This weekend was a hot one up at the farm! Though a good 5 degrees cooler and less humid than in the twin cities, it was still a hot hot sun. We got to know the farm a bit better this time…slowing down and giving into the heat let us just BE up there. Which was a nice change of pace as our family is usually going at full speed. We spent the day laid out on blankets and in hammocks and snacked and talked and let the kids play play play. And we watched the most stunning sunsets and felt the most appreciated breezes, and both John and I took the time to photograph our life at the farm a bit more.
This weekend was our first time using Gertrude, our little 1950’s Simplicity tractor. We quickly discovered that Gertie can’t handle the tall grass of our place, which is a bummer. We’ll see how long we keep her. She can mow the shorter grass like a champ and is also a snow blower, so she may have a chance of staying in Bruno. Fortunately, our neighbors bartered with us and mowed a good portion of the front area so we could use the place without worrying about ticks or deal with the general frustrations of high stepping it to the porta potty. So for now, Gertie stays…at least she looks super cute in the barn!
We learned a few things from our first visit from friends…we learned that our farm looks really horrible to people who are seeing it in person for the first time. Kind of like when someone who doesn’t have kids comes to visit and you have a newborn and a couple toddlers…that horrified face they make and the very polite nods of encouragement while slowly backing away…that is kind of what I feel like we are putting our friends and family through at the moment. So we’re thinking of little ways to make the extreme derelictness seem more palatable. Trails to the beautiful woods, a bunkhouse, and a treehouse (plus a lot more mowing) is definitely on the short list to get done this summer and fall. Also, artsy pictures always help…”look! there is something really cool about this mess!”
We visited with our neighbors down the road for a nice portion of the evening. They are a CSA business taking a year off to build up their forever farm (which I’m just delighted is next to ours!) and are just fabulous ladies. They have Icelandic goats and chickens, a new kitten, three amazing dogs, and so many different things growing! Cooper just took off running in the hay fields with the three dogs chasing him and he soon tired them out. The kids fed the animals, and we walked through the fields learning about the crops. They planted almost 700 trees this year and started some bee colonies, and since we want to do the same, we were soaking up the knowledge.
After talking to a barn restoration expert, we are sad to learn that it will take a miracle to save the barn. It has so much rot and structural damage, and was not cared for properly…the cost of just getting it structurally sound is too much. So now we are looking at how to reuse as much of the barn as we can in other ways. The entire north west corner of the barn is collapsing, we don’t even like to go inside it much anymore. Even the silo is unsound.
But, we always choose to look at the bright side. And the farm gave us a little gift this trip…the northern lights dancing among the stars.
We will be back up at the farm this labor day weekend along with Dani’s family and a few other family and friends and are excited to really start laying out plans!