Two Men and a Tractor: The Cup Holder

Some problems are as old as Farming. Man versus Rock. Man versus Stump. But since the combustion engine: Man versus Tractor. Here we chronicle the triumphs and failures of Mankind and the Tractors at the Long Shot Farm.

The Cup Holder

It is hour seven. The sun is now high in the sky. Too high. And on the Rust colored tractor, there is no shade, no air-conditioning, because it was built in 1958 when “Real Men” worked the Earth. But there is still daylight, and there is still mowing to be done. Grass is high and weeds are working their way through. And the heat is beating down. So the Farmer feels a deep thirst, and reaches down to grab his Drink. But there is no Drink.  No. Drink. For there is no cup holder. Silently, the Farmer curses, raises his fist to the sky, but continues mowing. For there is still Sun in the sky, and still weeds that need to die.

The Farmer returns after the day is done, and finds his Welder, installing a muffler on one of the tractors. “Lars! We need a cup holder. For my thirst rages within me out in the field, and it demands satisfaction.”

Now on a Farmer’s tractor, one cannot just weld on any old cupholder. No, it needs to be large enough to hold both a jug and a mug, including handle. Jug for the afternoon, but coffee is always the order of the morning. So the Welder sauntered into the shed which houses the tools and all things that might be one day useful. After much rummaging, he found it. An old one quart Folgers coffee can: also somewhat rust colored. Now this coffee can is truly old, for it is metal, not plastic. Inside are the same 6 nails it had stoically guarded for the last three decades. “It will do,” muttered the Welder. Large enough for the mug or jug.

For such a delicate piece of metal, only precision TIG welding will do. By arcing from a tungsten tip a high wattage current, enveloped by a layer of argon gas, one can join together that which was made separate without fear of burning or oxidizing. But only when wielded by the skillful welder.

After the weld was made, the Farmer came to inspect. With but a glance and a nod, he muttered, “It will do.”

The next day, as the Farmer ventured back out to the fields in the Rust colored tractor, thermos firmly secured, the Welder looked on. “But that tire looks flat!”

And so goes the eternal battle of Man and Tractor.

Posted by Anja Weyant

Dear Deer

Dear Deer,

You are so majestic, graceful, and sometimes tasty, but your insatiable appetite for delicate grape vine flesh leaves me heartbroken.  Year after year we tend our field, prune our grapes, shower them with care and love and still they don’t all grow.  The perimeter of our vineyards, exposed to your vicious, nibbling, mouth, is trimmed to sad bushy plants, never reaching their potential.  But no more!  This year we thwart your malevolent habits with tree tubes.

Clad in workwear, mallet in hand, we heroically pounded hundreds of 4 foot stakes into the ground and attached the tubes to the stakes, protecting the young and tender vines. These young knights, protected in armor, will someday reach the top of the trellis and produce a worthy harvest, despite your constant assault.  Beware wandering deer, your feasting days are numbered.

Best wishes, until we meet this fall…


Posted by Anja Weyant

Introducing Corot Noir 2019

It was a dark and cold night, the kind that only late winter rain can bring. I needed a new case, something to get me out of my office and back onto the streets, something to move the blood in my veins. As I pounded the pavement looking for trouble, I found my case, down at the local watering hole, “The Long Shot.” Always had an affinity for the name, reminded me of my line of work. Her name was Corot, Corot Noir, and she came with an intense and attractive berry and cherry aroma. I had to keep my head straight for this one, and not let that fine bodied red get the better of me. She had a dry aspect that told you beneath her charms was a deep tannic structure that could dominate the evening. One sip and I knew that I wouldn’t just be gaining a case, but a partner.

Pairs with rich and savory foods like ribs, burgers, lamb, potatoes, Roquefort, gouda, chocolate, black cherries and someone tall, dark and handsome.

Posted by Anja Weyant

Ode to the Blackberry Patch

There is a natural order to things. A progression that life, land, nay, even civilation itself must traverse. Things are born, they grow, then they must pass away. Such is the world we have.

And like all things of this world, our beloved patch of blackberry also went through the inevitable development: wrestled back from the wild, converted into productive farm land, thus yielding bountiful berries. But then the disease set in, and drought, and floods. We fought with ingenuity, with science. We fought with sweat and toil. We pruned and picked. But alas, it succombed to the fate of all our land: from beautiful rows of delicious brambles, to a parking lot.

We loved you blackberry patch. We will miss you. You taught us much, and now we park our trucks on you. But beneath the gravel, we also buried a piece of our hearts.

Posted by Duff Neill and Anja Weyant

Polymer Clay Doll Food


This year Jeff had the BRILLIANT idea of ordering polymer clay to occupy his many grandchildren (and daughters and wife as well).  Our goal was to create food for the 18in dolls that were the stars of Christmas.  Tina was inspired by someone who created a tiny deviled egg on Pinterest.  The clay arrived in many colors and with a variety of basic tools.  The experience ended up being fun for everyone.   The food was not too complicated because it was made with simple shapes and the scale is 1:3. We went through several pounds of clay and the dolls were thrilled.

Felicity could not believe her luck! At the Merriman General Store she found modern treats like Oreos, candy canes, and S’mores. Just in time for the holidays too! Possibly they were not sold out because other patrons, in 1774, did not know the true joy to be found in an Oreo.

Our Bitty baby is quite the entrepreneur.  She decided – at quite a young age – to open her own bakery, full of macaroons of every color, candies, white chocolate truffles, petit fours, and cupcakes.

Caroline enjoyed a hearty breakfast of monstrous bacon, a small egg, and an even smaller orange (kumquat?) before joining her father out on the skiff.  To think such unique proportions of food were to be found in 1812.

Tina made all the dresses in the above pictures as well, in case you were wondering!

Posted by Anja Weyant