Hiking with goats and lemonade

Saturday was a full Family Day. For a sunlit August 5, it was cool enough to hike from cabin to chickens without breaking a heavy sweat. Even the mosquitoes hatched from recent heavy rains were relatively scarce.

Thanks to all who joined us for the 2017 Family Day on The Quarry Farm. Much bush honeysuckle was repurposed for walking and hiking sticks, birdhouse gourds were polished, shirts were imprinted with unique leaf patterns, Red Fox Cabin was toured and the farm animals were enriched with gentle human interaction (except for Nemo who refused to break her afternoon nap routine.) As was expected, this gentle giant was up at 5 p.m., grazing on the grass so recently imprinted by visiting feet.

Next up: The 4th Annual Quarry Farm Jam

All (almost) natural

TrioSaturday morning was humid, just like the day before and Sunday, Monday, Tuesday…you get the picture. The rain of Friday night persisted into the daylight hours, cooling the air and freshening the yellows, greens and amethysts of this late summer season.

Beautiful clean-up

Beautiful clean-up

And while the raindrops fell, the paints and papers came out under the red roof of the Seitz Family Pavilion, this time for a workshop on Drawing and Painting using natural materials. The fruits of a wild Friday evening in the kitchen resulted in a Saturday palette consisting of four different “paints” stewed from goldenrod, black walnut hulls, blueberries and strawberries, powdered paprika, topsoil and subsoil.

Side note: Potbelly pigs are unimpressed by cooked goldenrod.

There was also to be charcoal grilled from wild grape vine and willow, but since the damp air would have lent more slime than smudge to the medium, solid graphite pencils were used to sketch one or two selections from a table filled with flowers from the Red Fox Cabin gardens, honey locust thorns, the world’s most realistic fake fruit, and feathers molted this summer from the bronze turkeys next door at the farm animal sanctuary.

Will Laura’s scrumptious shortbread to fortify, as well as coffee and green tea, participants created two pieces each, with everyone coming up with unique shades as they experimented with the materials. A nearby poke plant produced a rich magenta. Because I couldn’t cook up a good green, each palette was fortified with tube watercolors, but someone came up with a fresh green using goldenrod and walnut. Since there were a whole lot of brushes being dipped in coffee cups (mostly by accident, although black coffee makes a nice ink), the poke berry paint was applied straight from the berry.

I am going to try freezing goldenrod and walnut paints, so the next workshop may be yet this winter. We shall see. In the meantime, take a look at the gallery from Sept. 5’s lab work and check out Nick Neddo’s The Organic Artist¬†for further motivation. This book just arrived in the mail and it is calling softly from the bookshelf.

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