Double Rainbow Farm is just west of Silverdale, WA. It's tucked into a small country road, where the Dead End sign shines bight yellow beneath the name of the road. Owned by Steve and Rose for the past three years, the farm is getting a makeover from days of disrepair. Eggs are the only money maker as of now, but the full fruit and veggies provide their worth on top the supper table. Five acres of land listen and wait for cultivation.
The days open slowly, as I rouse myself out of my roost in the sewing room upstairs. Four days of the week, Steve is already gone to his ten hour shifts. On these mornings, the dew-dropped fields and gardens are usually the first greeters. I like to spend a little time working up an appetite while the world still snoozes for a while. Just when I start to break a sweat, I head inside to the kitchen with worn pots hanging above the window and rocky cast iron frying pans resting on the stove top. Rose and I usually have oats and toast for breakfast. The oats are sometimes colored a dull blue from garden's blueberries, happy to share their cerulean hues with my taste buds. Rose and I talk of what will be done that day and whatever topics float in on the cool morning air. Soon enough I place my floral edged dishes into the sink and make my way out the door and onto the porch.
The porch is perhaps my favorite place on the farm. The sometimes lunch spot sometimes junk drawer table holds up an array of knick-knacks upon its weathered wooden top. Clam shells from past steamed suppers rest in a tarnished silver platter awaiting rebirth through fertilization in the garden. A clothes line stretches the length of the porch, paralleled at string of old Christmas lights. Citrus sprouts perform the morning stretches of their hopefully fruitful lives. In the yard, bird houses in mid-repair wait on a picnic table that is veined with muted green moss. The moss takes greater hold of a sprawling ancient tree pillar. A Red Rider wagon leans against the trunk, trying to hold onto its cardinal covering. A comforting disorder sprawls in all directions.
On the days when it's just Rose and I, my tasks turn to the satisfyingly repetitive. The farm is in mid conversion to the Back to Eden method of farming. Here's a video on the process and ideas behind it. No need to watch the whole thing, but check out some of the ideas.
My other large task is in preparation for a new layer of mulch in the north orchard. Weeding: everyone's favorite chore. While not a glamorous job, there is a satisfying irony in the delicate pruning of the roots in order to make sure death is complete for the plants we deem invaders. Getting hands on experience with the biology of these ruffian plants, I have toiled with evolution in action. Clover and other "sprawlers" as I like to call them have root systems the spill throughout the strands of wood and loose soil, evading my hoe demolitions through sheer numbers. Dandelions have come to realize that if their roots snap off before the true base, they can live to see another spade. Despite my best efforts, time and genetic streamlining will bring most weeds back right where I left them.
Besides returning to Eden, I have helped with some construction projects. Steve and I expanded the chicken run, putting in posts and attaching wire to the sides and top. Hopefully it will keep the smallest of chicks in and the most daring of hawks out. We are starting work on a geothermal greenhouse now, hopefully to be ready before real cold comes.
Despite the rain brandishing its gray mindset the last few days, the first two weeks were full of beautiful weather. I took advantage of the afternoons spent free from academic whirlwinds. I would read in the pines beside the mostly dry pond at the southern end of the farm, or in the smooth riding rocking chair on the porch. The sunlight would gain golden sheen as time passed, unlike coins of similar hue. Time stretches out here, never dragging. In part because most of my friends and family are two or three hours behind me, but maybe there is something more to it. The sun that creates a plane for morning hay dust to dance in turns its attention to other objects later in the day. My favorite has been the tenuous threads of spider webs that float like thin gauze over chasms from pine bough to pine bough. The light travels slowly like a bead of water as the silk floats on the rarest of breezes.
I'll hold onto these memories of sunshine as the clouds and drizzle roll in to inspire crackling fires and warm books. For now I'm going to head to bed. Next post I'll highlight two hiking trips I've taken. Below are some pics of the chickens and farm. Good night and travel well.