THE HORSE WHISPERER
LUMBERJACK IN TRAINING
WORDS TO LIVE BY
STROLLIN DOWN THE HIGHWAY
TWIN BROOKS FARM BARNHOUSE
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: THOMAS, CHASITY,
AMY, AYA, PASCAL, KATHRIN, AND US
LORNA AND CARL
Arriving before sun fall last night, we quickly met everyone here and made ourselves at home. The task that lies before us of describing this place, and making you truly feel it as we do seems nearly impossible. It is our goal by the end of our stay to try and convey the quirkiness of this farm, and more specifically, farmhouse.
Lorna and Carl reside at 644 Lucas Creek Drive, in the house Lorna grew up in. Carl motorcycles to and from work, at a nearby plant nursery, and is gone during the week so we anticipate not having much time to talk to him. Lorna is a practicing reflexologist and spends some time making house calls and the other time holding down the farm. There are eight of us WWOOFers here until Friday, when several will depart.
With so much manpower today, we moved mountains...of sheep manure! Lorna uses permaculture techniques in her garden and relies heavily on raised beds for planting. We have heard of raised beds, but we haven't seen any raised four feet tall, as some of them are here. As Lorna and Aaron went up the road to get five truckloads of manure from a neighbor, the rest of us set out to lay the foundation for a new bed. We hoed the area clear of grass, put sides in place using recycled tin and reused wood, and lined the floor of the bed with outdated newsprint and wood scraps. We heaped wheel barrow after wheel barrow full of manure and hay onto the bed and soon it rose higher than the walls. In the afternoon we tried, unsuccessfully, to rip up a silver leaf maple grove, as they are an invasive species. Trouble is, the trees were over 10 feet tall and they didn't rip up so easily. Even with 18 hands and a tractor, the job proved impossible. Instead, Lorna had us go into part of the forest and tear up ivy, another invasive species. This task, though possible, was seemingly pointless. It reminded us of pulling up fiddleneck at Annelle and Thurston's; when standing in an infinite sea of a weed, no matter how much you pull and tug, there never seems to be any progress.
We'll start the farmhouse descriptions today focusing on the bathrooms. There are three in the house, one unisex toilet with no sink upstairs where all the bedrooms are located, and two downstairs, adjacent to each other and to the kitchen, with one for the men, where the seat is ALWAYS left up, and one for the women, seat set down. The bathroom upstairs is so small that the wooden door has a cutout leaving just enough room for it to swing open and shut while avoiding smashing the toilet. Inside, there is a single red light bulb, which is very dim and makes the reading material in there quite a strain on the eyes. The toilet paper dispenser is a limb of a tree coming out of the main trunk, leaving enough room for the roll to balance. Similarly, the toilet paper dispenser in the female bathroom downstairs is of the same design. Unfortunately the one downstairs comes from a smaller tree, whereby a full roll of tp is wedged so tightly against the wall you can't rip off a square without lifting it out of the holder. None of the bathrooms have light switches inside, but somehow finding the proper switch for the bathrooms is an easier task than finding the corresponding switches to any other lights in the house. More on the electrical wiring of the house later this week.
**In reference to a recent comment, we have been racking our brains trying to figure out how we can turn our budding passion in gardening and farming into a decent living. Lack of land and money is a serious hindrance, but we are eager to collaborate with others in ways beneficial to all parties involved. We believe our society is on the cusp of change where small organic fruit and vegetable growers will be able to make livable wages and we want to be part of that trend; nothing seems more important.**
**Nancy and Jimmy, we'll be heading through Saratoga in the middle to end of August. Let's have a serious brainstorm.**