Saturday, May 7, 2011


Having studied ministry and worked with churches in my previous life, I thought I knew a thing or two about community. What it looked like. How to do it with some success. But rural living is giving me a new education.

This is what community looks like out here.

Don't recognize it? Try this one.

Still unfamiliar?

It was new to me too.

Our pivot generator went out earlier this week. Given our current drought, it's pretty self-explanatory what would happen to our chili crop if we couldn't irrigate. Imagine losing your entire year's salary in one week. Makes for pretty high stakes.

Enter this community. With one phone call, our neighbors secured us a generator to borrow and a diesel tank to fuel it. We were able to water the chili's only one day behind schedule.

These are folks we've known for just three months. They're all crazy busy with their own farms and vineyards right now. They owe us nothing.

Doesn't matter. They didn't bat an eye.

Even having lived around generous people before, I am utterly overwhelmed and humbled by this community's instinct to help. A sacrifice for them. Offered without hesitation. Expecting nothing in return.

It doesn't end quickly either. Next week, while we're out of town, they'll be checking on our farm, insuring our furry family is watered and fed and safe, watering the chili's, picking up our tractor from the shop and even getting us a head start on plowing the peanut field.

We could not do what we're doing without this community. I don't mean that figuratively or metaphorically or poetically. I mean it literally.

These aren't just nice gestures they offer. It's mission-critical bread and water without which life could not be sustained. And it's completely inspiring.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Big hole

When Pape was last here, the boys decided it was high time they dig a hole. A big one.

It required a tractor and a bulldozer.

It also required a lot of overseeing . . .

And discussion . . .

Until they were left with a really big hole.

Seriously y'all, I could stack my car on top of itself and it still wouldn't fill the hole. 

The dogs were not impressed. However, the drivers of the semi trucks will be ecstatic since they won't have to off road their loads of organic compost over sand dunes now to get to the peanut field.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

For the record

I've used 1,072 tissues in the past two and a half weeks, have ear infections in both ears, no longer have any sense of smell or taste and both Big John and the pivot generator are down for the count. We are living the dream out here people!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Special delivery

Today a special delivery arrived.

Our organic peanut seed!

Part of being certified organic is chasing down proper propagation materials--their fancy term for seed. You must only use organic seed, or document how you tried to secure organic seed but it wasn't available for your particular crop.

All of our seed bags came with special purple tags indicating organic status.

We are growing a relatively small acreage of peanuts this first year but we filled up the barn with seed.

And this . . . this just makes me giggle all over.

Apparently my keeping my maiden name when Nathan and I married has confused a whole host of folks. I just see this as payback for all the times people call me Mrs. Lake.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Pig hunt

We've learned over the past couple of weeks just how much damage one feral hog can do. Though we do not relish the idea, it's pig-hunting time.

The wildest piece of advice we've heard so far: Don't shoot at the pig's head. It's so hard the bullets will bounce right off.

Oh dear.