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Saturday, June 1, 2013


I've never been much of a writer.  Sure, I've written a good poem, and one excellent technical paper while in Engineering school (among many not-so-excellent papers and reports), but I also failed my high school freshman English course due to my lack of writing skill and desire.  Really, I think my writing is okay when I apply myself, but generally I have a perfectionist's block and tend to get caught-up in an analysis paralysis whenever I try to write.  This is neither excuse nor reason for my lack of posting here on the Circle M blog; it's just what's on my mind.

Much has happened around here in the fourteen months since my last post.  The quick list:

  • My mother died April 7, 2012
  • We built a hoop house and enjoyed a light harvest last year
  • We built compost bins
  • We renovated a bunkhouse into a 250 square foot home
  • We've started a forest garden this year
  • Much time has been spent on general ranch duties such as fence maintenance and field irrigation
  • Not nearly enough time has been spent recreating.

If I can stay motivated with this blog I'll detail the above in their own posts.  For now, a general life update:  Last April Meredith and I spent a couple weeks in San Jose, CA with my family after my mother's unexpected death.  That was tough, and really deflated my sails for awhile.  When we returned I began a job hunt.  No surprise, but there really aren't any engineering companies around here, let alone one that's interested in a part-time engineer.  I was looking for part-time work so that I could also focus on the farm.  I ended up working odd jobs throughout the summer, primarily unskilled labor.

In July I started the renovation of the bunkhouse.  This task took up the rest of my summer, and most of autumn.  I worked mostly when the sun was up, but also into the night as winter approached since we wanted to move in before the snow started to stick around.  I was exhausted most of the time, and generally not too pleasant to be around.  However, perseverance paid off and Meredith and I moved in just before Thanksgiving.

Over the winter I was available to work full time since there really isn't much I can do around the ranch when the ground is frozen and outside working conditions are miserable.  So, I ended up working as a bellman and shuttle driver for a fractional ownership condo club/resort in Snowmass Village.  Though the ski pass perk was nice, I think I'll find something else this winter to keep from going insane.

This spring has brought out a flurry of activity as we start to develop our forest garden.  Of course, we've also seeded our cold frame and hoop house, and have already been enjoying their bounty.  This first season in the forest garden will primarily be annual vegetable crop, but we have planted a plum, apricot, and peach trees.  We also purchased 75 bare root trees from the Colorado Forest Service.  There are 25 each of Buffloberry, Nanking Cherry, and Native Plum.  These will provide wild forage, as well as fruit for us, but will mostly be planted on one of our hillsides that needs a bit of remediation.  We potted the trees, and will transplant them this fall.


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