We are tickled pink to watch the expansion unfold at the farm this summer! It’s such a treat to see what started as a pipe dream actually come to life. We probably could have had better timing to build (hello hurricane season), but we’ve had fortunate weather so far and everything is right on schedule.
Scroll down for some behind the scenes shots from the construction zone, and visit our instagram story here for daily updates.
Fill Dirt | Jenkins Trucking
Land Prep | Dennis Kemph
Additional Road Prep | Dave Pittman
Fencing | Dirt Road Ag Services & Fence Pros of the Treasure Coast
Arena & Warehouse Manufacturer | Schulte Building Systems
Barn Manufacturer | MD Barns
Structure Installation | Marty Knapp
Electrician | Jeff Moneyhan Electric
Plumbing | Southern Plumbing
Irrigation | Jerry Stuckey
Concrete | MAK Concrete
Arena & Stall Footing | ESI Footing
Lighting | New York Lighting
Project Manager | Lindsey Auclair
We started with dirt. Lots and lots of dirt. 250 truckfuls to be precise. We raised pads for the new barn, covered arena, warehouse and parking lots. Jenkins Trucking provided our pad dirt and Dennis Kempf’s team expertly worked the earth.
After seeing nothing but trucks of dirt come in the driveway for weeks on end, it was quite exciting when it came time to set and pour the concrete footers for the covered arena. Mike and his crew at MAK engineered massive footers for our columns. This sucker isn’t going anywhere.
A new barn needs new paddocks, right? Emory at Dirt Road Ag Services set to work on our vision to maximize our space in the ‘back field’ to create thoughtful paddocks and lanes just adjacent to the covered arena. He has his work cut out for him as the grass grows a mile a minute during rainy season. We’re super impressed with his dedication, efficiency and craftsmanship thus far.
And then one day, as if by magic, the covered arena arrived. Unloading the two trucks from Schulte Building Systems stacked with steel was a task of itself which took two days. The team with our builder, Marty Knapp, stacked and organized the beautiful battleship grey iron beams and then, to my sheer delight, the first column was up! After a month of prep, it’s sure exciting when something actually goes into the ground. The crew has zoomed through the frame erection and are now placing the roofing beams. I think we’ll see some roof panels go up next week – stay tuned!
Ok so, the covered arena may have warranted its own post. Wow do a lot of steps go into this mammoth! We are in the final two days of footing installation and couldn’t be more psyched to see it all complete – and use it! The roof panels went on quickly and the electrician hurried out to hang lights before the footing work was under way. We still have to tweak those a bit but the nearly finished project is absolutely lovely!
We chose ESI footing for our arena and couldn’t be happier. What a professional team! They worked the sub base and installed amazing drainage rock for the base (I can’t say no to an upgrade) with sheeting between each layer. They’re now on the fifth truck of the fluffiest most wonderful pre-mixed silica/GGT you ever did see. I seriously want to do sand angels.
We’ve had an intense amount of life happening these last six months. Purchased a farm, improving a farm, COVID and a direct impact on my family, building a covered arena, building a second barn, building a warehouse, selling a horse, selling a boat, selling a house. Phew. Let me catch my breath a minute.
So when I asked the man of the house what he wanted from my Instacart delivery and his response was his favorite “baked ziti and meatballs,” I was less than thrilled at the prospect of standing in the kitchen for hours. But he only asks for this particular treat on special occasions so I felt compelled to oblige him. He dove right into farm life for me and has earned himself a meatball or twenty.
To my surprise, I am SO grateful for the few hours of solitude I spent in the kitchen last night. Did I curse the farmhouse kitchen’s dated stove regularly? Sure. Did the dog steal a meatball? You bet. But the quiet process of crushing tomatoes with the flat of my knife, mincing garlic (because I forgot I brought a press to the new house, der), and smelling sauce simmering on the stove set me at a peace that I didn’t even know I needed.
I’ll save the details of our last six months for another day and will leave you with the hope that this recipe will still your mind and remind you of friends and family and all the good in your life, as it did for me.
Alteration Option: I’m going to tell you a secret. I don’t use my recipe. I tend to use however much meat I feel like and add breadcrumbs and milk until I’ve got the right consistency. If you like regularity, use the recipe and you’ll have excellent melty meatballs every time. If you’re like me, use it once or twice and then let yourself run wild. The key is always always always cook in the sauce and don’t turn them until twenty minutes have passed.
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork (you can use any mixture of the two meats)
1/2 cup fine Parmesan
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup breadcrumbs (Italian or regular)
1 clove fresh minced garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 tsp cracked ground pepper
1 tsp sea salt
2 Jars of Pasta sauce (see note below)
TO BE COOKED IN: 2 jars pasta sauce of your choosing. I use one Michael’s of Brooklyn Homestyle Gravy + one jar of Il Mulino Pomodoro
In the largest deep sided saucepan you have, heat your two jars of pasta sauce to simmering temperature.
Mix all ingredients by hand in a large bowl
Shape into 2″ ish meatballs
Place meatballs into the simmering sauce until they are snugged up to each other and cover each with a little sauce.
Simmer for twenty minutes. This is key. Don’t turn your meatballs -AT ALL- for twenty minutes. I’m talking to you twitchy fingers. Let them lie. They’ll be fine I swear.
Turn your meatballs and continue simmering in the sauce for another twenty-five minutes.
They should be fully cooked and ready to devour after 45 minutes, but you can let them simmer for as long as you’d like.
Cooking in the sauce is really how they get so delicious. Don’t cook them in the oven. Just don’t.
Feel free to take some liberties with your balls. I forgot my egg last night and it was totally okay. I also used like 3.5 lbs of meat so I just kept adding milk and breadcrumbs and parm until the consistency was the way I like it, also totally fine. The only problem with the double batch is the quantity of balls. My big All Clad pan couldn’t fit them all so I cooked the first set and had about ten leftover and cooked them in the same sauce. You can also freeze the raw meatballs or keep them in the fridge to cook in the next few days.
My fella doesn’t love them overly garlicky so feel free to add another clove if you’re a garlic lover. (Bay Area fam, I’m sorry that I haven’t trained him well after thirteen years)
In this worrisome time, we find ourselves very fortunate that our barn community is private and our boarders are courteous and began practicing safe hygiene protocols without being asked. While we have already been practicing heightened cleaning protocols, we we have decided to implement some further bio-security measures at the farm. Some of our family members throughout the country are suffering terribly with this virus and even though official state protocols are moderate, we feel it is necessary to maintain practices that keep our boarders, staff and horses safe and healthy.
It is good for your horses to stay active so by enabling these practices, we can ensure that you can continue to visit your horses while keeping the health of their caretakers at the forefront.
To that end, please read carefully and follow the below protocols when visiting the farm.
When coming to the barn:
CRITICAL NOTE – WASH YOUR HANDS IMMEDIATELY Upon arrival you must wash your hands with soap and running water for 20 seconds before touching anything. Please set down your items and go straight into the open tack room to wash your hands.
CRITICAL NOTE – SCHEDULE YOUR VISIT We are limiting visitors to two people concurrently and disinfecting between visits. For this purpose, it is now required that you schedule your visit to the farm. We have implemented a user-friendly self scheduling system that you can visit at THIS LINK.
STEP 1) Find the time(s) that you would like to visit and Click on the block for your preferred time that says “Copper Light Visitor Appointment”
STEP 2) Change the title of the event from “Copper Light Visitor Appointment (Centerline Style)” to YOUR NAME (+ any visitor’s name) then click save. You’re booked!
Please include any guest or trainer that will be joining you. If you do not want to or are unable to use the system, please text Lindsey and she will add you to the schedule. Please note that scheduling is first come first serve, so if someone is already scheduled for a time slot, you must choose a different time slot. If you arrive to the farm without an appointment and another member who did schedule an appointment is here or will be arriving, you will be asked to return at another time. The limited exception is for medical emergencies. If your trainer/farrier/vet can only come at a certain time when another member is already booked, we will ask the other member to help coordinate. We’re lucky that we’re a small group and we’re all considerate and sympathetic so I do not anticipate this being too stressful. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you need any assistance.
ADDITIONAL BARN PROTOCOL:
The tack room door will remain OPEN between 7am and 6pm. Teigan and Lindsey are the only people to open the following: tack room door, stall feed doors, laundry, feed container doors, pitch fork, broom, shovel, muck buckets, hay cart, medical supply cabinet (unless in an emergency).
If you or someone in your household has had a fever or cough or known COVID-19 exposure, do not come to the barn until you have self-quarantined for 2 weeks or tested negative and been released by a medical professional.
Visits are limited to boarders, staff and limited trainers only, with exceptions for spouses who frequently visit. Please do not bring additional guests with you to the farm. Farriers and veterinarians are allowed as needed of course, provided they meet the requirements above, but any other visits should be cleared first by barn management.
Respect the 6 foot distance to other people.
Consider your personal risk level and whether coming to a communal place is an appropriate risk for you.
If you develop signs of COVID-19 (fever, cough) or find out about a known exposure, notify your management and trainer so appropriate steps can be taken to reduce the risk to our barn community.
WHILE AT THE BARN
• I apologize that we do not have gate clickers for everyone yet, please consider using gloves/a napkin/etc to press the entry keypad at the gate. We will wipe down the keypad at least once daily.
• Go directly to the bathroom to wash your hands with soap and running water for 20 seconds. This is the best prevention, perhaps better than alcohol-based hand gel. Please leave the tack room door OPEN. Teigan and Lindsey will be the only people in contact with the doorknob.
• While we clean the crossties daily, we would like to suggest tacking up in your stall. The wash rack cross ties/sweat scrapers/hose handles are being regularly disinfected and we will now begin to clean these items after every use (hence the schedule system). Please do NOT use the pitchforks, brooms or shovels. If your horse poops in the aisle, don’t worry – we’ll get it!
• Tack, including whips, should be used by their respective rider only. Store in your private tack area. Minimize or eliminate using any communal equipment.
• Gloves are great – but remember that gloves are vectors for viral spread and virus can live several days on cloth. We all often wipe our nose on our riding gloves or sleeves. Be conscious and try to avoid this, carry Kleenex or take off your gloves after you ride, hand wash again, wash the gloves at home that night or store them in a private area like your tack locker.
OUR BARN CLEANING MEASURES
At minimum we daily wipe down all of the commonly touched sites with alcohol-based wipes, hydrogen peroxide or bleach soaked rags/paper towels. Common sites include: ◦ Door knobs of tackroom, bathrooms, and stalls ◦ Light switches ◦ Wash rack handle/sprayer ◦ Pitch forks/ brooms/shovel handles/wheelbarrows. ◦ Cross ties
We are disinfecting all common surfaces after every visitor – hence the new scheduling system.
We are using gloves when touching your horse’s equipment (halter, lead, fly mask, fly spray) unless in an emergency. We are using these gloves when turning your horse in/out so the gate latches and chains are not being disinfected daily, we’d request that you also use your gloves when fetching your horse from turnout if possible.
The virus can survive on: Cardboard for 24 hrs Copper for 4 hrs Plastic for 2-3 days Stainless steel for 2-3 days
The virus can hang out in air droplets for up to 3 hours but usually falls to the ground more quickly.
• Wearing gloves may protect you but they still spread the virus if used surface to surface.
• There is no evidence that COVID-19 is transferred to our pets, but handwashing before and after is encouraged.
• Solutions containing either 60-70% alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide or bleach (5T per gallon) are effective in disinfecting. Disinfecting will “kill” the virus, sanitizing is meant to reduce the number of virus. Non alcohol-based hand sanitizers that contain benzalkonium chloride are not as effective as alcohol. Hand washing is preferred because soap removes dirt and binds the germs, physically removes them with rubbing your hands together and running water washes them down the drain.