What Does a Farmer Do For Fun?

| 8/29/2014 2:19:00 PM

Tags: Travel, Mesa Verde, Colorado River, Rafting, Hiking, Cliff Dwellings, Four Corners, Chef Elizabeth,

Chef ElizabethI know that most serious farmers would never think about leaving the farm during growing season. I admit it – I do love to travel. I planned the two-week trip after all the produce was planted and long before the harvest. The hardest part of leaving the farm is finding someone you trust; someone who will take care of it as well as you would yourself. In the past I thought I had found the perfect match- half an hour before leaving on our cross-country trip he backed out. While in France last summer I returned to find my beloved garden eaten by voracious weeds and all of my herbs mowed down. There are down sides to leaving. One bit of advice is to do everything you can to find a reliable helper. It is sort of along the same idea as finding a good babysitter you trust so you can get out of the house. Yes, it is true all farmers need and deserve a vacation!

group boarding 

As a chef and farmer, I believe the best way to get ideas is to travel. I read a lot but seeing things for myself always breathes new thoughts into me. Traveling gives me the chance to see how other farmers work and sell their goods. I love to check out the pick-your-own and local farmers' markets along the way.

I am blessed enough to have a son to take care of the property when I am gone. His girlfriend is happy to help around the farm and is very competent. My list of chores is enormous. Setting up the watering system requires a mechanical engineering degree. There are so many gardens to water, a pond to maintain, feeding the fish and the birds, electrical fencing to turn on and off, weeding, watering, harvesting when needed; the list goes on and on.

I am writing this while in Colorado. It has been a busy 10 days so far with a trip to Glenwood Springs, white water rafting, Durango, Four Corners and Mesa Verde. This is interesting country.

down we go

9/10/2014 4:21:08 PM

Wow chef are you sure your not a action photographer also ! great pics! The Rockies are a huge breath of fresh air. I am from Canada (Ontario) and there's some great Wilderness here. I just want to say it is not even comparable to the wilderness of the Rockies. The nature is so abundant that there's bear sightings in Denver! The rock structures blow me away and I live in the Canadian shield.Those rivers are 2nd to none. They made the Grand canyon Your photos capture that true Wilderness I just wanted to say you are so right about having someone that's dependable watch your farm/garden. Most people underestimate what can happen in a matter of 2 weeks. Never take the weather report seriously on a extended forecast. One drought and your garden is finished Great read thanks so much

9/5/2014 11:04:31 AM

Thanks Dave- bravo on the watering system - I love to read all of the advice about how to do it right and yet I still end up devising something that is just right for me. We had so much water this year- many of my vegetables did not do well - Have a great Friday !! Chef E.

8/30/2014 8:14:55 AM

Chef Elizabeth, your pictures remind me of the times that I've gone on canoe trips. We went down rivers not as challenging as the Colorado but still stirring up the adrenalin. Since gardening became an outlet for my desire of farming, I've incorporated as much automation into the building of the garden structure as possible. Of course weeding can't be automated too much but mulching help keep the weeds under control. My greatest victory is the watering system. It's fully automated from catching the rain water and storing it in a 400 gallon tank to the automated distribution to the garden plants. It has worked wonderfully well this summer even though there were other weather issues that presented gardening problems. I glad you are having a great time. Sounds like those memories will last a lifetime. ***** Have a great vacation day.

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