Fields of Dreams

What an amazing April—the best Texas has to offer. Cool nights, warm days, a real spring as opposed to our usual “wham bam thank you m’am” transition from winter to summer.

Don, Phil, Jerry and I went for lunch Friday at the East Side Café in Austin to look at Dorsey’s gardens in the back where she grows herbs and vegetables, all of which are consumed by happy diners in the restaurant. We were on a field trip (no pun intended) to get ideas for our own gardens.

After we got back to the Ranch we walked the fields behind the Learning Center, plotting out where to put the Chicken Hilton, and our own herb and vegetable gardens.

Talk about inspiration! I hectored Jerry into working Saturday morning to clear the spot for the Benedict House garden, replacing the Giant House-Eating Double Palm Plant that had grown to monstrous proportions and ousted to a different location.

Both of us weeded and dug and moved rock on Saturday. We planted Sunday and by evening had 16 squares planted of the “Front 40” (square feet, that is). (Being as we’re officially elderly now we thought we’d jettison the Jeavons double-dug beds and try out Square Foot Gardening for a change.)

It was great fun and we were proud and happy, if tired and sore.

Then coming to work this morning first thing I noticed was that the Chicken Hilton had been transferred from the warehouse, where it was built, to the field where our gardens, the chickens, the berries (uh oh…do chickens like berries?)…anyway, where it all will shortly be.

I took some pics of Mike putting the finishing touches on the Hilton. A few minutes later Don went charging one way on a red tractor while Pat charged in the opposite direction on another red tractor.

Don hailed me as I headed for the barn and suggested we go to the horse pasture and get some pictures of Cheena and Austin cavorting amongst the wildflowers “without the other horses around to make them squirrely.”

Alas, they were pretty determined to be squirrely anyway, but it was fun. (That’s Austin taking off.)

Later Don let me know that the barn and garden crews were clearing the first space in the garden area so I shot out with the camera to record this momentous event.

This is truly the start of something big. If you came to the Gala, you heard us talk about Operation Independence, and we’re serious about this. Eggs, beef, veggies, fruit trees—we’ve got room to produce it all.

Come, and see.