We have two farmdogs, and we frequently call them good dogs -- but to be clear, what we mean by that is that we love them! They are often NOT particularly good dogs -- or, in the parlance of good parents everywhere -- they often do not BEHAVE very well. They dig holes, they jump on the furniture with muddy paws, they jump on PEOPLE with muddy paws, they roll in disgusting things, they eat things they are not supposed to, and usually it's something that WE had been hoping to eat
( I will never forget one of them eating an entire ziplock full of lobster that I had just spent hours picking out of the shells, and had created a fragrant and oh-so-promising lobster stock for. In the 30 seconds it took to pick the fresh herbs? Bam. Lobster gone. It was like a slow motion movie when I saw the ripped ziplock on the kitchen floor -- "NOOOOooooooo!!!") . Anyway, I'm over that now. And I do love them! I recognize that their so-called bad behavior stems from their never-ending enthusiasm and zest for all things fun, and for meeting any person or animal of any sort, and for all things even vaguely edible. And enthusiasm is a good thing! Whenever I ask them " Do you want
to _____ ?" It doesn't matter what the ending of the question is. The answer is always, " YES!!! Yes, we'd love to! We really would!! Yup, yup, yup, we want to do that thing you asked if we wanted to do!! Let's do it! We're in!!" How often do you get that reaction when you ask someone if they want to do something? Especially if they might look a little silly doing it?
But the boys don't care. They're happy to help in whatever way they can, even if they sometimes don't quite understand the point of the activity. For example, one year we decided to try to make a Christmas card with the two dogs pulling a sleigh full of farm produce. They were happy to participate, but were a bit unclear about what we were trying to accomplish.
As you can imagine, there was a fair amount of tying everybody up in knots ("do you know why Dad's tying these things onto our collars?" "Nope! But it's pretty fun, let's run around!") before we managed to snap a shot of them looking in generally the right direction.
But if you want to talk about a job that they DO understand, here's one of their best talents:
helping clean up the kitchen after a dinner party. They do the job, they do it well.
So even though they do things like this...
and this... and this...
and this... and this... and this...
they're still the most cheerful farmhands, and that counts for a lot!!!
To get to the gorgeous bounty of summer ...
While the snow was still piled up outside, I dug up the weeds that had taken root in the beds, swept the debris off the floor, and cut down all of last year's support strings.
If all goes according to plan, it won't be too long before these little seedlings turn into tall and prolific vines...
... and then the fun really begins! I can't wait to take you along with me as the farm year progresses. I want to show you all the tricks I've learned to preserve healthy, fresh, organically-grown food, and even more importantly, the techniques I've developed to cook with frozen, dried or canned produce so that it's still bright, flavorful and delicious! It's cheaper, it's faster, it's lower impact on the planet, it lasts so much longer than fresh, and it's better for you than a fresh veggie that's traveled halfway round the world! All good, right? So stay tuned!
Now, back to the garden! See you next time!