Back in the swing?

It's become pretty clear to me that I'm simply out of practice with this whole writing thing. Once I get going, it's good. I think the past year I needed some flexibility, some brain rest, some simplicity and presence. But now I want to get back in the swing. I write half entries all the time, then give up and erase it a few days later when it no longer feels relevant. I'm not going to make resolutions about how often I will write- we're much too busy for me to torture myself like that. But I do resolve not to erase my writing anymore. I'd have at least 3 posts published if I hadn't erased them over the past month. That's something!

Kids. I love them so. The only one missing from this picture is sweet Eli who, being the oldest and most experienced about such things, was bitter about the first day of school- later claiming it to be "prison" (he has since found his new school to be a happy place!). I swear, these kids make my heart burst all the time. Vera and Lilly are going to a little democratic free school 3 days a week. This was a leap for us, but it's very in line with my educational philosophy. They are thrilled. I'll be updating more about this as it unfolds. Asa and Jude posed in the picture, we didn't want them feeling left out. I have to say, while I miss our girls, the quiet focused time with the little boys is really nice.

The farm stuff is settling down. I'll go into more detail soon about what the farm drama has been. Right now the whole situation still feels in progress, so I wouldn't feel right divulging too much information. But what I can say is that we are stable now, setting up in a new location. Now we are getting a big fat check from an awesome grant program to buy a bunch of new equipment and a hoop house. It's happening. We are tired. We are happy. We learned a lot this year, probably more than we realize at this point.

Anyway, we've been rebuilding our whole operation. We had scheduled volunteer work days at our new farm site, but on one day things didn't go as planned- we didn't have enough compost and stuff to keep everyone busy. So we had to think quick and change plans. We decided the best thing to do would be to bring everyone to the urban farm and work on these old raised beds.

The result surprised me. 4 volunteers showed up, and we cleaned up the whole place in a couple of hours. I found myself feeling a little emotional about it. This, the home site. We all neglected it in favor of bigger things, but that always felt wrong to me. Just having a few people show up and help care for it for a morning made me feel so loved. This place started things really rolling for me. I used to spend every day walking through this space, feeling it change me and connect me further to… whatever that magical thing is. It looks small to me now. Things change so fast. Here's a before picture for reference:

And after.

I'm experimenting with using corn husks as mulch. I figure it's a plentiful resource and it breaks down slowly. I just put a bunch down in the walkways at the home site and covered it with a little straw. We'll see!

Tomorrow we're having a special dinner and fire to honor the change in the seasons. I tell you, this autumn is so welcome to me. I can't wait for this slow warm season. On the menu: Coconut squash soup, seafood chowder, savory tomato cobbler, mulled cider… and then whatever else people decide to bring. Yay fall!

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