On a sunny and spectacular September 27th, more than 500 people pedaled their way through Warren County, NJ, on the Tour de Farm. Among their many farm stops that day, the cyclists had the chance to build a bouquet on Little Big Farm and sample some Blairstown honey and pollen before ending their day at a locally sourced gourmet feast at Race Farm.
We were excited that the New York Times covered the event. Though they didn’t mention us by name, they did include a photo of our place in their collage. Notice Lucas kicking back in the top left corner of the frame!
For years we threw around ideas about “signage” for the farm, but we were so busy tending other aspects of farm life that we never quite got around to it — until now. Thanks to a casual conversation among friends, we learned that one of our closest friends right here in Blairstown was not only fully capable but willing to tackle painting a mural on our barn. Local artist Gina Danesi Trish completed formal art training at George Washington University and held an artist residency at Peter’s Valley Arts and Craft Center. While “Barn Painting 101″ may not have been on the curriculum, it is evident that her training provided all the requisite skills to transform a blank wall into a magnificent canvas. Watch this time lapse video to see how Gina spread a little pixie dust on Little Big Farm.
Back in May, I had the good fortune to catch Patti in action as she installed several rows of flower crops. This quick video captures the process nearly start to finish and even includes a 6-week time warp!
Though Patti makes it look easy and quick, the work is a lot harder than it looks (my knees were very grateful when the job was done).
As you can see in the video, all of our wedding flowers are planted “lovingly” by hand. The flowers are also grown herbicide and pesticide free using organic practices. It is truly amazing to see nature at work and how, in just a few week’s time, the tiniest of seedlings becomes a stunning flower in a bridal bouquet.
We took a little extra time last week to capture our honey bee work on Little Big Farm (It’s amazing what you can do with an iPhone these days!). We’re hoping “third time’s the charm” as this will be our third attempt to raise bees on the farm and get them through the winter. Bees have been struggling in the United States with many colonies collapsing for one reason or another. This new set of bees has a leg up in that they will be able to take advantage of honey and comb set up by the previous residents. We’ll be extra vigilant this year to help them stay healthy and prosper!
After a trip to a very upscale New Jersey mall last Saturday, the family conversation turned to job prospects. Lucas in particular was wondering what his options were as an 11-year old for earning the $1,300 he would need for the laptop he had been coveting back in the Microsoft Store. We went round and round on the topic: babysitting (too young), egg sales (too sluggish), dog walking (too far). We even Googled for solutions before realizing we were literally sitting on the answer – Farmhands.
After arriving at an hourly rate, Patti and I began to watch the wheels turn and the multiplication begin, followed by charts, tables, and graphs. Lucas and Henry had worked it all out down to the exact hour when they would achieve their savings goals.
So began their journey as farmhands, which started with a spring clean up on a very un-spring-like day. Job No. 1: cut down the grasses and cart off the clippings to the chicken run.
$1,260.00 to go.