19 May 2008

Bend Like a Willow

Friends, now you too can keep up with this little adventure we're calling Stratheden Farm. It's a mini micro operation set within 53 acres of beautiful southwestern Virgina paradise. What do we grow? Well, nothing at the moment. We're still in New Mexico packing up our current home. We don't get to move in until late October, maybe early November. There's a lesson here: you'll have to pay to attain your dream but you don't have to have the biggest checkbook. Being willing to wait and being flexible with our move date (OK, totally open!) were a big part of why we were chosen to buy the farm. The current owners are waiting for their new home to be built.... so we move when they do. Nice people, too, so it's a pleasure working with them.

What will we grow on our farm? Lazyplant. (Lifus livius "Goode") Although Russ has long wanted his rural idyll, he's never wanted to be a slave to the land or a debtor to the vet and the seed company. We'll be growing things that we can leave for a week without worry, things that don't require tractors, harvesters, and plows, things that can be processed on and sold at our convenience.

Come spring, we'll begin digging holes for several acres of lavender, inoculate logs with mushroom spores, planting catnip around the outbuildings, along with nut trees and willows at the far end. Maybe we'll plant roses too. In a year or two we'll be able to begin selling our products. Russ will have learned how to operate a still for making lavender oil, April will have sewed up a thousand stuffed cat toys. By then the farm will have a logo...

Yes, the logo. Even farmers need branding, it would seem. We're thinking of a straitjacket with a lavender boutonnière in the lapel.

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