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And now, what you’ve all been waiting for…

August 3, 2010

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.

Figure 1: Checkered shirt and fluffy

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.

Figure 2: Makers Mark Tour

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:

  1. Farmerlady’s chickens have pretty blue eyes.  I thought they’d be brown or yellow or something.
  2. Bunnies are even softer than they look.
  3. Scooter doesn’t immediately recognize you if you leave the room and return.
  4. 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.
  5. My sister is an excellent cook.
  6. Geoff is an encyclopedia of flora/fauna knowledge. (And he is easily over-excited about pawpaw fruit.)
  7. 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.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Uncle Chris permalink
    August 3, 2010 4:27 PM

    Great job Cody. I see the writing talent runs in the family. Of course Lindsey is far better at it but you aren’t bad. I’m thrilled that Lindsey and Geoffs’ farm is such a hit. I new it would be. The Bunnies look adorable. I wouuld have a blast there because I’m not bothered by bugs nor livestock I am not surprized that Lindsey is duch a good cook. She excels at everything she puts her mind to. Having fresh ingredients is got to be good. I love and miss all you vey much. You are all a tremendous source of pride to all of us always. I love how you never forget Nana and BahPah. Keep me posted. God Bless

    Uncle Chris

  2. Scott permalink
    August 3, 2010 5:08 PM

    I am glad I led a successful revolution. The next step is to see how we can get GG there and how many copies of “Dominion” you shall receive. I’m going to start the over/under at 5 for your future interns, Amish friends, and other laborers of similar ilk. The Agran-Momma will strike the blog in the forseeable future! I have decreed it so!

  3. Sheila McGuire permalink
    August 3, 2010 6:48 PM

    Loved it! Can’t wait for your next visit!

  4. Regan permalink
    August 3, 2010 8:42 PM

    Loves it, Codster! You may not be the farmstead/outdoorsy type, but ya sure look the part. All that plaid Jcrew comes in handy. Loved reading it and love seeing pictures of my favorite NYC boy with his family. They look like good peeps!

  5. August 6, 2010 2:07 PM

    What a fun post (and a fun visit, it seems). I sympathize with almost all of this, as I love not camping.

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