Friday, May 3, 2013

Farm Kings Season 2 Episode 4

Winter is slowly turning into spring and Lisa needs to do spring cleaning and prep in her gardens. This is a pretty big task and she needs help. She says something to the effect of “didn’t have these kids for nothing”. Ok so you were trying to birth your own field crew? I thought you had a big family because you loved kids and being a mom. It just rubbed me the wrong way. She then tricks Pete, Dan and Bitty into coming over to help her clean up and plant some trees.

Joe is still on his kick on wanting to add cattle to Freedom Farms inventory. Pete isn’t completely sure that Joe has all the details of slaughter worked out and is understandably a bit nervous. Joe thinks he’s got it figured out but Pete hopes that he just takes it slow. Joe goes to check out some Scottish Highland cows and bulls. They are a heritage breed and Joe is looking for a niche market. In the end they decide not to go with the Scottish Highland but rather they go with Angus. The visit a farm that has some Angus available. The silver lining is that there are several already pregnant cows eliminating the need for a bull right away.

Dan received a call from Joel Salatin offering him an internship at Polyface Farms. Joel is Dan’s hero and who the King brothers have decided to model Freedom farms after. This is an incredible opportunity to learn from the best. The down side is that it lasts through the entire summer.

Sam is finishing High School and taking on fruit production. Tim is teaching Sam the ropes and sharing his vast knowledge. Tim discusses the fact that he wants to share his knowledge with his brothers. He also acknowledges that he doesn’t know everything yet. Sam isn’t sure what exactly he wants to do with his life but thinks farming is the best option for the time being.

There is some discussion among Tim, Pete and Joe about whether Dan will stick with taking care of the cows. Once again they are slamming Dan saying he’s capable but will he stay with it. Isn’t he the guy that became the face of the Farm store? He built up a great relationship with the clients. He stuck with that even though it drastically cut the time he was able to spend in the fields. It seems to me that Dan is always taking it on the chin and doing what the family needs regardless of his own happiness.

Dan and Bitty discuss the offer that Joel Salatin has extended to Dan. One of the things is that Dan has always been on the farm. He had the short lived construction gig that he loved and had to leave to help with the needs of the family. Dan went to college and was a civil engineer, Tim worked in the mining industry, Pete worked construction and Bitty went to culinary arts school and took a year away from working for the family. Dan hasn’t had the chance to do anything like that. Now he has been offered something that can really teach him a lot and in the long term will benefit Freedom Farms. He has the opportunity to work with the best and who the King family is modeling their operation on. I can understand that losing Dan for the summer would be a major loss. I can also see that Dan has repeatedly stepped up and done what the family has asked of him. I also haven’t seen him messing up often. Other than not covering plants from frost one time and showing up to the farm store 2 hours late what has he done that was bad? He has given up things he really likes in order to help though. So now he has the opportunity to really broaden his horizons. In turn it can really help Freedom Farms. While I can admit that Dan leaving for the summer leaves a major void and he perhaps could have talked to Joe about it better it really is his decision. Joe’s reaction was pretty harsh. Joe points out that he has more pigs coming and this is a family operation. Says that they’ve been training Dan since birth. Talks about it killing him and Dan can’t do it. Tries for guilt and talks about making a sign for a replacement brother for the season. He then recoups some and tells Dan “whatever you do do a damn good job. I’ll figure it out”. It was the one time I think Joe has been a truly stand up guy. It changed quickly though. Dan hugs Lisa and drives off. Joe goes back to ranting and tells Lisa that she had three good ones and then popped out Dan. Then he starts talking about the fact that Dan is committed to Joe.

This kind of goes back to remark that Lisa made earlier too. These kids were not born to be farm hands. Also what right does Joe have to depend on his siblings without question? If the partnership is between Tim, Pete and Joe they are the only ones they can completely rely on. I understand that they think of this as a family operation. So anytime someone in the family decides to spread their wings (other than Luke and its ok for him) and pursue their own dreams it’s going to be taken as a personal affront to the family? What if Sam decides that he doesn’t want to spend his life farming? Or any of the other younger boys? I think there are a couple of things in play here. It will give the family a chance to see that Dan is more reliable than they give him credit for. He’ll also bring back really useful information that will ultimately help Freedom Farms prosper. Also Joe, Tim and Pete need to put some time into what happens if the younger boys don’t all want to follow in their footsteps. It’s not really fair for them to assume that all the Kings will stay and work Freedom Farms.

Farm Kings Season 2 episode 3

OK, things have been a bit crazy here. Kiddo running temps in the 103* range and frankly I wasn’t thrilled when I saw the previews for episode 4. I’ll do the recap on both episodes and list them as individual posts. Maybe it’s just because I’m tired but I’m getting to the point of wanting to ask some members of the King family what the bloody hell their problem is. I digress.

This episode started with the younger boys having some major cabin fever and acting out because of it. They do not like being cooped up inside. Lisa calls Joe and tells him he has to do something about it. Huh???? Why is she relying on her oldest son to take care of the issue for her? I get that this is a close knit family but why is she placing this on Joe to take care of? That said Joe comes through and sets up a ski trip vacation for the family. A great way for everyone to burn off some energy. Tim decides that he isn’t going since someone has to stay and take care of everything. Joe asks Tim to take over the donut delivery run for him and Pete asks him to take care of the chickens for him. I think Tim was looking forward to having some time alone to just be.

A slight side note. When the heck did they get goats? Too dang cute! Are they raising the goats for milk or meat? Freedom Farm spa products anyone? Goat milk soap rocks!

So the family packs up and hits the road to go on their skiing vacation. Luke was supposed to meet them at the final destination but his car broke down. They stopped to pick him up on the way. Joe tried to fix the car and that was a no go. Watching the actual road trip was hilarious. Lisa has to take very frequent pit stops. I liked it when Joe just pulled over and she went in trees. I’m thinking that someone might want to take away her fluids on trips. Just an idea of course. Oh I forgot the beginning of the trip and the intro with who was going. Bitty’s boyfriend Cam was going. Pete brought his girlfriend Jessie and their daughter Jilly. I guess that answers the question of who is Jilly. If Pete is 24/25 and they’ve been together since high school it looks like this child is his. There’s also the fact that she calls him Dad. Joe joined for the trip although he’s always very busy. Then again he probably needed the break more than anyone. What I wondered about was his family. Where were his girlfriend and kids? More things that make you go “hmmmm”.

The family arrives at the rental home and it is gorgeous. It looked absolutely huge. It showed the boys going snowboarding. It was Dan’s first time to try snowboarding. He didn’t score 10’s but he had an ok first run. Pete seems to be the family snowboarding pro.

Joe true to form was attached to his computer and cell phone constantly working. At one point Lisa hid his laptop. It was too funny. Joe comes back and everyone plays dumb about the laptops whereabouts until he offers Ben $5 for info. Ben decides money is worth mom’s wrath. It is scenes like this that make the show worth it. The family dynamics are great. Another side note since it was around the table. Sam was wearing glasses one morning and looked completely handsome as all get out.

Pete discussed how much he likes winter so he can enjoy more time with Jessie and Jilly. He doesn’t come out and say that Jilly is his but the timeline looks like she is. He is very cute when he’s talking about how she is cute and makes him smile. He discusses his relationship with Jessie and how he is committed to her. He also discusses marriage a bit. He says that he’s married to the farm for the time being. He also talks about his parents’ marriage and watching it ravel and unravel. He doesn’t swear off marriage but doesn’t seem like it’s happening anytime too soon. He discusses the fact that he and Jessie are committed to each other. Again it really does make you wonder what the heck really happened with Lisa and her ex husband. Whatever it is had to be pretty damn big since it has turned some of the kids off to marriage and there is no apparent relationship with the father.

There was a great segment about Ben skiing for the first time. Lisa expresses her wish for Ben to do the same things that his siblings do. The ski resort they are at has a program for special needs kids. How freaking cool is that??!!!?? Ben was pretty resistant to skiing at first. Not only is it something new which is always tough but there is a degree of fear. Lisa and Luke try telling Ben that he just has to try it and that it’s easy. Dan sees what is going on and comes over to assist. The Jessie and Jilly come down the hill and try to help. Lisa explains that Jessie has always had a close connection to Ben. She did a great job getting down on his level and talking with him trying to address his fears. Lisa talks about how much of Ben’s life has been about hurdles and crossing them. She discusses how hard it is when he is scared and does the “No mom” routine. Hats off to her for sticking to her guns and getting Ben on skies. In the end he decides that in fact he does like skiing.

Just a note about something from the beginning of the episode before departing for the trip. It shows Dan working at the bakery again. Something that we know he detests. I thought Dan stopped working construction because Bitty needed help at the Café location. It wasn’t an easy decision for him but he did it because he felt the need to help family. It was sad because he was really enjoying doing the construction work. So how is it that he went from helping at the Café to working the night shift at the bakery that he hates? It just feels like Dan gets whatever s&*t jobs they want to lay on him and then he gets ragged on for not staying with something or being irresponsible. Um, did he not quit something that he really enjoyed to help the family? Why do they keep on giving him the short straw and expect him to smile, grab his ankles and sing along? I just don’t get it.