I am at the farm. There is an overwhelming amount of work to be done here.
I've had Sierra, an apprentice here with me for the last two weeks which really helps push to get things done. Plus it keeps me from the dark boundary of real overwhelm...(Sierra is not much of a cook so throwing myself to the beavers is not an option; the poor girl would starve.)
Having apprentices is a bit uncanny. They become, in a matter of a few days like siblings or children. We sit at the dinner table and talk or don't talk. We share the house, the bathroom. I guess the advantage to apprentices over children or siblings is that they do what you tell them to do without arguing.
They leave and we miss them, a big hole at the dinner table.
But then one day they may call or write to say they are getting married and we get to make flowers for their weddings.
Since I last wrote, much has transpired. Several epic weddings of friends. I went to Schrieners in Portland, Oregon and had an iris epiphany. Came back to planting at the farm. We worked on a huge wedding in the city, probably the biggest we've ever done. My attention has been diverted from the farm for many good causes, but still. I've been pulled away too much.
I think about our dog Nea, last night, staring silently out into the darkness at the beaver pond. She is listening to the racket they're making and I watch her compute this. It's Eric's birthday. I don't do enough to celebrate because I'm all empty. I make a pizza which is OK. I go with him to some thrift stores. I feel guilty. I wish I could make our dog understand that it's Eric's birthday so she could do something special to save the day.
But a dog will never understand the concept of birthday. Beavers, yes. Birthdays, no.
I'm sitting up in my little office at the farm now. I'm looking out the window at a torn up muddy yard. Even though it looks like a wreck, it's progress on a big drainage ditch we have to make in order to continue work on the barn. Probably the least sexy way to spend money on a farm is to dig drainage trenches. Sexy would be ordering more iris tubers (like Downtown Brown) for fall. Sexy would be building a yurt for interns to sleep in. Putting in a wood stove, or carving out a secret garden in the woods. Building a totem pole featuring caricatures of each ewe. Gracie, Pattie, Freddie, Dottie, Lady, Trixie, Roxie, Coco and Aster.
It's been very wet here this spring, up and down the east coast I suppose. I hear farmers complain about all the rain, and feel -- to some extent -- lucky that we're so new at this. We don't realize how much rain it is, we assume it's rather normal and plan our fields and planting patterns around such wetness. I wouldn't know a normal spring if it punched me in the chest.
Many of the iris we planted last fall are blooming now. This is 'Owyhee Desert.'
I suppose we did grow my brown iris.