Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March 5th

 This Morning went as smooth as it could have, considering the circumstances. I woke up around eight in the morning from a good nights sleep of some of the strangest dreams and got ready quickly as I made a bowl of poariage and packed my computer up. I swept the pace out and did a decent wipedown of everything and headed down to The Meetings for my last time to check my email and make final plans for the travel day. I got word from James, my nest host, that he would meet me in Laragh around noon to head to Burtown House in time for lunch. I agreed and headed back up to ask Frances for a life and get my bags. We got into Laragh and I waited at a cafe to meet James, who was picking up some garden furniature from his Sister who lived near by. The drive though Gendolough to Kildare was astounding as we dropped through the mountains into the valleys and long pastures. I enjoyed talking with James about the plans for what we will be doing over the next two months, what hes done so far, and where he would lik to be in a few years time. We discussed some of the current available crops that have made it through the cold season or are developing now, including several types of lettuce, brussels sprouts, raddishes, kale and leeks. We got to the house in time for lunch when I was immidiately set aback by the size and elegance of the property. The first meal was a simple yet delicious plate of rice with a spiced meat sauce with fresh picked greens that me and James had picked just as we arrived. I met the other male Wwoofer as well who is another American from Minnesota. We chatted over lunch while introducing and getting to know a bit about each other. We washed up and I was shown the rest of the main house and where I would be staying on the the top floor past several interesting portraits and paintings. My head was spinning from awe and I i was in utter shock as I took in the place I would be staying for two months. We spent a few hours working outside in the large vegetable garden after I unpacked my bags and got set up. James showed me the rotovator and tools first as we got to work clearing an row of brussels sprouts and dead cabbage stalks. James went over the area lightly with the rotovator to break the surface and free clumps off weeds, which I followed him and picked up in a large bin. The materials were gathered in a large compost pile behind the garden wall. At five we packed the tools away, talked about what we would need to be doing the next day and headed towards the house to clean up for the day. I went off for a walk around the property to see the gardens and trails wich led around the boarder with my camera at a perfect time to see the sun setting above the trees behind the house. There were a series of creeks and pastures which surrounded the main yard area as well as several gardens full of many reconizable plants. I noticed a number of hyacinths and hellebores as well as gallanthus and the traditional beds of daphodils. The place is ovewhelming and very peaceful. The family is very interesting and as nice as could be, especially to be so wecoming and ethusiastic to a student from a different place. I had a good meal of fresh green vegetables, potatoes and pasta with a piece of chicken, then spent the evening getting to know Shaun, the other woofer who has been here a while before me. He has helped clearing areas, bringing in loads of gravel to fill the drives and painting the walls and windows of the main house. James is opening the garden to public April 12 so He want the three of us working working hard together to tackle a series of different tasks through out the vegetable garden and the surrounding areas that need cleared and planted with nice scenery Until that date. Im very excited and look forward to each day that I'll get to work and live in this place, likely getting many chances to travel this area and see some other amazing Irish gardens.

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