Sunday Farm Chat: April 18, 2021

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This article is a weekly recap of some of the things happening in our lives, on our new farm, and is a behind-the-recipe look at the day to day of raising a family in Southern Utah.

Puppies clean up the last of the milk from the pan.
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I’ve so looked forward to writing this post this week. I would find myself making little notes on things to remember to tell you throughout the week. I also didn’t post every picture I might have to Instagram to save some for this post. Thank you so much for your kinds words and comments from last week. I appreciate you reading, being here, and cheering us on.

Spring is upon Southern Utah and it’s such a lovely time of year. One of the things I love about living in the high desert is how much the temperature can change from day to night. It’s so lovely in the heat of the summer to have such cool nights. That temperature change though makes for some really warm days and really cold nights in the spring which means we are in the middle of playing the waiting game to see if our fruit blossoms will freeze or survive to bear us summer fruit. We had some really cold night this week and it looks like we lost all of the plums and peaches. The pears are half in and half out so I’m hoping for a few and the apples and cherries seem to be tucked away for the moment which is great.

These past few months, as we made the decision to start a farm, we’ve experienced a lot of first. This week was no different. We brought home our first 5 turkey chicks. We bought and started planting the first new fruit trees. We finished and started filling our first raised bed. Firsts are so exciting.

We have owned this property for 5.5 years now and I have gardened and had my chickens here for 5 years. But we’ve never added anything permanent to the land (besides our house). We didn’t have watering systems set up, we didn’t have a plan for where things should go, we didn’t really know what we wanted to do with it. We haven’t even added a sidewalk to our front door yet! I feel like maybe that happened so that when this new dream and heart’s calling came to us, we had a blank slate to work with. My front “yard” will be so different now compared to what I would have done even a year ago.

Graham and his “Grammy Smith” tree.

I picked up a Granny Smith apple tree, a Golden Delicious apple tree, an Elberta Peach tree, an Asian pear tree, and an English walnut tree at a little hardware store the next town over this week. I told the kids (I have 5) to each pick a tree. It’s “their tree”. They helped me dig the holes, helped me plant them, and we took pictures of them standing next to their tree. My dad did this with me when I was a girl, it was a cherry tree in the backyard of our little house on Walnut Street in Hope, Indiana. I remember that tree. I was almost giddy digging those holes. They held so much hope, a promise of a future, and a commitment to a dream. After 5 years here I planted the first new tree on the property, it’s a Granny Smith apple tree that belongs to my youngest son, Graham. We fondly refer to the tree as a “Grammy Smith” now in his honor.

The kids were so helpful for HOURS loading this hay, cookies were a welcome surprise.

This week was a lot of physical work, we spent hours hauling old hay from a shed (to use as mulch and in compost), we dug large holes for our trees, we started filling in our first raised bed (one wheel barrow load at a time), and we started hand filling in an 80 foot long trench that is 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep (it houses water pipes for a future greenhouse and commercial kitchen!). It’s the kind of exhausting work that fills you up some how. It makes you hungry, it helps you sleep deeply at night, and it gives you a sense of accomplishment (mixed with overwhelm on occasion). It’s the kind of work you remember and talk about later with a sense of satisfaction.

I hope my kids remember these days with the fondness I feel for them.

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  1. The puppers in the pail pic is priceless! I have many memories of slinging dirt with my dad……the stories, discussions, laughs, leaning on the shovels taking a break, our dirt streaked faces from dust and sweat, the feeling of accomplishment and teamwork and the time we spent together…they all bring a smile to my face.