Friday, April 27, 2012

When is a Farm a Business?

I struggle with commitment.  I have for many years.  Not the kind of commitment that you stick to something once you have begun.  After all, I've been married to the same wonderful man for 21 years this year, and I never tire of waking up in the bed beside him.  The commitment I'm talking about is that moment when you are standing on the edge of a great chasm that has no visible bottom and you have to decide to step out into thin air hoping that whatever lies beneath is the promised land.  Some people have no problem jumping, and in fact, I have jumped a few times myself.  However, having reached the bottom before and found that this particular chasm had some particularly unpleasant consequences a person might give pause when faced with a new leap of faith.  And, that is what I've done at virtually every chasm for a good many years - peered over the edge, caught the glimpse of paradise and then shrunk back in fear.  Fear of what, you might ask?  Fear of falling.  Fear of gliding aimlessly off course and never quite reaching the destination.  Fear of not hitting the mark through some quirky design of fate or, most of all, from some timid excuse for not trying hard enough. 

So, I stood at the precipice looking between a hobby garden and a full blown, money making, community feeding farm (the promised land I spoke of) and decided that this time I would jump.  I would close my eyes (well, ok, a little peeking) and push through my fears.  Certainly, I am quite aware of the challenges that face me as I pursue one of the toughest careers on earth.  However, I looked into the future of my small farm and saw a thing of beauty and an opportunity to do something infinitely worthwhile and decided that, whatever the risk, it was worth the plunge.

I am, therefore, happy to announce that, as of yesterday, we are now officially Rainbow Farm with a real business license and a real mandate to build the vision that has been stirring in our heads since we first married in 1991.  I invite you to join us on our journey.  It's going to be one wild ride.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Plants that Survived the Winter

I honestly wasn't sure that any of my plants would survive this winter.  After all, this is only our second year.  We weren't exactly methodical or even practical in our approach to planting last year.  However, a few things made it all the way through the multiple snow storms.  Here they are:

Walla Walla Onions

I didn't cover or protect any of these plants, and they fared just fine in the garden.

Garden Trellis From Downed Trees

My husband is very crafty.  At one time in his life he painted, made furniture and created pop-up cards.  His latest project proves he's still got it.  Our garden gates are custom made from downed tree branches, so it totally made sense to create a garden entry with the same ingenious design.  After a very heavy ice storm this winter, we had a multitude of trees that needed to be up-cycled.  Take a look at this trellis that cost us nothing but a few bolts.  You will need a sharp chisel, a saw, a drill, and good quality nuts, bolts and washers. 

We used fir, which has quite a nice red tint to it.  First we chiseled the bark off, then positioned the large poles on the concrete pillar clamps.  We started with the smallest pole and used a level to find the right height for the rest of the poles, because the land was not perfectly even.  We cut grooves in either side of the cross-beam poles to make a tighter connection, drilled holes and placed the bolts with washers in.  The top poles didn't need grooves, so they are just bolted in place on the side beams.  We decided to add the back braces for stability.  (We get heavy winds here.)  Finally, we put together the decorative side with smaller branches.  Each of these are nailed in place and bent to the diamond design.  We planted two red heirloom climbing roses, and we hope to see them growing this season.

When I say we, I really mean my hubby.  I pretty much observed and held a few posts for reinforcement.  He's the creative genius behind this very smart design.