Last I wrote, it was with great happiness to introduce the new Farm Dog. Alas, two days after that post, the Farm Dog made a third hackles-up, teeth-snipping lunge at the neighbor children, unprovoked (unless standing there, guilty of being four, is provocation). So our smart, enthusiastic, loving (or, otherwise loving) little lad is back at the Humane Society, per their advice and much soul-searching. I write this as I would announce a death in the family, and it feels like one; I made promises to little Sputz that I was ultimately unable to fulfill, and now I am dogless and he is searching for his ideal home again. Now that the busy season has begun, there isn't the kind of time and care a new dog search requires, never mind the sort of slow, gentle introduction and bonding time a new friend needs and deserves. So it will be a bit lonesome this summer here at First-Flower...
On other cold fronts, the big improvement to infrastructure is a new walk-in cooler for what I hope will be an increased focus on, and market for, cut flowers. Hopefully, having something other than a corner of the basement garage to keep them cool will mean I can pick farther in advance of delivery, making market days a little less hectic.
The cooler room is built almost entirely of reclaimed materials: Framing lumber we had sitting around, built to enclose a 4' X 6' space in the SE corner of the room. The walls are masonry and the Patient Spouse is a mason, so I had his expertise for fastening wood to concrete and getting those corners square. The door, painted in my favorite '30s green, came from another use in the basement. The insulation on walls and ceiling is supposed to be R30, but that would have cost me twice the price, so this project will begin with R15 in all but the outermost wall, which is R30 rock wool we had sitting around - in a frame scavenged from one side of an old rabbit hutch that was here when we moved in (and which was eating up basement space as a chick brooder-turned-scrapwood bin). Still to come: an AC unit to attach to a CoolBot, which will enable that simple window-mounted unit to chill the space to a recommended 45 degrees.
A nearly-finished walk-in cooler isn't very photogenic. That said, here's a before and after of the project. ...Where you are planted...
I've been farming since I was a toddler, when my grandparents showed me how to put onion sets point-up in the sandy furrows of our Michigan homestead. It's taken thirty-odd years of horticultural jobs—from potting up lilies by the thousands to managing a 150-member CSA at Hancock Shaker Village—for me to embark on cultivating a farm of my own. Hence, the title.