NDR Farm update

Todd Duncan Tennyson

Well-known member
A blurb from my substack... Thought it might be interesting to some of you drovers.

I was able to escape the oppressive heat back in SE Asia and return to the Pacific NW.

When I talk with Anya, she is always wiping sweat off with a bandanna. It is the hottest and most humid time of the year in the Kingdom. It is no place for a white guy of northern descent.

We just can not tolerate it, our physiology is not set up to handle that kind of heat and it can hurt us if we are too ambitious in our activities outside.

My buddy and I decided to make a run up to the farm and get things started with the greenhouse and finishing the electric fencing for the stock. Hopeful that we could start growing produce and veggies and animal feeds et al.

A couple of weeks back we had a cold snap and some snow. My buddy wasn’t able to get up to the farm before hand, and I was still overseas.

We arrived to find this:

The weight of the snow had crushed and collapsed the ribbing of the Hoop house. and all of the tray tables and beds that my buddy had acquired were under it.

It was hard work skinning that hoop house last fall, and now we would have to uninstall and reinstall on another hoop frame. Worse still, all of the stuff that was being kept dry and safe was now filled with water. Some of the tray tables were bent and twisted from the weight of all the melted snow. A frustrating deal.

My buddy said “that’s farming.” Damn.

My buddy has established up a method to communicate from the location. Since it does not have cell phone or telephone coverage. He’s got a radio arrangement that he was able to set up a J pole antenna for that enables him to communicate with his wife and other important folks back in the valley.

They do periodic check ins with us while we are up there working on things. It is outstanding to have the ability to communicate. It isn’t Ham radio, it is GMRS.

It works, and it is clear, and it is free (after you get your equipment.) Without it, we’d have to drive half an hour down by the interstate and pick up a tower along the highway in order to make a call.

With the radio, we can call friends in the valley to then relay or make phone contacts with others etc. A good thing if you are in an out of the way and isolated place.

We had some wood debris that needed to be dealt with because it is sharp and jagged and could cut into a truck tire in the driveway.

So I grabbed a 5 gallon bucket and scooped it all up and piled it under the shelter of the woodshed. Got it all up off of the driveway and arranged it so that it will stay dry and burnable as fuel. It was actually about 6 full buckets. Good Madrone.

My buddy is good at making sandwiches. He and his wife made the Sauerkraut and the mayonnaise and everything…. I was hungry after punting around looking at what we’d need to focus on.

After feeding, we took the 10 ft T posts and cut them shorter so we could pound them into the ground, attach insulators, and run a braided line that is conductive for electric fencing.

Sparks flew all over the place. It smelled like 4th of July sparklers. We couldn’t do this back in the fall, it was just too dangerous. But now it was OK. The Chorus of the frogs in the nearby woods concurred.

The woods is refreshed and renewed and greening up. All of the pasture land is actively growing.

Watchful eyes protected us.

We had a pair of mallards and a pair of Western Canada goose scanning and scoping and hanging out looking for a place to make a nest.

The deer that used to be here in the fall are gone now.

The sunshine felt good and the grass was nice to lay in.

I think that it is important to lie on my back, and look at the blue sky, and think and dream.

Apparently I am not alone

We were able to pound in enough posts and snake enough line to get a pretty good section of pasture fenced off.

We were also witness to an unusual thing that I’d never seen before.

There is a tree that is weeping water/sap and the woodpecker comes to drink it up.

We looked closely at the tree, and it was indeed weeping… I had never seen such a thing. An artesian tree!
We looked closely at the tree, and it was indeed weeping… I had never seen such a thing. An artesian tree!

There are lots of them in New England Todd, sugar maples. You'd fight with the woodpecker to get the sap water from them! I did see the first part of this on your substack. Keep the farm news coming.
Greg, The bird in the picture was really enjoying it. I was able to get close up to it without it flying away. It refused to leave that weeping spot. I tasted it too, but it just tasted like water to me.
Hi Todd

sap water from sugar maples tastes like great water with just the slightest hint of sweetness. It is one of the most refreshing things I ever drank. Now, in various bird books, the Yellow Bellied sapsucker was always one of the most interesting bird names to me. Is that what you have there?