It’s been cold. Real cold. The highs have been below freezing for fifteen days straight now. The ground is frozen and most projects have come to a standstill. Thus, there is time to finally write a blog post catching everybody up on a year full of craziness. Perhaps this is best approached as a timeline.
After returning from New Zealand and spending a little time unwinding we packed up a moving truck and hauled ourselves to Boise, Idaho where we purchased the three acres that Bryce grew up on. With the new property came a new house, two cats, two pastures, a barn, a saw shed, lots of trees and grass, a large carport, chicken coop, a garden, and Abdi, a Somali farmer who grows produce on an acre of the property for farmers markets. Basically, we purchased ourselves lots of additional responsibility.
We moved out of the new house into Bryce’s Dad’s place and remodeled. This included putting in new carpets, taking out a bedroom upstairs, switching some floors to hardwood and tile, installing some new windows, and painting. Lots of painting. During this time we were madly searching for jobs, apparently something you need in order to make it in the world.
We also obtained our first chickens. They’re awesome. Eight Golden Sex Link hens that have grown to be quite personable and lay more eggs than we know what to do with. They were a wonderful additional to the farm, though we’ve had to keep them in their coop and penned outdoor area due to foxes and an occasional stray dog.
Moved back in to the newly remodeled new house. Since we had been living in a one-bedroom condo in Seattle this house seemed quite empty. Thus, we purchased some new furniture and used our moving boxes to fill up the rest of the space. Amy managed to score a job working as an out-patient oncology dietitian at the Mountain States Tumor Institute which is located in St. Lukes hospital. It’s a great location in downtown Boise and the five mile bike commute to work is nearly all bike path along the Boise River.
With Abdi growing tons of produce on our farm by this point we had little incentive to actually have a garden of our own. However, it’s something we had to try. Amy planted watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, carrots, beets, corn, cucumbers, squash, kale, and lettuce. It was at this point that we learned a valuable lesson, seed packets contain considerably more seed than needs to be planted. We ended up with a lot of produce. Some of it went to the farmer’s market with Abdi and some of it ended up at the local food warehouse.
July and August was an age of weddings with the locations being Denver, Seattle, Denver, Seattle. Amy did all four, Bryce just managed the final three. Thus, it was time away from the farm but also a realization that we missed all the projects, management, and reward that goes along with owning property. That’s why it was a real bummer when Bryce finally received a job offer, he would have additional responsibilities. Oh well, a paycheck could pay for bigger and better projects, right? Bryce was hired on at two local high schools to teach horticulture and environmental science. Seemed like complementary subjects to this new life. The commute wasn’t so great however, but Bryce figured out how to make biking work and now averages twenty-three miles a day. Not a bad workout.
Lots of work. Lots of harvesting. This month was a blur. There was one wedding in Oregon and, at some point, an alpaca moved onto the property. Well, actually he was brought on to be boarded by an old friend of the family. Bernie has become a mascot and a constant reminder of how different life has become.
More harvesting. More blurriness. Jobs do that to you.
Ahhh, here we go. Now I remember something. With the cold setting in a greenhouse would be necessary. Using old, double-paned windows from the original house on the property a decent sized facility was erected against the barn. It gets quite warm in there during the days, but still haven’t perfected a heat retaining mechanism for the nights. It’s pretty nice to walk into a ninety degree room on a sub-freezing day. We’ll be putting starts in there for spring crops soon.
As the year wound down a few snowflakes fell as the temperature continued to drop. Bike commuting became a little more arduous in the cold, but not having to deal with rain was a real blessing. Christmas was spent in Boise and New Years in Seattle.
With the New Year came some of the coldest temperatures Boise has seen in quite a few years. It wouldn’t be so bad, but snow fell right before the drop and has stuck around. This makes bike commuting even more difficult with ice and snowpack hindering the availability of road. Bryce attempted to make it easier by studding some tires. They work great on the ice, but the roads are still too narrow for safe riding due to all the plowed snow on the sides. Thus, we have hit a lull in our physical activities, but are trying to revel in laziness the best we can. We’ll be back at it soon.