Dear Elliot (RIP)

Dear Elliot,

I know you already know this, but I think about you every second of everyday. I think about your Mom, Dad, Brothers, and Sister. I think about the people you loved. I think about the boys. I think about your giant smile and your loud voice. Your incredibly big hug that made anyone feel small.

I remember the last day we spent together. I remember how you had to take a bus from New York City to visit Parth and I in Washington, D.C. even though you would only be able to stay for less than 48 hours. I had just started my trip across the country and we weren’t sure when we would see each other again. You surprised us at the last moment and got on that bus to DC. That last morning we spent together I took this picture of you. We had a perfect day.

I look back on photos from our childhood. E, we had it better than anyone. We did it all. I can say with confidence that no kids had it better than the Monterey Blvd. Boys. You and your brothers, including the Waterbury/Waterman/Perozzi/Tridas/Liebel bros, were the brothers I never had. Without you, I never would have met my brothers. You always made sure I was included, protected, and safe. You were the glue that kept us all together. You did this all even though I was still 6 inches taller than you. Do you remember catching our first redfish in the Me Too, playing manhunt barefoot, swimming in bayou, sneaking into Ryan’s room to look at his car magazines, Tiny, Sheba, playing in a screamo band with JJ, making up new games with Ryan and lil C, and so many more? I do, everyday.

I remember when we had to go to different high schools. We grew apart in the beginning. That freshmen year I struggled. I didn’t have my best friend. I was in a bad place. But true to your nature, you came to my rescue without saying a word. You introduced me to a group of guys I now call my bestfriends. “Do you know my boyyyyyyyyyyys?!” is something you started saying recently. You brought together a group of guys that would have never been friends without your leadership and compassion. This was your plan. You gave us all the friends we needed to get through the hard times and to be there for eachother during the best times. Do you remember Holecek the DD, the BPK, Key West, Amelia Island, falling in love with girls, pregaming at Parth’s, the Spring Classic, vinoy gym, Elliot vs. Goliath, running out of SPH to my car when SPC had half days, late night taco bell, and so many more? I do, everyday.

College. Again we went separate ways. Those nerds in Gainesville missed out. We stayed close my freshman year, but many miles were between us. You and only you will know what happened that year. You saved me again. I transferred up to Tallahassee the next year. We were all together again. You worked harder than anyone those 4 years. You kept me and everyone around you focused. I wish I could tell everyone the stories and memories, but some things are best kept between you, I, and the people we experienced them with. Do you remember the #204, tailgates in the courtyard, puppy Mason, FSU games, Zebra Refs*, Georgia runs, the BMW, the fryer, cory-a-palooza, and so many more? I do, everyday.

Post-grad. You were too humble to share your accomplishments with us. You went to Nashville and graduated Valedictorian of your program. You already had dual degrees from undergrad and you were heading to the big apple. I bragged, a lot. I still do. In fact, today I did. Sorry man. I know you hate that, but I want to the world to know what you accomplished in 25 years. More than any of those Gainesville nerds. Do you remember Bobby and Jen’s wedding, the Nashville Trip, tennis, Ciroc, the last summer home, boots, plans to travel the world, and so many more? I do, everyday.

You did so much. You did everything. Everywhere I look, I see you. Every song I listen to, I hear you. You supported my wild ideas and hobbies. You made me pursue my dreams, rather than reality. I wanted to thank you for the last 20 years, but that wouldn’t be right. You are still here, you are everywhere. You are the best in everyone. You made us all better people. Better friends. More loving. More caring. We will ALL continue to honor you and make you proud. How do you make the world a better place? You live like Elliot. I’m not going to say goodbye Elliot. Rather, I am going to say goodmorning and goodnight every single day for the rest of my life. I am going to make the world a better place.

See you soon,
JCP

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Hello everyone,

Today is Sunday April 2, 2017. I have just started my 4th week on the farm. The days are long but the weeks fly by. I work 6 days a week with Saturdays off. Sundays tend to be a bit more relaxed with chicken chores followed by helping the livestock crew with the animals. We only have 1 day off a week to explore and relax so I’ve been trying to make the most of it. Last Saturday I went rock climbing with another wwoofer and Trevor (farm director). This weekend I went on an overnight surf camping trip. I’ll cover that a little later.

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Sunset @ the Duplex

Adjusting to farm life has been great so far. I live in a house with 4 other interns and 2 full time staff members. My roommate is from New York. We get along great. Everyone in the house is awesome and it feels like a home more than a dorm. The best part is the girls are always baking something. Even though some days are full of backbreaking work we come home to great amenities. This includes daily home cooked meals from our awesome chefs. The duplex overlooks a beautiful hillside full of horses to the east. To the west you can see beautiful sunsets over the farm. The duplex is tucked away in the corner of the farm. The house has everything you could possible need. Not to mention it’s updated and beautiful.

The past 3 weeks I have worked with chickens, ducks, pigs, goats, sheep, horses, cows, and dogs. I have picked and sorted fruit with the orchard crew. I have worked with the the garden team – turning beds, planting, and thinning rows of crops. I have put up miles of fencing for sheep, cows, ducks and chicken for rotational grazing. I have unloaded trailers of compost. I’ve been apart of many lamb births. I’ve worked on soil testing and irrigation. I’ve set hundreds of gopher traps and hit many concrete posts with a sledgehammer. I have learned so much in so little time but still have so much more to learn.

The culture on this farm is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Every person on this farm respects and cares for it. You won’t find anyone standing around or being lazy. The farm is run by people that care. It’s not full of machinery found on many industrial farms. Almost all the work is done by hand. You can look at the surrounding farms and see the difference. The diversity on Apricot Lane Farm is incredible. The symbiotic relationships between the plants and animals make this place special. Every single inch of the farm is cared for. It creates a spiritual feeling that cannot be found on other farms.

The animals on the farm are treated like royalty. The farm uses no fertilizers or chemicals on the grass. The chickens and ducks are grass pastured. We move the coups to follow the cows and sheep. Using sustainable practices we get great tasting food with a cult like following.

I will continue to update on the farm and talk more about what being biodynamic farm means. In the mean time please check out our website and video series in the link below. I promise you will fall in love with the animals on this farm. John and Molly are doing some incredible things here and I’m so happy and grateful to be apart of it.

Apricot Lane Farms

This weekend (Friday night – Saturday day) I went to Carpinteria, CA. Also known as “Carp”. I’ve been missing camping. I decided to stay at the beach front state park. I stayed here previously and enjoyed it so much I want to go back. The park offers a great surf break less than 100 ft from the campground. I packed a small bag, surfboard and headed for the coast after work. I was lucky enough to get a spot without a reservation. I set up my hammock, started a fire, and cracked a beer. It was nice to sleep with the ocean waves crashing in the distance. I slept like a baby and woke up to solid waves. I spent the morning surfing and the afternoon exploring nearby places. I highly recommend Carpinteria State Park for a weekend surfing trip.

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Hello everyone,

After spending the last few days in Dallas, TX with my good friends (the Bogott and Perozzi children) I continued on towards Big Bend National Park. The park is located in Southwest Texas on the US/Mexico boarder. The park includes the entire Chisos mountain range and part of Chihuahuan Desert. The drive from Dallas was 9 hours long and the scenery was flat dessert land. As I got closer to the park the Chiso Mountains started flexing their power. What started with a few rocky formations ended up a giant wall of mountains in the middle of the desert. This was my first real scenery change that made me feel like I was no longer in the east. The drive in was spectacular. The feeling of solitude was real. Read More