Animals

Zephyros Farm And Lynn

August 1 & 2, I took a short trip east to Paonia, Colorado to visit my friend Lynn on the farm where she has been working since April.  Yes, it has taken me this long to get there, even though it’s only a 3 hour drive.

I had a great time, and got to see lots of new things, harvest lots of vegetables, watch goats being milked (by Lynn!), sleep in the lovely cool Paonia air,  etc.

Lynn took me into Paonia, and we went to Revolution Brewery.  The beer was good, but the highlight of the brewery for me was the lamb bratwurst I had.  Lynn said everyone raves about them, so I had to try one.  They are made with organically and humanely-raised local lamb, and it was AMAZING.  They had a live musician, and the back porch was pretty cool.  There were hops growing on a back fence.  We sat on the back porch and had a beer or two.  There was a friend of Lynn’s who was already there.  Sorry Lynn’s friend…I am not great with names…Aaron?

Zephyros Farm is a certified organic farm, and it was interesting to learn about that, too.  They water the plants with different mixtures of things (compost tea, fish meal, etc) none of which smell very good, apparently.  The compost tea sure didn’t.  The vegetables and flowers they are producing are some of the most beautiful I have seen, however.

Lynn told me that the flowers are one of the big cash crops for the farm.  They sell them (and the vegetables, too) at various farmer’s markets around their region.  These include markets in Aspen, Telluride, Durango, and more.

Being on the farm was a new experience for me.  I have always been a gardener and grower of plants, but there is a HUGE difference between a small family garden, and a farm.  I harvested a whole row of green beans (haricots verts), and yellow wax beans, and my legs where SORE.  That’s actually pretty sad, considering it wasn’t that much work…but I have been pretty physically inactive.

I spent most of the time there following Lynn around, taking pictures, and wishing the light were better for said pictures.  It was overcast, and it would drop some rain periodically.  I am not sure the sun came out at all while I was there.  I also spent a good deal of time eating delicious veggies.  MMMMMM!

There were also some amazing bugs amongst the greenery.  I think the red guy is a borer of some sort, but I don’t know what the yellow guy with the branches is.

There are goats, sheep, and some chickens around.  I can’t remember the name of the chickens (Lynn, comment, please!!), but they are the chickens that lay blue eggs, and I got to try blue eggs for breakfast.  They actually taste like fresh EGGS, not like grocery store eggs.  They were great!  I also got to watch Lynn milking the goats.  That was interesting.

Lynn, thanks for everything!  I hope that the photos will be usable for Donny and Daphne!

P.S.  I am pretty sure goats are aliens.

Birds & Vegetables

**AHEM**  The big news of the month:  We have a nest of baby Robins right now!  They are just outside and above our back door.  Mrs. Robin built her nest over the last 2 weeks, and laid her eggs.  We have been watching her.  A few days ago, I came home to find Rich up on the ladder, taking photos of the babies.  I was worried that the mom wouldn’t come back, but as soon as Rich took the ladder down, Mrs. Robin came back, and fed her babies.  Here are some of the pictures Rich took:

robin_chicks15 robin_chicks1 robin_chicks3

In all their ugliness, they are very sweet, and endearing.  And helpless.  I think they are beautiful.  They are amazing.  I am so happy that Mrs. Robin chose our tree for her nest!

I am very proud right now.  Not only are there Robin babies, but I have vegetables!  I have only had a serious garden about 3 times in my life, and they have never done all that well.  This year is not an exception…my garden itself is not doing well.  However, I have a very happy tomato plant in a pot, and a very happy cucumber plant (also in a pot).

The tomato is producing lots of tomatoes.  The first should be ripe and ready for consumption tomorrow.  They are beautiful.

Tomatoes_7-14-09_1

I have one cucumber.  This took many aborted cucumbers.  I am not sure what made the plant do this, but I had a bunch of little cukes, and they shriveled and died.  I have ONE cucumber right now that looks like it may actually survive.  The ones that aborted were beautiful.  I never realized how amazing cucumbers are before they are fully grown.  Here are some pictures of the cukes that have gone to the Great Garden in the Sky:

cucumber_bush_champion_6-28-09_1 cucumber_bush_champion_6-28-09_3 cucumber_bush_champion_6-28-09_4

…and here is the ONE I have now that is going to make it (think positive thoughts, please):

cucumber_bush_champion_7-13-09_1

I think what amazed me the most about these cucumbers is that they grew the actual fruit, and THEN put out a flower.  Most fruits and veggies, it seems to me, put out the flower first, and once it is pollinated, the fruit grows.  As you can see on the above cucumber, the fruit is already about 3 inches long, and the flower has just opened.

Today, there was a Lesser Goldfinch in my front yard.  I didn’t know they stayed in Moab over the summer, but I guess they do.  Here is one, denuding the dandelions in the lawn:

lesser_goldfinch_7-13-09_2

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