Native Ideals, Arlee, MT

Native Ideals, Arlee, MT

Thursday, August 21, 2014

McKenzie's Visit with Feral Farm

Here we are back in Olympia with our Great friend Sarika (pronounced Shotika, she is Hungarian - roll your R) taking a few weeks to collect our thoughts. I am writing to reflect on our last month where we had no electricity or internet to do so.

We left Olympia on the 14th of July, I believe - to pick up McKenzie from the airport in Seattle on the 15th. We are usually late so it is best to make sure you are on time by being a day early. We grab the kid and immediately take her to Capital Hill for pizza, splendid dining experience. I do not believe her first night with us was too bad - she saw an amazing sunset filled with mountains and city lights on our drive into downtown and camping on the street is always fun. We had beautiful streets lights to shine through the window, like a night light yall, and the hum of passing cars to put you to sleep. The next day it was time to play tourist so we walked about 7 miles around Downtown Seattle - viewing the space needle, a blown glass garden, The Pike Place Market. We saw the huge ferris wheel on pier something or another and many other things - I am sure a million pictures will be posted about this. We had a food bank on the other side of Seattle, so it was time to high tail it the 4 miles back to Teddy to drive through traffic, to be there by at least 7. Phew we made it, and thanks to the great citizens of Seattle whom donate delicious goods, we had free meals for the coming weeks.

Seattle was fun - the streets were too busy for Teddy and us it was time to go. We found a nice little town that was on the way to Rockport (our new farm) called Arlington. We happened upon a small park - we go for parks in the day time for animals they have bathrooms and not too many people - the park had access to Twin Rivers I believe it was called. No matter what they were called the water was clear, warm, and wet and served well for baths. We hung out here for a few days painting on a sealant to prevent leaks in the temperate rain forrest we were about to move into.

Arriving at Feral Farm ( Feral Farm Agroforestry ) check out this link, maybe you will visit.

The farm was beautiful. It contained a school bus house - which was a school bus with an added loft space constructed on top - a few cob structures, some regular wooden structures, and a yert. The grass was so long and soft, very meadow-like. We actually had our own little private meadow spot to park Teddy. B built us a nice hanging bucket shower, with a curtain! No person was on the farm when we arrived, so we went walking the many trails that led through the property eventually finding the creek and a lot of black berries and raspberries along the way - with even more hidden structures. We found our way back to our meadow to settle in our new home.

Eventually the whole gang made it back. Matt, GuruBonni, Alli, Taylor, Wizard (The Peace Wizard), Jorda, Trice and the beautiful, Sus. We met everyone and had an amazing chat with Wizard about life, growth and, of course, peace. Then, they told us we had a shindig to attend that a farm up the way threw annually. Of course we went - this is an adventure, it is basically mandatory that we had to go to experience the feels and people of northwest Washington, and homemade drink for free - plus they had live music and more trails to walk and structures to see.

The Summer Social at Finney Farm

There was homemade Kombucha (twas delicious), homemade beer, live music and a beautiful farm to wander around to gather more ideas. What more could the Traveling Tripod and their visitor need? The night went well, we visited with our fellow farmers in training and danced enjoying the good time. All was well until we went to leave around mid-night and Babykitty decided to escape Teddy's walls - I (Logan) of course had to remain at what had turned into an amazing after party dance party, to catch Babykitty and keep her safe. There I was left behind on strange land with a comforter, a hammock and a kitten to find - oh and Sus because she was else where when the bandwagon was leaving. Of course the whole troop besides Gurubonni and Matt were in the safety of Teddy's 4 walls - they all made it home safe because The Peace Wizard drove! Sus, Babykitty and I luckily knew a beautiful, dreaded fair maiden named KAT, whom found us a cabin to stay in. She was a beautiful soul with beautiful dreads that I am certain mine will someday mimic. The next morning came - I met another beautiful friend name Mary Tulley of Bellingham - Sus and I were rescued and a giant pot of coffee was brewed.

Back on Feral Farm we had a number of projects in operation, such as, chop-n-dropping brush around a million heartnut trees, building a new cob structure, harvesting berries, and some digging at their other property. We started with the trimming around trees. This was a lot of fun - we had to start with one and figure out where the next one was and chop our way to it, like a large scale scavenger hunt. We cleared around 40 trees Alli must have done 200 - she was a choppin fool. Matt walked us around talking to us about his very interesting vision for his project. Instead of gardening vegetables in his semi sandy soil - having to enrich the soil to where the vegetables would actually produce - he is growing a rare nut and a lot of them that will produce more in the long run basically growing a retirement. There is a whole lot more to it, that is a very small piece of it. I believe we were all a little disappointed when we noticed there was not a vegetable garden. There was an assortment of berries that were sold during each large harvest - raspberries, a sort of japanese wine berry, and others (once again, not carrying that notepad bites me in the butt).

Sus is the cob building supervisor or professional. Cobing is the art of building walls using only natural/organic material. Cobing is very hands on, the materials are a clay like mud with gravel in it sand, water, and hay. The clay like mud with gravel in it is screened to remove the largest rocks there are specific ratios as you need a certain consistency in order for the materials to harden and stick bind together. There is a "plaster" layer added to the finished wall that just requires a thinner screen to remove more rock producing a smoother material. There is also a way of placing hardwood tree logs like bricks throughout the wall, this being called cord cob. (I hope it is cord and not card. One day I will carry that notepad.) Sus is a beautiful being and hell-o-fun to work with ;) . We helped her sift fine clay for the plaster to finish her cob home - we also helped start a new guest home for the farm. It was cool to be able to work on a finishing project as well as a starter project.

We of course had to find work and we did. Matt and Jorda connected us with Anne Schwartz a local organic farmer. She produces for the local market everything from berries, to carrots, cucumbers, squash and greens. She hired us for blueberry picking and some weeding in the garden. we felt blessed we missed weeding oddly we could not wait to pull up roots. She taught us more weeds we had yet to come across and the reason for tilling and how to do it properly. Thank you Anne at Blue Heron Farm.

We met a lot of amazing people through the farm - here are a few:

Jorda & Trise - This was Jorda's second year - a professional hitchhiker, he and Trice were setting off on an adventure to Oregon and back, all by way of bus or hitch. They left a week and a half after we arrived we are happy to have met them and wish them luck in their futures.

Taylor - From Florida about to turn 21 and full of love and energy. She is still in college for a sort of Natural History and enjoying it - she will do great without our wishes. We love you keep in touch!

Alli - She is from New Hampshire, and on her way to becoming a great traveler I believe. We will hopefully see her again in California or Las Vegas or both. She is a beautiful soul always happy. She has a great adventure planned out for us in New England that we are really looking forward to. We love you and keep in touch also!

Amy, Lucy, & David - They traveled to the farm together first from Arizona to Oregon then to the Washington. They arrived a few days after us. They brought a new energy to the group we are glad they joined and meshed so well. Amy is from Oregon as is her car Butterboat (I love her - you too, Amy.) Amy is a great traveler who maybe be settling down soon, but will take us clabbing in Oregon soon. Good luck on your adventure. Lucy and David are in college in Arizona -  they have embarked on an adventure for the summer and are going to show us around their city of Arizona when we visit. Good luck in school guys!!!

Marley - The sweetest lady in Rockport - we will miss her hugs. B and I had the pleasure of escaping the rain for an hour to have tea and warm up with Marley - she was the best part of that day, I think B would agree. Much love Marley, with hopes to see you agin.

Niña - She became ill with her liver and need help tending her animals. All four of us volunteered for the opportunity to get some animal husbandry under our belts. Niña had ducks, chickens and geese - all of which were free range and needed to be herded into their very large pens every night. Herding birds is no easy task and geese are assholes, but really fun to pick on. Their were also sheep and goats -  the goats needed milking twice a day, the morning shift was our least favorite. Niña was a very educational woman -  she walked us through making goat cheese and tanning hides. So descriptive B and I felt as though we had actually been doing it. She was also a great cook - thank you Niña we will see you again.

Mckenzie enjoyed doing all of these fun activities with us - or she was lying when she said she did. I am really glad she came along. to give us the experience to share our journey and fit herself into our little story. I wish you luck in your future kid you can do anything you put your mind to - I say this because you are smart not just beautiful.


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