm house had a ladder instead of stairs? And the only room with air conditioning was up there? Haha, it was a comical and dismal couple of weeks. Jimmy was a saint and basically packed the entire house himself. I don’t know what I would have done without him these past few months. He is a good man.
Anyway, flash forward to this week – the bruising went away and the swelling went down (mostly) but I still couldn’t walk more than about a quarter mile without it seriously hurting. I finally ponied up the money to go get an x-ray (I’d been avoiding it because I don’t have health insurance) and sure enough, it’s fractured. And I’ve been walking on it and moving and all that garbage for about 6 weeks. Ha. The doctor says I’m to wear a brace and supportive athletic shoes (fashion!) for six months. Oh, and stay off it as much as possible. Try not to walk around. Oh, and get physical therapy if you want to keep your range of motion.
I’m bummed. Did I mention I don’t have health insurance? PT is expensive, and not being able to walk around my beautiful new neighborhood like I’d want to and not being able to work out very much at the amazing powerlifting gym I found is a bummer. I am trying to keep a good attitude and actually follow the doctor’s instructions, but I hate my brace and I hate athletic shoes. Bright side: I can walk, it’s not broken, I can still swim and all that good stuff. I am typical – I want there to be a fast fix (cast, surgery, pill), instead of 6 months of disciplining myself to stay off it and do boring physical therapy and not go hiking. But, it is what it is!
Polyface Farms visit
My goodness, Jimmy is adorable. We spent two days at Polyface Farms for their intensive program, learning all about their methods, what they do, sustainability, and humanely raising animals for food. It was a great experience, but only a week after my sprain, and we hiked several miles each day. The seminar was from 7am-9pm each day. It was hot and it was definitely intense. Joel Salatin is an intense dude, and the firehose of information was overwhelming.
However, being there was priceless for me, because Jimmy got to see and experience firsthand what I have been really invested in for years. He got to understand sustainable food, what a farm can look like, what animal husbandry and intellectual agrarianism means in real life. Telling your partner that something is important to you is all fine, and they might absorb it and even be on board, but getting them to experience it and really latch on to something like that is wonderful.
It was odd, still living at the farm, but knowing that we’d be moving in a few weeks – when people would say, “So, tell us about your farm…” and not being sure what to say. We explained the situation a few times, but met confused looks and “Oh, what a shame, so you’re not going to be farmers after all?” so many times that we just stopped explaining.
I am glad we went – although if anyone is considering the Polyface intensive seminar – I recommend that instead you thoroughly read Joel’s books, and then go to the farm for one of their Lunatic tours. You will get all the same information and the experience will be a lot easier to handle, in my opinion. And a lot less expensive.
So, now we’re at the lake. Lake Monticello, which is outside Charlottesville. We’re in Fluvanna county, about a ten-minute drive from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. The house we’re renting is really great, we’ve got wonderful trees all around us, a fireplace and a woodstove, and it’s a quiet neighborhood. We’re a five minute walk from the lake, where we can swim and lounge on the beach. The only down side of the house – there’s nowhere for a garden because of all our shade. I already miss having a garden, I don’t even have herbs in pots or anything. So, I’m still trying to decide whether I want to try to find a space nearby for a community garden type situation, or if I just want to support a farm next year and join a CSA, and frequent the local markets.
The Saturday morning farmers market is awesome (another post coming on that soon), and there is no shortage of wonderful local producers. We even have two mini farmers markets outside our neighborhood each week. We love Charlottesville. We’re really happy here. The house still isn’t really unpacked, but we’re working on it, and I’ll post more photos when things are better settled.
Kyla is watching for you. When are you coming to visit?