Has it really been over a week already? Yeesh. I could really use a little routine in my world to help balance things out. As much as I love the fray of social activity and damn good food that is my life, I crave a little more order and time. How to implement such things, though, when one is too busy hanging out and eating and making messes? First world problems, I do realize.
Wonderful updates to share, though, and I'll just go point by point:
::We closed on the property yesterday afternoon! Our friends are the ones with the financing, so now this means that we draw up contracts between us and then get to work. We have lots to do. We are wiggling around our finances to make it all work, strategizing about how to actually get some of this land in our name, and trying to get a tractor. Regardless of how all that works out, we have plenty of actual work to do. This summer we are tasked with creating trails and surveying the land, putting in driveway(s), and of course some gardening. Mostly, I'm just so amazingly excited to be on the land. Just enjoying it. Soaking up all the wildness, the moist air- free from exhaust and all the noise… while at the same time being a quick walk from my house. I tell ya, it couldn't have been a better spot, price, or opportunity. Blessings from the universe are everywhere! I swear I could just burst from the gratitude I have here.
::My seeds are almost all here. I split the order with my friend, and we are going at this urban farming thing. We are feeling pretty good about trying to farm this little spot and really produce some food for people, especially before we leave to live on the land. So many plans. One foot in front of the other…
I just needed a picture. Do I need a reason to post a picture of a sleeping boy frog? I don't think so.
::I have a farming partner. I've talked about them a bit here, but not too regularly. Basically this partner (her name is Bri), and her family have become really enmeshed with my little clan. This is a good thing, however it is definitely new territory. We share goals and vision and ethics. Our daughters get along great. We probably share more meals together than apart, at this point. It's becoming really normal. The strange parts are in thinking about how to partner up with someone and navigate this level of intimacy with another family. We don't really have very many models of such a "village", although it's something I know in my gut that I'm missing and that I truly desire for my future. She and I clearly long for a community and a level of commitment that is just not very present in our culture. So, the adventure begins. We plan to move them onto the land at some point with us, and, barring any complications, we'll share a big house and a farming business and our lives. We have some storms to weather, I'm sure. But mostly I'm just looking forward to sharing a life with all the people that will gravitate to us on our journey. What is life for if not to share it with those you love?
Practically speaking, this is a dream come true. I mean, farming is work, and so is homesteading, and on and on. It's been really wonderful to have someone who wants to share this with me, and it will really benefit us all in the long run to partner up. With kids too, we have already felt the benefit of shared childcare and housework, etc. I actually feel much the same way I did about Jeff (although obviously this relationship is platonic…) in the beginning. It feels warm and safe and good, and I'm just kind of trusting my instincts.
::We picked a name for our farm. I had wanted 'Polliwog Farm', or some variation of that, when it was just up to me. It was meaningful to me for a variety of reasons. My lifelong connection to frogs, the idea of transition, and all the healing symbolism that comes with all that is "frog". I love it. I still do. BUT, like so much in life, I had to be flexible. I could just tell that the other 3 in our group of 4 just didn't like it as much. They were exploring names that just didn't have the same kind of meaning, and so I tried to relax and just wait for it. Then, one day, we found it. "Sugar Snap Gardens". It's symbolic in a number of ways. For those who don't know, I've been dangerously allergic to peas my whole life. BUT, in growing them last year, I found a peace and purpose in them that I hadn't realized before. It was definitely a healing experience. So, when I said those words and the others lit up like it was just the One, I felt really good about it.
I'm not totally sure of what the pea means for everyone else, but for me it represents healing and transformation. It also is symbolic of the purpose that life has unto itself- not in relationship with whoever/whatever can be benefit from that life. I hope that makes sense. I guess it just meant a lot to me in knowing that life is a web of a design- and that we as humans have gone astray in thinking that all of it needs to make sense to us and benefit us. I guess when it comes to peas, it was a glimpse into that truth for me. I took joy in watching the life of a plant that, when it came to its relationship to me, was actually harmful. But, watching those around me light up, watching the green tendrils reach for the sky and become just the prettiest little plants… well, I just knew it wasn't all about me. I tell you all of that to say that really, my mission in growing food is not just about food. It is also about trying to sort of embody that realization- just, simply, a growing respect for and connection to life.
Well there I've gone on and on. But. I'm just not done. Quicker now:
:: Jeff turned 29. I love him an amazing amount. Vera painted him this picture.
It's a picture of the land. There's the garden to the top right (all the vegetables). What's really cool is it basically looks like an aerial view of our back yard.
:: Vera's art is rocking lately.
Aaaaaand there's Jeff wanting the computer, so I'll just stop there. I'll try to make an appearance tomorrow or the next day. Until then!