Cover Crops 8/12/22

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Georgia red clay.  It’s notorious.  It’s chunky.  It's lifeless.    The red is a result from the affect of a warm, humid climate weathering acid crystalline rocks on rolling hills over a long period of time, but the intensely imbalanced ratio of clay to silt, sand, and organic matter is a remnant from a past marked by terribly inconsiderate agricultural practices, where all the nutrients were stripped from the soil and none were replenished.   It’s like any relationship.  If you do nothing but extract value, without putting in value, the relationship will fail.  Drive your car for years without an oil change.  Take your spouse for granted for years without investing in their well being.  Withdraw from your bank account, without...

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Unexpected Visitors 8/5/22

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Watch your step in the garden.  We’ve unfortunately run into 2 copperheads this week.  One in the woods at the cabin construction site and one outside Rachel’s office. It’s never a pleasant encounter.  We are fond of most snakes and are happy to share the farm with them, but copperheads are venomous and aren’t as welcome.  They tend to like woodpiles and mulch covered areas according to the literature and that is where we usually see them.  We’ve also found them in our barn and in a greenhouse we were weeding (Mandy almost grabbed one with a handful of weeds!!). So, you can never be too sure, but it’s safe to say that flip-flops are not farm friendly attire in...

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Dinosaurs 7/29/22

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 Lots of folks ask us about our strange flock of earth bound birds.  What are they? Do they ruin garden beds, peck food crops, need a coop, eat pests?   When we first started farming this land, we were covered in ticks constantly.  Most rural southerners seem to accept it as part of the landscape and pay it no mind, but there’s a growing awareness of the damage they can cause.  Ticks carry not only Lyme disease, but Babesia, Alpha-gal, Bartonella, Ehrlichiosis, and more.  The widely spread misinformation that Georgia ticks don’t carry Lyme disease, seems to now be losing its foothold on much of the populace.  There’s still some doctors who don’t seem to have gotten the message, but the...

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Reset, Repaid, Rebuild 7/22/22

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Well, we’re finally moving forward with the cabin that was destroyed at the beginning of the year (You can revisit here).  An old friend who got his start in construction under the tutelage of Mandy’s dad years ago, went on to become a contractor and is going to come in with his crew and carefully take it down and set the salvageable lumber aside for me to re-use.   We’re both super excited to have some motion on this project.  We’re not 100% certain about the design of the rebuild (or even when I’ll get the time to do it), but we’re thinking either a full replica of the original, or possibly a 3 walled structure with the 4th wall just...

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The Swing of Things 7/15/22

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We’ve been getting afternoon showers again.  It was so dry for so long and despite the fact that our friends and neighbors were getting rain for weeks all around us, the drops avoided our soil for the longest time.  It seemed as though the clouds were taunting us.  Holding tight to their sprinkles until they passed overhead and then dropping them generously onto the neighbors’ fields while casting a wry grin over a shoulder in our direction.      The weather patterns here have so much more nuance than the ones I grew up with in Northern California.  It’s really interesting how much variation there is in just a half a mile out here.  Sometimes it works to our benefit (multiple missed...

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We're Back! 7/8/22

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We are so excited to be home and reconnect with the farm!     Mandy and I just had a heckuva trip to Italy.  We attended a family wedding in the region my grandparents are from, with cousins from Tuscany, Ireland, and Brazil.  It was fantastic!  The dance floor was filled for 5 hours with all generations of cousins and friends from all over the world and everybody was smiling, dancing, laughing, hugging and just all around having a wonderful time and soaking in this once in a lifetime experience to all be together.  I can’t tell you how much it warmed my heart and filled my spirit and I’ll forever be grateful to my amazing international family for making this...

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Lavender Harvest 6/10/22

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Back in the early days of our life together, Mandy and I lived with my little brother in a big, old, poorly insulated, and seemingly always wet house, on a wooded north facing slope, with massive single paned windows, that was too expensive to heat during the cold months.  When it was 32 outside, it was 32 inside. There was a massive fireplace, but no matter how big the fire, the heat would all just escape up the chimney, or out the single paned windows.   After work each night, we’d put on our coats, grab our dinner plates, turn on some records, and pull our old couch right up to the fire and do our best to absorb as much...

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Dahlia Planting 6/3/22

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                                  We’re back out in the fields, sweat pouring off us, making beds, pulling irrigation, organizing, laying out, digging in, and covering up our dahlias.  We’ve made surprisingly good progress in this heat.  Our team is good and getting better with each passing season.  The umpff we are losing with age, is offset by the wisdom gained from years of iteration.  Less vivacious, but more efficient. Cramping, tired, and sunburnt, we are excited to have thousands of dahlias successfully planted in raised beds.  When all is said and done, we’ll have about 8,000 in the ground.  Definitely our largest dahlia planting to date.     We’ve spent years isolating and multiplying the varieties that we...

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Mushrooms! 5/27/22

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We’re fond of mushrooms out here.  All kinds.  They are magical and wonderful and responsible for so much good in this world that they rarely get acknowledged for.   Did you know that though they were once classified as plants, fungi are actually more similar to us in one significant way than they are to plants?  Plants famously breathe in Carbon Dioxide and breath out Oxygen.  Conveniently we do the exact opposite.  But, so do fungi!   They form an interconnected network under our feet and are responsible for helping plants and trees grow.  They balance out nutrients in the forest, literally taking excess nutrients from one tree and sharing them with another tree in a more deprived patch of soil.  It’s...

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The End of Spring 5/20/22

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Hello hello!  We have had a wonderful season of Spring flowers and are all super happy with how everything went.  Our crew has been fantastic, our days have been filled with so much beauty, and our customers have all been so kind and uplifting.  Such a great season for us and we appreciate you for helping it to be a success!   And so another beautiful Spring gives way and melts into the season of electrolytes and fireflies.  We’ve been hot out here, but fortunately and unfortunately we’re devoid of the humidity that generally accompanies the heat.  It looks like that may be coming on Monday though, so we are excited to be getting some real rain!   These temps punctuate the...

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