Dreaming of Spring

Cockamamy Farm is a victim of this crazy polar vortex the weather folks are calling “Winter Storm Gorgon.” We were blanketed with several inches of snow and now temps are down right scary. The high today is below zero. Fahrenheit.  And the north-northwest (that means its cold!) wind is making the air feel like -30 to -40. Fahrenheit. Schools are closed because of the crazy cold and our plans today include: stay inside, feed the wood stove, and maybe bake something so we have a reason to turn the oven on.


In an effort to think warm, we are taking the opportunity to dream of spring. In what can only be a blessed team effort of a higher power and the USPS, we received an oversize Burgess Seed & Plant Co. catalog a couple of days ago. The images of fruits, veggies, tress, flowers, roses in bloom, and green grass are making me swoon! I have to admit, it is capturing my imagination more than my go-to, beloved health/fitness and home design magazines. Visions of summer are just. so. dreamy.

And Ben has been busy marking everything that we want to try in the garden and the yard—trees, hedges, greens, herbs, veggies. And his sticky notes totally remind me of a kid and his Sears catalog at Christmas.


We have also been shopping online at Seed Savers and we plan to take a road trip to their Decorah, Iowa, headquarters before planting season. Another dreamy site is Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. Warning: you will get lost among the amazing breadth of rare heirloom varieties they offer. If you visit, be prepared to spend an hour or more salivating on your keyboard. Are you a fan of other seed companies offering open-pollinated heirloom seeds? Let us know! We love to shop!

We have also been doing a lot of dreaming about the back yard. We stand at the back door and stare out to the expanse of white and talk about what to put where. We had to agree on a vernacular for the different parts of the yard after some major confusion on my part when Ben was talking about “the berm” and I thought he meant the big berm that surrounds the whole property (now called “levee” by mutual agreement) and he was talking about a smaller berm (one of a group now called “the garden berms” by mutual agreement) in the back yard where our garden will be planted. We huddle at the window in the door and point and dream and try to figure out where things should live. There’s so much to consider, so many things we want to do, and so much open space that it is somewhat overwhelming.

Ben drew a map so that we can get some stuff down on paper. And then he updated the black-marker map with a pink pen. There will be more updates. And the map is going to get colorful and interesting! Here’s a look:


At the top of the list is planning where different buildings (Ben’s shop, the barn, a chicken house) will one day be situated. And deciding on the placement of the garden, the hoop house, driveway, and new landscaping. One of the things we’re dreaming of is a building that will be Ben’s shop. We are trying to decide exactly what will work, what size footprint, the size and placement of doors, the exact location on the property…so many details to work out! But, we’re thinking maybe something like this 14×24-foot metal building could work.



We want to be smart about this project (to purchase or to build?) and keep in mind that this building may not always be a shop. It might one day move to a different location and/or be an office, a guest house, a garden shed, a Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous (insert Robin Leach accent here) chicken coop… There are many possibilities and we want to be sure and get the right thing for Ben’s shop needs, but also be sure we are keeping the future in mind.

And right now, the future beyond this winter—or even next week’s kinder temps—can’t come fast enough! Hope y’all are staying warm and happy dreaming!


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