Sunday, September 27, 2015

The End of Summer

In some ways I can’t believe that summer is officially over, but in other ways… holy shit, I’m surprised I survived it at all. It’s been a goddamned fantastic mix of big projects, and farm life, and feeling awesome, and getting things done, and hugging donkeys, and hanging out with friends. And it sure went out with a bang…


Prettiest sunset of the year, hands down.

I mean, what more can you ask of summer?

Well, I guess I could have asked for more progress and a better harvest from the garden. It was okay this year, but not great.


But in all the time I wasn’t planting or weeding, or installing the rest of the raised beds, or building a greenhouse (ALL of which are going on the top of my list for next year) I still managed to do some pretty awesome things…

The bees, for example…

Such a great addition to the farm…


And honey harvest was an awesome learning experience (that resulted in 3 gallons of honey) this year, and also gave me a lot of ideas for next year…


Plus the beginning of the orchard…


Which I could not have done without some of my favorite people pitching in over my birthday (in the pouring rain) to help out…


And I finally turned my fire pit from a huge pile of weeds…


Into something respectable


Then my dad (and my brother and all of his buddies) helped with the demo and re-siding of the garage, which is a project that has been weighing on my soul for the last three years.


Sounds dramatic, but ugh. Remember this?


Even though there’s still work to do on the soffits and trim, it’s still amazing to see it look like this…


It’s also amazing that after three years I’m thisclose to being able to take a legitimate bath in this house, thanks to my internet real life friend Sarah who took time away from her own projects to hang out on the farm, drink beers and bullshit like any good friend, and get my ass moving on some things that need to be done around here. (If you haven’t already seen it, you can check out Sarah’s perspective on life on the farm and our tiling adventures here, here and here.)


And then there was the pergola. I just… there are so many things I love about this house and the property, but for some reason of all the things I’ve done so far, this project is the one that stole my heart.


Maybe it’s because most other projects on this property are still half-finished (even when they’re “done”), or maybe it’s because it was gnawing at me for so long, or maybe it’s because so much of it was my favorite kind of build (just me and my power tools and a whole lot of thinking “I’m not sure if I can do this” and then digging deep and finding out “hell yes, I can totally do this!”)


These are some stills from the shoot we did with the film crew a few weeks ago…


Here’s a true story… this was a Saturday and we spent all day filming the building of the bigass table that I built to go under the pergola. And the next day I had something like 30 people showing up to the farm to eat, drink and be merry around my finished table under my finished pergola… except the pergola wasn’t finished. (Obv. This is me we’re talking about here.)

So after this entire day where I was “on” and trying to say coherent sentences while building a table with six people staring at me and two cameras pointed directly at my face, the crew asked if they could just get some shots around the farm in the evening, and at this point I was just fucking done with other humans, so I was like you guys do whatever you want… I’m going to go finish building the pergola for tomorrow.


So I did.

I didn’t realize they were also shooting video of me while I was working, but of everything we captured that weekend, this is my favorite. It’s the part that feels the most “real”… just me and my tools…


And that beautiful view…


Trying to get shit done so I could share it with the amazing people in my life who help me with so much…


Which I also did.

The best advice I could ever give is to surround yourself with amazing people…


People who make you laugh, and support you in your crazy (good crazy or bad crazy), people who make you think about things differently, people who know you well enough not to take you too seriously, and people who know how to tell good stories (and who end up being a part of your good stories.)


I’m lucky to be surrounded by amazing people like that, and maybe that’s why I love this project so much… because of all the spaces on this property, this is the one I built that’s meant for all the amazing people in my life to come together.

And there’s also the hammock…

On the bright side: since I don't have to wake up tomorrow and go a few rounds with the bank, and start planning crop rotations and deal with the limited cash flow that comes from starting a new business... I can do this. It's a good life, for sure.

So even when people aren’t coming together out here, it’s still a great place to just hang out and enjoy the sunset…


It’s been a great summer, and even though I love fall with it’s chilly weather and the constant smell of apples and woodsmoke in the air, I’m a little sad to see this one go…

imageBut I also know that if I was guaranteed beautiful weather with beautiful sunsets, I wouldn’t appreciate them as much as I do. And since I know that what comes next is a lot of long-johns and snow shovels, I’m grateful for what I’ve done this summer, I’m appreciating the mild days of early fall, and I’m looking forward to the adventures that the next season will bring. Because farm life is many things, but it’s never boring.


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