And now, what you’ve all been waiting for…
Below please find the guestblog you’ve all been waiting for:
For those of you who don’t know me, I am Farmerlady’s little brother. I have to preface this post with a little background so you can understand the truly epic nature of my farm visit.
I grew up in suburban Houston, Texas. (Row upon row of houses each more similar to the next.) After college in Texas, I left my home state. I wanted a BIG CITY and Houston wouldn’t do. For the last six years I have lived happily- more or less- in New York City.
Rural has never been one of my favorite words. It is one of the hardest words to pronounce (say it aloud…sounds weirder that you thought, huh?) and it has never had a pleasant connotation for me. You see, I am what Farmerlady describes as an “indoorsy” type. I don’t like bugs, sweating outside, dirt, plants that are ugly, or the smell of “nature things”. My previous run-ins with nature have gone awry in various ways (having to be rescued from mud, falling off of a stationary horse, being tricked into eating Spanish moss, a lizard down my shirt, being chased by a chicken, and an irrational fear of the alligator gar). Needless to say, I headed off to Kentucky with a healthy dose of dread, trepidation, and Xanax (just in case!).
The first thing I will say about Kentucky is that everyone is SUPER nice. From the barista at the Louisville airport Starbucks to the tour guide at Maker’s Mark, everyone was lovely. Adding to the Kentuckan (Kentuckish, Kentuckian?) charm is their adorable accent—a unique variation on the Texas/Louisiana/Florida Southern accent I grew up hearing.
Driving through KY, I was struck by two things right away. Everything is overwhelmingly green (and it does not just seem that way because I live in a concrete jungle), and there is a staggering abundance of butterflies. Everywhere you look there is something fluttering in almost ridiculous numbers. I have never seen so many bright blue, yellow and orange butterflies anywhere (including several butterfly enclosures at museums and aquariums- remember those lame field trips?).
My first day of farming was great. We made pizza dough, toured the farm (including a truck ride to the top of the ridge—blog readers note: Scooter got in the truck without a fight!!!!) We picked wild blackberries and rode back down the ridge; all while the dough was rising. THEN it happened- I held my first bunny. Lindsey has a picture of this. (I’m the goof in the checkered shirt; the bunny is the cute brown fluff ball). I had limited “hands on” exposure to wildlife growing up. I don’t remember any petting zoos and I stayed away from the cows, horses and chickens I saw on the annual visits to Louisiana to see my Dad’s family. This bunny scored big points for the farm. I described farming on my Facebook page as an adorable petting zoo, where everyone dies at the end. We cooked the pizza and Lindsey and I had split a bottle of wine before we knew it.
Anywho- the rest of the trip was equally fantastic or FAN-tastic as my BahPah (my grandfather for the uninitiated) would have said. We toured Maker’s Mark Distillery, visited Lexington, saw Lindsey’s classroom and spent hours of quality time laughing and enjoying each other’s company. We saw some amazing sunsets and I got to catch up with my sister while swinging in hammocks hung from a wisteria-covered pergola surrounded by fireflies. Lindsey has turned into quite the foodie. We made pizza from scratch, crème brulee (one of my Nana’s favorites), meringue cookies with chocolate ganache, and a few pasta dishes. All of them amazing.
The only slightly negative thing I can say about the farm is: bugs. I intellectually understand that outdoors I will see bugs, but it still shocks my nervous system into a flight response. I saw a gathering (sinister coven) of spiders near the garden and had the urge to call a helicopter to get me out of there. Somehow, perhaps out of a mutual DISrespect, I escaped the week without a single bug bite. They don’t like me, and I don’t like them.
Things I learned on the farm:
- Farmerlady’s chickens have pretty blue eyes. I thought they’d be brown or yellow or something.
- Bunnies are even softer than they look.
- Scooter doesn’t immediately recognize you if you leave the room and return.
- Guinea Fowl might have invented the buddy system. Upon their first release from their house to roam the grounds they cautiously took turns looking around and pecking at the grass, all while keeping a tight military formation.
- My sister is an excellent cook.
- Geoff is an encyclopedia of flora/fauna knowledge. (And he is easily over-excited about pawpaw fruit.)
- Bugs are still gross.
I was so happy to see that Lindsey and Geoff have such a beautiful home and hunk of land. I can’t wait to go back and see how this adventure progresses.