I will be taking a leisure day today, packing for my new destination, San Diego. It does feel really nice to have the freedom to go galavanting around. Some of my good friends from the navy are having a reunion in Pheonix, AZ, so tonight I will head off in that direction, arriving sometime tomorrow mid day. I need to dig some more potatoes for the trip, since I won’t be coming back from California until the end of November I am thinking. This is my favorite way to travel anyhow: No limits on how long your staying here or there, free to change plans and move in a different direction at will. I also had a facebook friend from my San Diego days who needs some help taking down a five year project Goat Farm in Joshua Tree, so I am going to make an effort to stop by and help. I would also just like to chat with him a bit, because what he was doing out there is similar to what I want to do on the land that I bought a few years back in Cotopaxi, CO. I want to find out what his biggest hurdles were, and what hardships I get to look forward too. Climbing ain’t bad in Joshua Tree either. My first big mission after the reunion will be to surf my face off in Ocean Beach. Probably head to San Onofre or Black’s Beach afterward.
Even with all the farm and travel tasks I have to do, my family has needed help and kept me busy. My dad is framing in a trailer to insulate it to provide shelter for one more homeless veteran this winter, with a dog. If the guy has an address then he can get food stamps, and stretch his meager seven hundred dollar income further. I told him it was a bad idea; a waste of resources and time; not worthwhile to do whatsoever. I also told him that seeking out the homeless as tenants is probably not a good for a multitude of reasons. Most people are hard headed, and my dad is no exception. He has had luck with being a landlord, and want’s to maintain that residual income in as many places as possible. Talking with a contractor friend, it is not the first time anybody has tried to improve or salvage a structure that didn’t merit it. He told me of a barn that took so much wood to reinforce the rot that they could have just built a whole new structure. I see renting as a nearly immoral thing to do. Get a loan on a property(the value of which is inflated due to loan availability) from a bank and then have somebody else pay the mortgage, often while the landlord/owner allows the residence to fall into dilapidation. Rarely is it insulated properly, which increases the resources used to heat the homes, and eats into the pocket books of the tenants.
I just got back from Paonia yesterday, where I was helping the big hearted farmers, who donated to me all of the tomato and pepper seedlings I used on the orchard, dig up some tuberose bulbs. There was one flower in bloom in a hoop house nearby: Ohhhh the fragrance! Potatoes, dahlias, tuberose, all have to be dug up, overwintered in sawdust(to keep from rotting), and replanted in the spring when conditions are amiable for the bulbs and tubers. All this to keep a few flowers around! Farmers are giving the best of gifts to the world by continuing to provide everybody with fresh healthy good food and flowers. They are the least lazy and the most hopeful bunch I have met. There is so much behind the scenes work that food prices should really be fifty to eighty percent higher than what they are. We were also finishing up taking down the drip tape for watering and the black plastic weed barriers that are put up to save on cultivation time. I wish I could have seen Zephros farm mid season when everything was full on, but It’s easy to not find the time. It is rare that I ever leave Paonia short of feeling spiritually fulfilled. I have read that there are antidepressant microbes in the soil, perhaps this is why. Paonia is one of the places that I could see myself settling down, but don’t ever go there, you wouldn’t like it.