all weekend, i thought i’d be able to make time to work on the wall, but as it happened, i did everything but.

Friday’s community dinner party was lovely, and while the day went by in a blur of cleaning, cooking and general preparation, the party itself was relaxed, mellow and fun. We fed a total of 20 people (including 7 of us living in the community at that moment), and the only thing on the table that was not from our farm was the potatoes. We’re about to harvest this year’s taters, but not quite yet. Jenny made southern fried chicken from birds we grew & processed last year, while Dave and I made a tomato-basil-green bean-paneer salad with paneer we made that day, and a couple big trays of scalloped potatoes with Sunflower River onions. we opened a couple bottles of Tristan & Jenny’s delicious blackberry-beet mead to go with. it all went over very well.

Saturday morning we processed chickens — 21 birds in about 3 hours, with 8 people working at it. hard work, but we get smoother and better at it every time. i spent the afternoon doing yardwork once we had returned the plucker and all to Chris’s farm, then roving the farm with my camera. that night was our going-away dinner for Piper, who interned with us for two weeks that felt like a lot more time — once again, someone arrives as a stranger out of the clear blue daylight and departs as a friend whom we hope to keep in touch with for long years to come. the wwoof program has brought us so many wonderful people, so much grace and friendship, along with the farm help. that same night, two new interns arrived, who will be here for a week. it’s going to be a busy month, as a lot of one-week people come through, make their impression, and move on. living in the round — the round yurt, the infinite cycle of the seasons, the round of ever-moving community and connectivity.

Saturday night we got two inches of rain — the first inch in about an hour, in our first really solid crash-bang downpour of the summer, and the second over the course of the rest of the night. so sunday was spent pulling weeds instead of playing with plaster sculpture. with the soil softened by the night’s rain, 6′ tall stands of kosha almost-readily allowed themselves to be yanked out of the ground. we certainly didn’t conquer it all, but the garden is a transformed place, and i resued the dye beds from three months of steady neglect. they were doing pretty well, all things considered, but now the bindweed has seriously been set back a couple steps. while i was doing that, Rev, Ryan and this week’s interns, Alyssa & Lucy, cleared all the kosha off the front fenceline, transplanted the carrizo, and dug more than a third of the trenching for that half of the wall. A significant set of accomplishments for one day!

corn beneath the storm

the watermelons have taken over the garden path (i confess, we gave it up to them without a fight.)

down the garden path:

watermelon vines growing visibly

purple podded pole beans, which do, in fact, make excellent pickles, though they’re not terribly purple (more so when they get more direct sunlight)

the watermelon itself

squash vines, vining

in the south bed, a casava melon. there are three setting up now.

through the corn stalks

purple podded pole bean flowers

squash flower

corn pollen in the imminent rain

my favorite, a spiral squash tendril against new leaves, backed by bean vines dotted with corn pollen

corn tasseling

golden amaranth ready for harvest

the fierce and mighty barn cat, Woodwose, getting her ears scritched.

the cottonwood in the storm light

baby bunnies. the new rabbit condos have a central hay bin where we can put flaked hay, which the adult rabbits then draw through a slot at the back of the “indoor” portion of their cage. baby bunnies turn out to fit right through that slot and into the hay bin. here they are tromping around in the food supply:

what are you lookin’ at?

and hiding with big sister, the bunny Ana brought over last month, who also appears to fit through the gap.

meanwhile the surly troupe of turkey mamas are raising up a chick (note defensive turkey mama postures; they hiss at you if you get too close. also note that that baby bird is a chicken. we slipped some fertile chicken eggs under them while they were brooding and this is the outcome.)

and the rest of the turkeys checking out the camera action

red dye amaranth, glorious in the sunlight

this stuff did very well indeed this year, in spite of how long its been since anybody weeded out there.

another dye bed, post-weeding. yarrow, coreopsis, and some volunteer mint.

one volunteer sunflower out back.

and the other volunteer sunflower, about three weeks behind its sisters in the big garden.

next wall-building party, Sunday, August 15th. let me know if you’d like to come down and need directions or anything. we always feed everybody. the wall is about to turn a corner and head down the front of the property, yay! it’s attracting tons of attention from folks passing by on the street. we’re making good progress anyway, and met some nice folks yesterday, neighbors from up the road who sell produce at the SV grower’s market. they might come to the harvest fest — which is Monday Sept 6th, all afternoon, so mark your calendar!