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Is It Fall Yet?

Y’all, the past couple weeks have been a whirlwind. A hot, muggy, gnat-filled whirlwind. Have I mentioned I hate summer? All I can say is we deserve a fall and winter after surviving this summer. Keep all the hurricanes and give me all the snowstorms. I haven’t blogged in a hot minute so let me take this chance to give y'all an update. I’ve been doing the Facebook live videos which I really like so I think they’re going to start being a regular thing as we come up on Fall Fun on the Farm time. Still, I really love to write, and this gives me a platform to explain the madness, so I'm sure I'll keep blogging too.

We just finished summer sunflowers. We’ve only had them during the summer once before, I think in 2016 or 2017, I honestly can’t remember. Last year the mini-drought we had at the beginning of the summer got them and it nearly got them this year. We were lucky enough to get a decent rain right after we planted them which gave us a relatively good stand and gave them enough moisture to hold on for the next month without rain. Then we got 5 inches in one night and some of them drowned. Then they baked in 100+ temps and I think they just said, okay, we’ll bloom already and surprise, we had a field of sunflowers. I tell you, sometimes you just can’t win for losing. That’s okay. I told a couple folks these past couple of weeks that as soon as I think I know something God or mother nature gives me a situation I’ve never been in before, or somehow another proves that everything I thought I knew was wrong. I’m a lifelong learner. I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

I know I’ve said it several times, but we seriously do appreciate everyone who supports the farm, and especially the folks who braved the gnats with me these past couple of weeks. The flowers took us by surprise and we weren’t quite ready but y'all rolled with the punches and it was appreciated. We had some really great photographers who got some amazing shots. All in all it was a good little two week stint and we hope we can do it again next year…just depends on the weather.

We’ll have more flowers this fall. We are going hard into Fall Fun on the Farm prep mode. Every weekend from now until we open is scheduled for work at the farm. We have plans to finalize, signs to paint, activities to put out, flyers to make, advertising to do…the list goes on and on. I thought I could get a lot of that back-end stuff done while we were open for flowers but that never materialized. It’ll get done. It’ll just be a little later than I’d liked. We’ll have more about that at a later date.

We had another girls night, AKA Hen Party. It was another amazing night. I can’t say enough about how much I love hosting these. It was hot and of course, there were gnats. No one complained, no one left early. We ate pulled pork from my crock pot and sliced tomatoes and watermelons, and cucumbers in vinegar. I tried to think about the things that used to be on my grandparents table in the summer time. I stayed with them when school was out until I got old enough for mama to deem it safe for me to stay home without murdering my sister or burning the house down. I treasure those times now, eating leftovers from last nights supper, or hot dogs and mac and cheese cooked together in the same pot, or Monday fish fry's where we’d eat all the fish granddaddy and uncle Esten caught that week, and there were always tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden on the table.

The highlight of the night was definitely Herbert’s escape. We enjoy letting folks get an up close and personal experience with the animals, AKA The Pasture Gang. We open the gate and let them in to enjoy brushing or rubbing the animals and taking pictures. JR decided it would be fun to let Maybelline out, because she’s so easy with people and people love her. She got out the other day and people loved it, so he thought he’d try and recreate the experience. Well, Herbert escaped too. Herbert loves attention and has even come to visit with people when called by name. He loves to have his back rubbed and thinks they’ll have treats. However at the Hen Party he went wild. Instead of a stripper at ladies night we had Herbert. When JR tried to shut him back up he was not having it. He proceeded to run all over the yard there at the farm, braying and kicking. It was hilarious! Meanwhile JR is following him around with a bucket of food, and not just any bucket one of my flower buckets I’d expressly forbidden to be used for feed. I’m starting to freak out because I just see this going ugly, like one of those animal attack videos. And he’s just running everywhere, all in the crowd, he-hawing and having a good time soaking up the attention. JR, my mom, and Valerie got Herbert in. We got some good pictures and funny videos. Alls well that ends well.

Then that following Sunday I started getting messages from friends who attended asking about the many bug bites they had all over the backs of their legs…yeah apparently the straw had red bugs, or chiggers, or hay mites, or something. I still feel horrible. We had no idea. We have bites on us all the time and we think nothing of it. That’s what happens when you work outside, especially in the evening. That straw had been on the hayride since the spring and hadn’t touched the ground so we thought we were safe. Clearly we were wrong. Needless to say we’re going to get rid of that straw and make sure we have a fresh supply this fall.

Now we're taking a super quick break for a family trip to the mountains before we start that Fall Fun on the Farm prep I mentioned. I'm using it as a chance to get away from the physical work on the farm and focus on catching up on messages and computer work and editing my website and writing this blog. Is that bad that I go on vacation from work to work? We've also planned to visit a couple farms while we're here. Only farmers go on vacation and look for other farms to visit, SMH. I'm hoping to pick up a box of apples or two for our CSA program, which only has 2 weeks left! Where has this summer gone? I tell you, even though I had so much I wanted to do with my kids and so much I wanted to accomplish that hasn't got done, I can't say I'm upset to see the last days of summer come. Coming up here where it's cooler and there are no gnats (just mosquitoes and plenty of no-see-ums) has only made me that much more eager for fall. So make a plan to visit the farm this fall for pumpkins and bonfires! We'll be ready for you!

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