Friday, June 21, 2013

Vacation 2013

My, oh my, where do I begin? About three weeks ago, we learned that our plans had changed. I no longer had to teach this week. Bryan's scheduled vacation no longer had to be used for being a stay-at-home dad. We had a whole week to do whatever we wanted and that hasn't happened in several years.
If you know us at all, you know we are head over heels in love with the idea of moving to the country to start our own family farm. We are reading books, listening to podcasts, talking with farmers, and trying to learn as much as we can to prepare for our days of growing and raising our own food. So Bryan mentioned it would be nice to tour/work on different farms this week for our vacation to aid in our preparations for the country life. After having a few conversations at the farmers' market and sending a few emails, I had a week of learning scheduled.
On Monday, we went to Sunny Point Gardens
Alan and Saundra Davis shared with us how all of our organically grown vegetables
 in our market style CSA are produced. 
We saw high tunnels filled with delicious vegetables.
 The boys got to take a ride in the golf cart and even got to pick strawberries.
 On Tuesday we worked at River Cottage Farm
We got up close and personal with the goats.
Bryan and Seth got to milk a sheep,
and we pulled lots of weeds in the raised bed gardens.
We painted beehive boxes.
They attracted honey bees before we even got the boxes painted!

 On Wednesday, we added a little hiking at Mammoth Cave National Park to our vacation plans.

 On Thursday, we were back at River Cottage, where, among other things, we cleaned and decorated a front porch.
We learned how to dry garlic.
 We also learned what would happen to a garlic scape if left to bloom. 
I know it stunts the garlic growth, but I think it's just lovely.
 We also enjoyed the evening with our community at the Third Thursday event on the farm.

Today, we headed to Springfield, KY to River Run Farm & Pottery. I really stepped out and ventured into uncomfortable territory for me, because I did not personally know these farmers. I learned about this farm from Sustainable Kentucky and just knew if we could visit it would be worth our time. A few days after I sent Jonas and Julie Hurley an email, they welcomed us into their home and onto their farm. 
We helped them plant sweet potatoes. 
We saw baby lambs on their front porch.
 Julie, and her two boys, Walt and Henry, took us down to the river to play.
We held baby chicks.
 We took a wheelbarrow load of pea plants to the pigs.
We even saw a llama!
 Along with rabbits, ducks, guineas, chickens, sheep, pigs, and a cow, the Hurley's also raise turkeys. 
I so long for turkeys, so seeing these on this 17 acre farm was almost like a dream come true.
 The scrapes, stings, and sunburns each day only make us long for the country even more, I think. The hospitality we've been shown, the experiences we've had, and the knowledge we've gained from our week of helping on these farms is something that we'll remember for years to come.

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