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I had Wednesday off so HB suggested I head over to the market for Green Market Wednesday and the afternoon’s scheduled rain barrel workshop.  So I did.

The first part of the workshop presented a lecture on rain gardens.  Rain gardens are planned depressions in the ground that allow storm water to runoff and collect and slowly infiltrate into the ground.  When used properly, they can lessen the amount of polluted runoff water reaching streams and rivers by 30%.  Runoff water comes from parking lots, rooftops, driveways, sidewalks, roads, and other broad expanses.  Problems arise when large quantities of water, often carrying pollutants from pesticides, fertilizers, sediment, debris and other wastes  are dumped into streams and rivers.

I’ve become more aware of the local water situations living on a farm for a few years now with spring-fed creeks running through the hills.  Somethings cannot be controlled – our neighbors have a lease on the property fronting the road and we have no say in the choices of fertilizers and pesticides they use on land we do not own.  But we can attempt to make the correct choices on our own property.  And we may not be able to control the choices of our in-laws, but I can play a role in the choices HB and I make.

Anyway, back to the workshop.

Once the lecture was over, a gal from the local soil and water conservation group gave a quick talk and then we delved into making our rain barrels.  Literally, delved.  The barrels we were given were old pickle barrels, some (like mine) still containing old pickle juice.  For a person who does not like pickles, it was slightly disgusting.  For any normal person it was probably a little gross.  You tip the barrel to about a 45* angle, then bend over, shove your top half inside the barrel and find your bearings inside the dark and stinky abyss inside.  Lovely.

Creating the rain barrel was surprisingly easy.  Behold, the finished results:

The barrels come by way of a North Carolina pickle company; of course, the cucumbers weren’t American.  I’m sure the barrel isn’t made in American either.  Ugh.  This reminds me of the Mike Rowe (of Dirty Jobs fame) article I read this morning on the future of farming.

The barrels come with a permanent top that fits under the rim (similar to a canning jar), but for the sake of the barrel we remove the lid and fit a screen under the rim to keep out debris.

Pictured below is the overpour spout with attached hose.  When the rain barrel fills, water will flow out of this hose and (for now) onto the ground.  The real plan is to have multiple barrels so that when one fills up, the water travels into the next barrel via the hose.  Cool, huh?

And of course, we needed a spigot at the bottom of the barrel.  I want to build a small platform to raise this barrel just high enough to fit a bucket and/or watering can underneath for easy filling.

Interested in attending a rain barrel workshop at the Lynchburg Market?  The next workshop will be held on June 12th from 11am to 1pm.  You can get more information from the market website.

Created just in time for an afternoon thunderstorm.  Perfect!

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Two years ago today, I married my best friend and we never looked back.

I don’t think either one of us saw where our life together was going to lead, but we welcome the surprises each day holds.  We take on adventures, hand in hand, and conquer.  And if we don’t conquer, at least we tried.  Together.  And we’ll likely try again.  One of us is always able to pick up the reins and carry us forward.

We have both faced successes and disappointments.  With the help of each other, we persevere and try to revel in the small things.  Together we have raised baby calves, baby chicks, and baby goats.  We’ve produced our own food, and I’ve canned more in the past three years than I ever thought I could.  We thrive on our little part of the farm and hold dear the friends that doing so have brought us.

To HB, I can say nothing more other than

I love you more and more every day.

♥ Happy Anniversary! ♥

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Bogart the Alpine goat takes a leap

Bogart has become my little shadow.  He slips out of the stall door at the last minute, and he’s really so good at hanging with me, that I allow it occasionally.  Some days I tell him “It’s time to be a goat” and send him back out with his goat family.

Yesterday morning he played and followed me around Huck’s lot while I picked up manure.  He’ll help me do chores, following me back and forth up and down the barn aisle and outside.

He loves to jump on top of the hay bales in the barn aisle.  He jumps up, tap dances on the bale, and then makes a HUGE leap off!  It’s incrediably cute.

All the bucklings are super friendly and playful.  They want to interact with humans.  They love it.  Little Doris Day, on the other hand, could care less about coming over to visit.  Ever since she was dis-budded, she’s wanted less interaction.  Some days she runs around like the stall like a deer if she thinks I will try to handle her.  I’m trying to spend more time with her, quiet time so she doesn’t get alarmed.  I think it will work out in the end. 🙂

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Epic Video

A friend sent this to me, and I thought some readers might enjoy it as well.

It’s a Samsung commercial for the UK, but it is so clever I couldn’t help but smile and giggle.  I love border collies and love to watch them work.

You can view it here, on YouTube.  Unfortunately I can’t find a link to embed it.

Enjoy!

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In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the Library of Congress has uploaded to their Flickr account numerous photochroms of Ireland from the 1890s-1900s.

Cliffs of Moher, County Clare

Cliffs of Moher, April 2006

The first picture is the LOC’s photochrom.  The second is from my second visit to Ireland.  The Cliffs of Moher is my absolute favorite place on earth.  I would have married there if I could.  It’s beauty astounds me and leaves me speechless, and the sense of scale you have by looking off those cliffs is unfathomable.

Blarney Castle, County Cork

Blarney Castle, April 2006

Blarney Castle is home to the Blarney Stone, and it is said that by kissing the Blarney Stone you will be given the gift of gab, or better termed “eloquent speech.”  I’ve kissed the stone twice – which, by the way, you have to lay on your back and hold on to a bar while two attendants hold onto your body as you stick your head into a recessed area to kiss the slab of bluestone while you look down a 30′ drop. 😉

St. Stephens Green, County Dublin

St. Stephens Green, April 2006

St. Stephen’s Green is a beautiful public park in the heart of Dublin.  During my last visit to Ireland, I arrived in town a day before my parents arrived.  I was studying in Sweden at the time, and stupidly forgot that although my parents left on April 16, they wouldn’t be in Ireland until April 17!  So I arrived on the 16th, stayed in a hostel, and wandered Dublin alone.  It was great fun and I made a friend out of my roommate at the hostel.  While wandering Dublin in the (traditional) light rain, I stumbled upon this park and enjoyed it immensely!  I took my parents back the next day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Now, if you’re around Lynchburg, go to the Community Market and pick up a loaf of Irish Soda Bread from Lorraine Bakery!!  I know I will! 🙂  For now, I’m off to Anita’s to play with her baby goats!

ps.  I now wish terribly for a third trip to Ireland. It is, seriously, my favorite place on Earth. Well, aside from the Norwegian fjords.  They’re pretty amazing too.

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Have plans for Valentines Day?

Love chocolate?

For the third year, the Lynchburg Market is hosting the Chocolate Challenge on the Saturday closest to Valentines Day.  You have three options: look, taste, bake!

Look:  Head to the market on Feb. 13th and look at all the amazing chocolate concoctions.

Taste:  Go to the Community Market website and you’ll be able to purchase tasting tickets for a nominal fee.  Then, on Saturday, grab your ticket, put your diet aside, slip into your sweet tooth, and don those loose pants.  Head to the market and be prepared to taste dozens of delicious chocolate dishes.

Bake:  Love to cook?  Have an affinity for chocolate?  Then enter your signature chocolate dish in the contest.  Entry options are brownie, cake, candy, pie, other.  My annual favorite is Sweetie’s Chocolate Lava Cake, but there are always amazing dishes.  Entries are judged on presentation, taste, and wow factor.  You can find entry information on the LCM website (listed above).  Be advised – enter early because space is limited!

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Yes, you heard that right.

A Prairie Home Companion is coming to Lynchburg.

Kind-of.

See, on February 4th, a live Cinecast of PHC is being shown nation-wide.  Luckily, the Movies 10 at Candlers Station, has been selected as one of the host theaters.

Here’s your chance to see what the real Guy Noir looks like!  To visualize the news from Lake Woebegone.  To hear some good folk music.

I grew up listening to parts of the Prairie Home Companion and never really cared for it until recently.  Now, I love driving along the road listening to PHC.  It has a lovely quaintness about it that just wraps around me.

Unfamiliar with PHC?  Check out its Wikipedia entry for the most complete information and an introduction to the various segments of the show.

Tickets are $22/each, and I’m hoping HB will agree to go with me!

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