Beginning on the Friday after Thanksgiving, this farm goes from a sleepy little place to a hustling, bustling hub of activity. This weekend it has been warmer than we can ever remember, and with the doors and windows open, it's easy to hear the children playing and laughing. This period of time is something we look forward to all year, and we all work together in some way all weekend long. Even the kids help when they can be home from college. Today Molly was learning the chainsaw and Rob got wireless to the shop. During the week it is much more manageable, so that any one of us could handle it alone, but on the weekends... well, I was asleep by 8:45 last night.
The front room of the soapmaking workshop is where during the other 10 months of the year we stage shipments, stack things for upcoming shows, and store some finished products. Along the one wall, my sister has her lamp-working torch and kiln set up. In November, we drape it and set up a little shop where people can pick up small gifts for themselves or others. All of the things on the website for The Essential Herbal are in the shop too.
The guys handle the saws, the netting, and the drilling. Santa and his reindeer are atop the main workshop area, and when you can see it lit-up, it is time to come down from the fields because it's too dark to be safe from tripping on stumps or falling into a hole. There is space for about 35 cars, and on the weekends people are moving in and out of those spaces pretty quickly.
Since it was mellow during the morning hours, I set off into the woods on the other side of the farm. I was a little nervous because of all the hunters out shooting, and when I saw something that looked sorta, kinda like a dog flash across the trail up ahead, I just turned around and headed back. The woods were very muddy from the rain earlier this week, so it wasn't a great loss. I did stop and inspect the underside of this tree that fell during the hurricane earlier this fall. There's something so mysterious and fascinating about the roots of a tree.
Closer to the shop, I gathered some sweet Annie seeds for a friend. She'll be surprised because I told her earlier that they seemed to be all gone. They were still growing under this corkscrew willow tree. I was thinking of all the interesting things those branches could be used for...
Most exciting of all to me at the moment, is this little Meyer lemon tree, and the blossoms that have opened today. It isn't very big, so it couldn't bear the weight of any fruit yet, but the scent of these blossoms are simply amazing. A lot like gardenias with a little sprinkling of citrus. I'm in heaven!