Time for an overall, overdue farm update, kinda let everyone know how Joan and I are doing and some plans for the upcoming season!
First and foremost a big thank you to everyone who has signed up for our 2020-CSA season. Response has been great! Thank You!
So, we'll start with Joan first. Kinda rough stretch from Christmas right through Valentine's Day with most of the time spent in the hospital while the doctors could only scratch their heads and say well maybe we'll try this or we'll try that. Nothing was working. Complicated chronic illnesses can be very tough to manage. Finally by the 3rd week or so of February we were able to say, okay blood counts are coming up, thinking we can let you go home safely. Of course getting out of the hospital required a Medical shipment from the West Coast directly to LaGuardia in NY directly to the farm by special delivery late one night. Thankful for that one. Joan's counts have been on the positive side now for two weeks and holding good. Lot's of positive vibes there! A little concerned about COVID-19 for Joan with her compromised system. We'll keep her here on the farm, isolation (She's perfectly cool with that, as most of you already know) and when the wave rolls by we'll hold our breath, duck our heads under the nasty wave and come up healthy on the other side. We're keeping the TV off for the most part. Music right now is the priority. And it sounds good, peaceful and great therapy.
IN THE MEANTIME:
Farmer Don, new offseason job running delivery vans for Amazon out of Hazelton. Started before the holidays, around Oct 1st. All over NEPA, but mostly Pottsville and the Poconos. Need a tour guide for your Yuengling Brewery visit, I'm the guy, know Pottisville like the back of my hand. All the while I have a lump on my neck that just won't go anywhere. Joan, "get that looked at" me okay sometime...a few weeks go by ....Joan, "get that looked at" ...me sometime soon, you get the jist of what I'm saying. Fast forward to February, finally a first visit, with the Doctor saying "I can have Pathology here right away for a table side biopsy" Okay, lets roll. "Well Mr. Hess you have cancer." Yea, okay kinda thought the neck lump wasn't a mosquito bite. So, off to PET scans, a biopsy operation and plan to move forward. The only way right! Otherwise no Farmer Don. No Farmer Don = No Dancing Hen Farm, no community, nothing Joan and I live for and enjoy! "Mr. Hess, 97% survival rate". okay sounds good, I'm in! Now the plan. Gotta meet the Tumor Board. Can we do this at Turkey Hill, maybe over an IPA or 6. "sorry can't do that". I tried. "two surgeries over the course of one week" "Robot". Okay, I can handle this, let's do this as soon as possible to be ready for upcoming season. I'll get to know the hospital staff for the week. (all great folks by the way) Surgery Monday ear to ear scar, lump gone, wacked out good with sleeping gas. Gotta get ready for Friday surgery (while laying in the hospital bed totally wacked) Friday morning back down to surgery. This time going in with the robot.( Robot's name is Laverne, like laverne and shirley) Down the throat, going after the base of my tongue, gotta do what you gotta do. Wake up Friday, slobbering and spitting, totally wacked out. "Mr. Hess, breakfast, pureed french toast w/syrup and a side of puree bacon. YUM. Not Happening. Roll over and slobber. Roll over the other side slobber. Mr. Hess, lunch, puree grilled chz. Hello? Not happening. Roll over slobber some more. Finally 3 days go past and I actually tried the eggs, okay I can do this, have to if I want to leave and not with some tube down my throat. Chicken broth now. I ask for bone broth, they think I'm crazy. Broth with everything, wash the stuff down. Monday, Joe says 70 degrees, I'm up at 4:30 writing notes. Get me out today, this morning, now, need the back porch with sun, need to sit with Joan and the pups! Wow, Dr heard me! and I'm out. What a beautiful day to come home! Fast forward to today, six days out of the hospital, eating farm food, great breakfast smoothies and whatever I can mash up and force down a very painful swallowing process. Everyday getting better, not much sleep, too much slobber, but that's getting better also. Feel like I'm chewing tobacco and spitting constantly. Oh well, all part of the deal. Thankful for my sister, Gail, coming up from Florida for a couple weeks to support, thankful for Joan and her body not fighting her, letting her get well while I'm down. Thankful for the Forks Farm community for chores. Thankful for Joan's family and all their support and help. Thankful for you guys, our community for your support.
Now, we get to sit back, get healthy and REGENERATE! that is the theme of this season and going forward. I've been given the opportunity to Regenerate my body in a way a didn't expect. Wow excited by this, a reboot with healthy foods, good nutrition and such. Got rid of those 30 yrs of cheeseburgers in my former life. Lost 25 lbs. Now to build back up HEALTHY! I know you've heard this before, but man it applies now, FOOD IS MEDICINE AND THE FARM IS THE FARMACY!
So, today, we do buying club, tomorrow we order seeds, Monday we seed, move forward at a slow, safe pace, with help here and there! So excited and the warm weather is coming soon!
Finally, friends, be safe out there. Let this nasty bug blow over us and come back stronger than ever. I know I'm feeling it. If I could I would climb a mountain, get out in the woods every day, see the wonder of nature, reconnect. If you drive by I'm sure you'll see me crop walking with the pups, spitting, and moving FORWARD, planning, thinking, improving! TAKE A WALK AND DON'T LOOK BACK.....Peter Tosh and Mick Jagger...with a few words changed........
Thanks letting me share my story with you! I'm looking forward to hearing great stories from all of you as I know you all have faced the same as me with personal challenges, family stories, etc. Feel free to share with me, we can all heal together! A healing community, based around the farm, where you know, the food is the medicine and the farm is the farmacy!