Native Ideals, Arlee, MT

Native Ideals, Arlee, MT

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Reflection on Curley Creek

I would like my first blog to be about Curley Creek. I am certain this will be my favorite farm throughout this adventure.

Our arrival to Curley Creek could not come fast enough. We left Fort Collins sort of behind schedule and had a flat tire on the way, luckily we had a spare, but also had some treacherous weather through the mountains. We arrive in Troy for noon, but still do not have the exact directions to the farm: little did we know the phone we were calling had no one near it to answer... Marcus calls back after we left a couple of messages and we get the directions. He greets us; we park Theo and start the hike back to the farm. Heidi is waiting for us there, putting away the massage table Fishburn earlier occupied-- he pulled a muscle in his back lifting something the day before, he was out for our first few days, she speaks and an instant connection with Heidi started to form. She gave us a small farm tour and asked if we wanted to jump into a freezing cold creek-- we could not turn this down, it is the beginning of our adventure, might as well jump in. The creek was freezing; we learn its the run off snow from the mountains, but we could not really jump just dunk-- Jordan and Heidi dunked together. I was unfortunately poorly dressed and Brittany does not like anything cold... we just put our knees in. As we dry off under the warmth of the sun; Pete and Juan (the dog) arrive home from saving the buffalo... dinner is made, we all wear amazing hats as a welcome to the farm-- this is of course my winner HATS! The man brought out hats just for dinner all of them different and unique, instant LOVE!

Pete along with being our best friend is a performer, lover, bee enthusiast and buffalo savior. I believe it was our first night Pete showed us some honey combs, just the wax, that he wanted to melt down to separate the bee parts from the wax and propolis (which can be used in a lot of medicinal ways). Our adventures with Pete come later in the week; when we go to Sheamus' house to help in his garden. A lovely man we consider a dear friend and were very glad to meet and spend the day with. After Pete has promised he will show us Yaak Falls, they were rushing super fast but we all wanted to be on the edge looking in. Pete also had us gathering boulders on the side of the road-- this was probably the hardest job he gave us the whole time, some took all three of us to lift. It was a long, but really great day, definitely a favorite.

Working in the garden one day, and Pete decides the manure they received a few months ahead was tainted with a poison farmers use to kill weeds in their grazing fields-- well the cows eat this but their bodies do not absorb nor breakdown this chemical so when the manure comes it is still vicious and can last up to three years. This will stunt the growth and sometimes kill the plant. We had to find more and in a hurry-- we had tons of vegetables to plant. Pete and I rush down the road to a local farmer whom had just moved back to his residence-- we made a trade of vegetables for the manure and the gentleman even sent us off with a gallon of fresh from the cow milk. I found this heart warming to know you do not need money for everything.

Working with Fishburn; who is also a farmer along with Pete and Marcus,was different and fun. Everyone starts a project different it was fun to learn from a different point of view. Brittany and I helped build trellises for tomatoes -- B man handled the chain saw cutting up the posts; we took turns "moshing" them in the ground. On another occasion he had us move the chicken coop: this was easy until we lost a chicken-- then it was a matter of chasing the chicken back in the fence, everything successful. He allowed us to be a part of planting his germinates of several species of tomatoes and peppers-- he makes a delicious tomatillo salsa (salsa verde) we were lucky enough to try several different years and all of them delicious. Fishburn had to depart from us as soon as we made a connection with him unfortunately, but we will cherish the memories and lessons we have.

Heidi. Really nothing more needs to be said. She is our sun dog in every sky. We share a love for her that she built with us-- from her group hugs and song circles to the way she could express a feeling and help you to understand it. This woman taught me just as much about love as Pete and Fishburn taught me of plants and soil. Heidi is: a great adventurer, yoga instructor, lover, songwriter, noise maker and an amazing builder of a bag of fresh greens, but even that does not fully describe her. She brought us on a few adventures around town; first being to the State Line Bar were we would meet Mike, our first paying job, and Perry to fall in love with his pizza and save our conscience later. Second we went to Perkins Lake, the lake Curley Creek runs into, with Kina-- of course we swam and yes it was cold. She left us with Kina to drive on the wrong side of the road for fun and end up at the State Line again-- here we meet Kim, whom is a Kootenai descendant, she becomes a great friend and we later have dinner with her and her family. We could never express enough appreciation to Heidi for the lessons and advice she has given us, and the mission to go off on the lovers revolution.

This brings me to our favorite Montana family and it's Kina's. Kina is our sister from another mister, although we all have a large crush on her mother Jenny. We met Jenny while working at Mike's -- I barbecued, with Mike's instruction, it was my first time -- we also met her youngest Emma Rose who we enjoyed the company of (for being a child). Jenny was breathtaking we immediately wanted to hang out with her to get to know her. She made arrangements for a hike from our farm to her house in Idaho, but still along Curley Creek. The hike was amazing we saw sights and peaks we could not have from anywhere else-- there was an in-ground house left from as hippy commune that once lived up and down the creek later to be left abandoned and rotting.

Arriving at Jenny's was a picturesque moment like a scene out of a movie you could tell they put a lot of work into their yard. She introduced us to her husband Aaron, and her other two sons arrived later, Aaron was interesting and really left a mark on us. He has trained himself in all ways primitive practicing regularly just to prove to himself he can do it. He makes bows and arrows (the real deal) survival huts out of logs bark and ferns... these are for last minute survival purposes only not for long term living-- at least I would not live in it long term it was kind of short. They treated us all to a dinner and Emma Rose gave us a nice performance on the coffee table after.

Kina disappeared for a few days up the Yaak River for a memorial day event, we missed her terribly. When she came back it was on again but time for us to leave a few days later; so we kidnapped her. Not really we had to go meet the family at Grandma Carol's in Bonners Ferry, Idaho and in love we fell again. Grandma Carol is our Grandma away from our own-- she moved from California about a year ago to be closer to her son Aaron. We are very glad she did or we would of just had an extra stop in Cali. We couldn't stay for dinner this is the day we were invited to Kim's to have "authentic Indian tacos". We arrive to find out that the rain has brought some unsettling news so we have dinner and visit for a while. Heidi comes and then it is back to Grandma Carol's to sleep. We instead stayed up talking until around 12 in the morning all in our bathrobes. The next morning she made pancakes and we had about 4 pots of coffee also in our bathrobes. This would be a sad day that a million pancakes and pots of coffee could not fix. We had to leave and head back down to Arlee, Mt to be at our next farm on time.

Saying goodbye to Heidi Kina and Grandma Carol could not have been harder. We said our goodbyes with the hopes to be in each others company again. We take with us on our journey all of the lessons we have been given from each person and that is to live your life where and the way you want to and the memories we have made together are priceless. To be in Curley Creek again is a goal among us all. We love you our Curley Creek family. See you soon.

                                                                                      with love and hope,
                                                                            Logan/The Louisiana Gals

1 comment:

  1. Hi Girls,

    Sorry we missed you in Arlee, no cell reception. I guess I should get with the times and lose the track phone. Anyway, we had a great time in FOCO, I think Horsetooth Res. will never be the same. Good times and great people, just not long enough. It is hard for me when I get together with my family to say goodbye. The pirate hats, etc. made it back to FOCO. Emma Rose and her cousins had so much fun playing with the gear you all hooked her up with.

    It sounds like the travels have been very liberating, educating, fun and extremely difficult at times, but if anyone can handle it you three can.

    We just got back from a camping trip and would love to share a few photos, let me know an email address to send them to. Other than that I am slave to the raspberries and strawberries, while trying to spend as much time at the beach as we can. Aaron has been fishing a lot trying to reach his goal of 250 fish smoked and canned by fall. I am just saving up enough fruit to make enough wine to make it through the winter.

    Love to all and continued success on your journey!