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One Week

I had a throwback post ready for yesterday but I ended up working at the Chamber of Commerce's STEM Fair yesterday and when I got home I was so worn out I just passed out on the couch. Wow. Who knew 7th graders would be so excited to make Chia Pets? Not this girl that's for sure. Yet my calendar is still shouting at me that I'm past due for a blog post so...

What's going on at the farm now?

Well, Saturday we found out we have Houdini goats. They've been getting out several times every day for who knows how long (insert facepalm here). We knew we had some fence work to do, but we'd been hoping we could just put it off until we enlarged their pasture which we're hoping to do sometime in the next month. For one, they're in the flood zone, which is clearly problematic. For two, we want to add some animals and we want to make sure we have plenty of room for them all to graze. We're hoping to add Maybelline the Heifer (see pic below) to our herd in the next two weeks. Eventually we want to enclose the pond area so they can help us clean it up and have a place to get when the flood waters come. Anyway, back to the original story, Houdini goats. So we went in and added t-posts, that didn't work. We closed up an area where we thought they might be going under, that didn't work. We added more t-posts, maybe that worked? As of yesterday evening they were still in the fence. We will see at feeding time today. Luckily they never go far when they get out. They seem content eating the wheat and clover and of course, my pansies.

Monday I think I set a record for the amount of times I've fallen in a week. I worked in the strawberries end of last week pulling weeds and fell a couple of times, then we put on row covers Saturday and I fell a couple of times, and Monday whilst helping with fence work I turned my ankle over in a hole and fell to the ground, spilling my Sun Drop. It was a tragedy that turned into a horror story when I realized the whole was full of those big red and black ants we get and they were proceeding to make a beeline (or antline?) into my shoes and up my pants. Once I was divested of the ants I sat on the gator and had a good laugh, 'cause I might as well laugh as cry.

The Husband threw his back out Monday afternoon (hence the picture of him laying down putting on a fence clip). Tuesday was spent getting him to the doctor, and putting on his socks, and shutting his truck door, and other various little tasks that people with good backs take for granted. I also realized nursing is completely out as a career for me.

Wednesday I ran around town trying to source materials for the STEM fair. Did you know it was supposed to rain Wednesday? I pride myself on being a weather nerd and last I'd heard the day before was it was a 20% chance. Then I got on Facebook Tuesday evening and saw a forecaster I follow (Mike's Weather Page) saying the coastal low would be stronger than they predicted and it would be off and on rainy all day. Of course everywhere I went had their soil outside. So I got soaking wet picking up wet bags of soggy soil. This STEM Fair was in the Maxwell Center and I had to say I felt a slight bit sheepish rolling into that new sparkling facility with wet trashcans full of dirt, even though I had brought a tarp to put down and warned them I was bringing dirt. Still, I stand by my decision. Kids need to play in the dirt!

Thursday was STEM Fair day. It went well. I only had one major hiccup when one of the trashcans was full of fire ants. Luckily I had a backup, and the extension director Kevin Johnson happened to be coming by right about the time I discovered it. Even though it would have given the kids a more authentic "farm" experience we decided to drag that can outside. I was already the black sheep bringing in that dirt, no need to get myself banned by bringing in the ants. It might be an Agricultural Center, but sometimes the real experience is overrated. We didn't want to confirm their fear of dirt. Turns out the kids loved it! Several said they wished they did stuff like that in science class, many went to find their friends and brought them over so they could make a Chia Pet. (It such a fun little craft. Take a knee high sock, put a couple spoonfuls of grass seed in, fill with dirt to the size of a larger potato, tie in a knot. You can cut off the longer length or not, but you need at least an inch or two long tail. Decorate as desired. Take a cup with a diameter smaller than your clump of dirt. Fill with water so it doesn't touch your Chia Pet but the tail is in the water. The water will wick up the stocking and wet the dirt just enough to sprout the grass seed, which becomes your hair.) So all in all my work was a success, because there's nothing more I love than getting kids who wouldn't ordinarily get dirty to get out of their comfort zone and play in the dirt.

So that's been our week. Today I'm in the office blogging and checking messages and whatnot. Next week we're in the short rows coordinating the YF&R's annual We Dig It Ag Day and I have a conference and The Boy's Boy Scout troop is coming to have their Winter Survival camp at our farm, so there's never a dull moment, which is great. Plenty of fodder for me to ramble about here.

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