Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wonderful wwoofers and more

A couple of weeks ago, if I stopped moving for a second, I became completely overwhelmed by it all - kids, chaos, dogs, chickens, gardens, listing hoop houses... too much.

Enter the dream team: I got an email from a trio of wwoofers (willing workers on organic farms) looking for a place to be. They were already in Homer, having come from New Zealand via Hawaii, and wanted to come check out the farm. For some reason, wwoofers seem plentiful in the months of June and July - even August, but May, when things are really crazy? Not so much. I listed myself on the wwoofer registry last year and got a couple of people coming through who were great, but this year, with so many new projects, it was vital to get things going in earnest. And so when I heard from Mel, Nick and Joanne, I was thrilled. Of course, that meant I had to get them a place to sleep - which meant cleaning out Matt's pottery studio for once and for all. That space was filthy and full of stuff - so it was quite a job, but a fabulous step forward in being able to run this farm as I need to. So out came all the dusty stuff, which I hopefully packed carefully enough not to mess up Matt's world too badly, and the first thing the trio did when they arrived was assemble a bunk bed in the studio.

I'll be honest. When I picked these guys up, I was a little wary. Mel has shocking pink hair with purple ends, lots of piercings and a few tattoos to boot. Joanne has pink hair, too, and Nick, who looks rather Alaskan for the most part, had a bit of blue hair. For myself, no big deal, but when you invite people into your home and you have kids.... But wow, I couldn't have been more wrong. They have absolutely rocked. Nick is fairly construction-savvy and the girls are hard workers and all three are wonderfully patient with my kids and lovely to have around. I had to really do a bit of thinking about how we judge people, and pass those judgments on to our children. I'm thinking about a blue streak in my hair, too.

So here's an example of life with wwooofers. One day, I left for the day to work and when I came home, they had not only turned over the soil in the new hoop house, built beds, added goat poop and lime and planted two of the three beds, Nick had installed a beautiful door that he had built himself by scavenging lumber from around the property, and, the piece de resistance, they had installed the waterline to the new house.... which I didn't even ask them to do... WOW. I feel like I won the lottery.

It couldn't be better timing, either. Matt's gone right now, up in Fairbanks and possibly extending for another assignment, which would put him out of town for a month or so. It's hard for Liam, but I'm trying to keep him busy with fun, stimulating activities and the flurry of people around helps. Dinners are full of people - many nights we've had eight people crammed in my little house. I couldn't be happier.

But also, things are getting done on a scale that I couldn't have accomplished in an entire year on my own - dump runs with trash from last year's construction project - fences going to the hoop houses, even a cat door was installed yesterday. And, I've got to say, the fact that I haven't done dishes in a week is bliss. Utter bliss. A small price to pay for more food in the pot.

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