Really, I just had to laugh. I never expected to make the local news for our piles of stuff!
So I conferred with my husband for tonight's update. Piles, piles, and more piles. I realize I forgot to mention that we also have piles of trickle tape for our irrigation next spring, piles (now neatly stacked) of crates for storing and carting around our garlic, piles and piles and piles in the loft of our barn of garlic papers and garlic stems left over from tearing apart our seed stock before the fall planting. Our dog Phoebe has enjoyed creating and using her 'nest' made from these garlic left-over piles (see photos below), but this week we are going to work on cleaning up these piles because we actually have a plan for re-using all of these piles of the garlic left-overs.
We also have piles of spent coffee grounds that we pick up from Moonwinks Cafe every day that we will use as mulch on our hops next spring plus piles of leaves that fell and are now trapped inside our fenced family garden, which will be used to mulch the paths next spring/summer. Last but not least, we still have piles of unpacked boxes in our basement, garage, my husband's office, and one upstairs bedroom.
In all fairness however, we do have fewer piles of unpacked boxes than at this time last year, and our big piles of sand and drainage tiles are gone because those projects have been completed without left-overs. In addition, our pile of 60 bales of straw delivered earlier this fall is also gone because 100% has been used to mulch the garlic we just planted (we do need to order more, so it is likely that we'll have a small pile left over to store on our barn porch this winter).
I want to end by highlighting the loft that our sons built us this past summer (see photo below) to organize and hold our very important pile of scrap lumber. So, we do still have an enormous pile of lumber (needed to build our upcoming chicken coop - my husband is looking at plans right now), but at least we can see what we have now.
Phoebe keeping me company as I work in our barn loft by lounging in the 'nest' she made of garlic stems from the soft-neck garlic varieties. Piles of stems from the hard-neck varieties - which would not be cozy to lie in - are stacked up behind her.
Phoebe looking like a loon on her nest (wearing her orange vest during hunting season) making me laugh at her silliness.
Our newly constructed loft built into the equipment porch of our barn to store our scrap lumber piles - designed and built by our two sons last summer. They saw a serious need and then took charge to 'get it done'.
Wait - really - last but not least, I just remembered that we have three more huge piles. One, a pile within a box of used string or bailing twine that we have used for hanging our garlic to dry plus other past projects, which we use again and again as much as possible. Two, we have piles of pallets that we use to lay out our garlic after harvesting before we bundle it up with all that string to hang in the barn loft to cure. Three, we have piles and piles of bricks and pavers that we removed from areas around the house, all neatly stacked until we decide how to use them in a future project. Ok, now I'm done confessing about our piles of stuff. :)
Yes, we are a real farm. We have heard occasional comments referring to us as 'hobby farmers', even 'gentlemen farmers'. No, I don't think so. :) :) We have a lot going on here. Come spend a day with us, or a week, or a month. We work so hard every day (our bodies and our brains) during the growing season that the dietetic student who lived and worked with us for two weeks last summer went home to rest!
Thanks, Ann Arbor Chronicle for making my day! I'm still smiling. :)
Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row,
Diana Dyer, MS, RD