Busy–and fun–weekend here! Friday night, Morgan and I went to see my cousin’s wife, Sheryl, sing in a local community show. Local community shows are the best. People who are the real deal and have the guts and the talent to get up on a stage–and sing for nothing. It was a lot of fun.
Madison’s (my cousin’s son) lovely girlfriend Amanda (left), Sheryl, and Morgan-about-to-turn-16 on the right, after the show.
Today, I went to my first beekeeping class. It was confusing and overwhelming. Supers and broods and mites and extractors and excluders and who knows what else. I don’t understand this beekeeping thing, but I want to do it. Next year. In a new wave of restraint, I have decided to actually learn and prepare before jumping headfirst into my latest greatest farm activity. Bees are particularly confusing, so I’m giving myself a year for the information to sink in. I figure if I keep reading about it, and keep going to beekeeping class, it will all make sense eventually.
SarahGrace (some of you know her from the CITR forum) went to bee class with me. I stopped at her farm first to meet her lovely cows.
SarahGrace with beautiful Bessie (the milker).
Buttercup, the ADORABLE calf.
Man, I love cows.
In future news, I signed up for an all-day “Agritourism” workshop in Morgantown. Agritourism is “a commercial enterprise at a working farm, ranch, or agricultural plant conducted for the enjoyment of visitors that generates supplemental income for the owner.” It encompasses a lot of things, but specifically in relation to my goals, it includes on-farm cooking classes and farm stays, along with other events I’m interested in hosting here. I have lots of ideas for the studio–farm stays in the future–but in the short-term, cooking/baking, cheesemaking, soapmaking workshops and more, as well as renting the studio for family/company parties, meetings, and even weddings. (Wedding on the farm! The studio is perfect for that with the multi-level deck overlooking the pastures. I can so see a wedding there.) With the hard road and close interstate access I have here (8 miles)–and a picturesque farm setting, this farm is particularly suited to so many agritourism opportunities, and I want and need to pursue them to keep myself float. The agritourism workshop is an all-day workshop on February 29, part of (and in advance of) the West Virginia Small Farm Conference. Would love to attend the rest of the conference, but I can’t afford the money or the time away from the farm. I’ll go in one day (agritourism workshop only), feeding and watering the animals at o’dark-thirty then back in the evening. (Morgantown is about three hours away.) I won’t even have a second to see Weston while I’m in Morgantown. (Bummer.) My cousin Mark is going to attend with me–and do the driving. (He’s a champ!) It’s a great opportunity for me to learn about organizing, managing, and marketing agritourism on my farm. We’re all signed up. I CAN’T WAIT TO GO!