The usual- farming, food, and musings about the state of the world.

Life is very full these days, and yet I'm often wandering around wondering what the heck I'm doing. Living, I guess! I do miss writing in this space. In many ways it helped me to organize my head and my purpose. I bet I spend the same amount of time wandering around feeling a bit confused as I would writing here more regularly. 

I'm connecting with the land more profoundly lately. It feels good. We are working on a plan for how to get out there and build, and I think we may have a plan that could work and would get us out there by next fall. I'm open to other plans, I love my house, but it would be so great if this idea worked. The other day I was planting out there by myself, and the heat was getting to be too much so I stopped for water, then settled under a few big walnut trees and did some yoga. It was so peaceful and awesome. 


Jeff has been having a ball out there. He and our friend Ross (who bought the land with us) have been working away at driveways and paths and gardens. The tractor is really fun, too. Jeff and I went out there without the kids the other day and he taught me how to drive it. I rocked it! I used this tool (that I now forget the name of, but it's on the back of the tractor in the picture below) to grate and smooth a section of our driveway, and it was really satisfying. It was also fantastically fun for Jeff and I to do that kind of thing together. I'm hoping for more dates where we teach each other and share in activities. I personally would love to learn about all the tools in the shop… Who says dates have to cost money?

Farmer's market is seriously one of the most pleasant things. I am no longer stressed or rushing really- the morning of market we move quickly and work, but we're more relaxed and have a better idea of what to expect. We just bring what we can manage and spare, and then we get to spend the whole afternoon with good friends and food and the people of our little city. What could be better?

We've also found that the market leftovers are often plenty for us to use and store, so we have been finding fun ways to use all the extras. On this night I made one of the best salads I've ever had. Fresh lettuce and mustard greens, pea shoots, good quality bacon, hard boiled eggs, asparagus from the market, and fresh local goat cheese, all drizzled with a simple homemade vinaigrette. I'm not sure what it was… it just left me feeling like I could eat a version of that freshness every day for the rest of my life. Bonus that most of it is just outside my back door. 

I'm putting greens in everything lately. Things look empty and void of color if I don't. In eggs, on sandwiches, you name it. Last night I made a pizza with friends (with market leftovers) that had garlic scapes, mustard greens, kale, arugula, and daylillies.


Jeff and I are putting together a catalog of our crafts for sale. It's going to be so nice! I took this updated picture of the vertical planter I made for my sisters and mom for xmas, and it's looking good! I have some more ideas for how to make it even better, but it's nice to know that the original is holding up so well. 

We have been hard at work prepping the first garden out at the land. The cardboard was meant to outline the walkways, but it all blew away before we had a chance to lay compost on the beds. No matter, we have the cardboard to lay down when we need it to control weeds. But anyway, it gives a good picture of what we are going for. The garden is about 60 feet long and about 30 or so feet wide at the widest point. Lots to work with!

Now about half is prepped and planted with the rest of our paste tomatoes, artichoke, basil, peppers, beans, and winter squash. Yesterday I prepped three more beds, and tomorrow we'll make another big push to finish and plant it all.

It has been hot and dry. So different from last spring. I'm itching for the rain, but we're making it work. 

The potatoes are up and growing like crazy. I think I'll plant more out at the land to get a bigger harvest, even if it is late.

And I'm loving peas all over again this year. So healing to grow these beautiful plants and watch people enjoy them.

This is my weekly microgreen set up lately. 30 trays every Saturday. Our partners are doing the same, although I think they have different timing than we do. It's been a very complimentary arrangement. We've been able to supply the market, the co-op (which has received them very well!), and ourselves with no trouble. We're aiming to approach some restaurants and other groceries and see if we can actually make part of our living with this.

This is after they've all germinated. I move them where they'll fit, although if it stays this hot I think I'll have to move many indoors.

Beans.

Anyway, that's just a little glimpse at what we've been up to. On an unrelated note- I've been really thinking about the whole "war on women" thing happening these days, especially in my state, and also the rising backlash against the feminist movement. I've learned a lot, deconstructed some of my own beliefs, and am coming around to a more balanced view of things. It's been an interesting transformation for me. I'm particularly intrigued by this woman's work- http://www.youtube.com/user/girlwriteswhat. I don't agree with many of her premises, but I do appreciate her honesty and willingness to challenge things. It's just further proof that the longer you live and experience the world the more gray area there is. Anyway, I'm still growing as a feminist and feel that women's issues are very important, but I'm also experiencing a new depth of love and compassion for men, which has been good.

One conclusion I have drawn about all of this is that in situations where one group of people are pointing the finger at another group of people (men vs. women, moms vs. other moms, religious groups vs. secular groups, black vs. white, etc.)… well, usually the real problem is the few really rich and greedy guys behind the curtain wiping their brows with relief that people have been thrown off the scent yet again. Time to stop falling for it. 

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