Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hurry...

These fall days, the colors, the gold fields, still contrasting the dark, cool greens and the cold blue-greys of the cloudy windy skies, the trees' green-yellows, yellow-oranges, orange-reds, starting bright vibrant, stunning reds... this warm glow the sun gives them and they give back. It's fleeting. Soon we'll have to make our own warmth. Get out there and get as much as you can --it's time to harvest, time to gather. Take in it all, take it all inside and store it there.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cloudy, Rain and Carrots


The sun woke up this morning and promptly snuck back under the covers.
It's been mostly hiding under those clouds all week and the rain has been coming and going. I've been rocking the Green Bay Packers colored rain gear daily--Go Pack!

Since I couldn't give you video of the carrot picker in action--here's some of the potato harvester--not as impressive, but still a wonderful time and labor saving apparatus that I am very grateful for.
video

And, once again, --crazy carrots:

The Foot
Squidy
Wrapped Up
Hanging Out
I may be spending a bit too much time with carrots these days...
Probably I am.


Monday, September 26, 2011

The Carrot Picker

It's a beast. It's a little terrifying. But it is awesome. It can pick a whole row of carrots in like 3 minutes.
I can't do that.
And today, I got to steer it (something no other employee has ever had the privilege to experience, I'm told, and I feel very lucky.)
Oh heavy, unforgiving steel and belts, hydraulics and powerful, powerful, tractor PTO... efficient, potentially deadly, carrot picker... it was a really fun new experience. Needing to be clear minded and focused during operation, I couldn't really take any pictures or videos of it in operation--but I wish I could for you, because it's really impressive.
Tomorrow--there will be carrot people... of course.
aaaaand... I need a social life...
Night!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Colors


Can we just sit under this apple tree for a bit?
Eating apples, breathing this air, captivated in color, loving living....
Just sit, and be present, and know how good it is.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tents and Transition

I'm in a time of transition. And I'm excited and I'm scared and I know just what I want, but I feel like I can only have half of it, and I want that other half just as bad. More. But I'm not sure if it wants me. Do you ever feel like that? The doubt just knocks me over sometimes and has been such a burden--and I'm thinking of throwing it out the window and then claiming the real love that's been locked up because of it--if it hasn't yet faded...

Anyway. There is nothing like babysitting a five and nine-year-old to lift your spirits. We built a clothesline tent-fort, like I used to with my sisters.
Buster was very interested
It was warm and cozy and giggly inside, with a colorful and brightly lit ceiling. It's been awhile, but I know, someday, there will be more of these sunny, temporary spaces in my life to come. They may seem sorta structurally wonky, but they can hold an infinite amount of giggles, you know.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Perched Upon.

I knew they liked their hats! As I was bringing the chickens fresh water this morning--one of them decided to fly up--onto my back--and say hello. She kinda smelled like chicken poo and I instantly felt like a crazy bird lady in the park --but I had to try to take a photo anyway. My camera was set on video though--so here's what I got.

video
I've been roosted. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cold Hands, Warm Hearts

Today was cloudy and windy and rainy and, cold(-ish. I can't really say that it's cold yet, can I?) So I'm a bit even more tired at the end of this day and my cheeks and nose and hands are a rosy red, courtesy of the elements. But I still loved being outside today (at least as long as my energy level was high enough for me to process it) and the hot shower is never so wonderful as it is when you feel really quite chilled. Armed with only a hard-boiled egg for breakfast (I woke up late this morning, real real late...5 minutes prior to start) I did think out loud in my sleepy state that windshield wipers for my glasses might be nice--my co-worker suggested that I Rain-X them... I liked that, and I smile and think maybe I will... I've heard good things about the product.

In need of inspiration and encouragement and comforting these days --farming is rewarding but tough, and following your heart and your dreams in one way, can seem to fight the following of your heart and dreams in other ways. It's just hard to know the right direction sometimes... lots of times...

Tonight I'm looking to the Dalai Lama for reason and purpose:

As people alive today, we must consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any other. It is therefore part of our responsibility toward others to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy, if not healthier, than we found it.

To conquer oneself is a greater victory than to conquer thousands in a battle.

There is a saying in Tibetan, “Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.” No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.


Never say never. Ever. Always hope. Always try... and then try harder. We each matter more than we know. Kindness is always possible. Love with reckless abandon, sometimes silently, always patiently. --because you are what you love, not what loves you.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Most This Amazing Day

This morning must have sensed my last night's loneliness and decided to be particularly gorgeous. One of my favorite e. e. cummings poems came to heart and mind.
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Though the fields are turning an autumn gold, there is still plenty of work to do. Always. Tomatoes are past us now, and I have to thank them for my new arm strength. I've named my biceps "Big Beef" and "Nyagous" (an heirloom variety) --for the two types we grew the most of. I'm thinking of switching it up to "Butternut" and "Sugar Dumpling" in honor of the squash pretty soon here. Those full crates are serious stuff.
As I work I'm thinking ahead--there is a little over a month of time between myself and my move to the family farm and I'm seeking a new job. Reverting back to gardener mode, (ok Extreme Gardener mode--1/4 acre solo, is going to be intense) it will be nice to give my body a break from all this manual labor. My one hope is that my new job will give me the conscience fulfillment that I have now. It is so important to me. The search is on.

I thought some of you might be excited to know that Buster, has lost weight. (It's true!) He is a noticeably lighter, slightly visibly trimmer kitty and "much" more active (ok, so still not that active, but he really wasn't before.) Anyways, it's very inspiring. If he can do it, seriously... anyone can.
and I can't resist sharing this super short clip of a couple escapee chickens running for their lunch. They're so fast! It just makes me giggle.
video

Monday, September 19, 2011

Digging Deep

I have been given a lot of credit for leaving the type of job I know--the type that is somewhat predictable and pays well enough. I have been told it's brave.
But really, leaving the job was pretty easy for me.

I have never done work like this--and though it's not a career power-move, it has been worth the pay cut. At the end of the day, I feel good about my work. I feel like my small imprint on the planet is for the better--for everyone. And I hope I'm right about that. And I hope it's all worth it. I have to believe that it is. That it will be.

The hard part, is leaving and missing people I care about (but seeing as many of them as much as possible!) leaving familiar places and their comforting conveniences, treasured frequent gatherings, important and vibrant diverse culture, nights in with the best company... leaving (but holding on to) memories...

It's hard.

It's hard to let go, and I'm not sure that can leave it all...
I won't let the important things slip away.

Fall here means life and loss. All that we have been working at so hard, keeping all this life alive and flourishing...nurturing these plants that give us this food to sustain us through the cold, from what seems like such a long time ago, but doesn't either.

They are dying. But they are still giving.
They are emerging out of the fade in all their glorious color...
And we have some new fleeting life...
And also, the kind of life that is just starting to flame again, but will fire and burn out, --to a winter statue.
We wait and life will come back to it, with breath again, like a phoenix, in the spring.
Some things are worth the wait. And those things are good.

I think one of the reasons I love the sky so much (besides that it is so darn pretty) is because the horizon is always changing, but always steady. Sometimes it's cloudy but even then, it's beautiful. And I never ever doubt it will clear up, as well I know it will cloud again.
It will bring the sunrise and the sunset of each new day. I only need choose what to do with each one that it brings.

And I am digging deep to seek out the answer, to make my choice. Always. Each and every day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

First Frost

The sky was stunning this morning and the air was crisp --refreshingly fall.
Along with the usual harvest-type things we do on Wednesdays, we took some time today to prepare for the likely frost tonight. We tucked in the peppers and the squash, protecting them, warm and cozy.
prepped row cover for the squash
covered peppers

Buster and I are tucked in too. Snuggling close for extra warmth, both enjoying a little helpful heat via the electric blanket from Mom. The season is slowing, the sleeping weather is prime and the woolens are out for a good long while now.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I can't help myself....

I am just really into the carrots...
This one looks like it could fly around like a carrot super-hero!

It reminds me of the gallant Captain Vegetable...

This little carrot is more relaxed...
Carrot bobble-head...
Just a beautiful one...

On delivery last week there was a semi full of trash on the highway. It is such a bummer how much we waste. How we buy and we buy, whenever we feel like it. Often hardly thinking about it at all. Often things we don't need and don't want a few months, days, sometimes hours later. And then we trash and we trash. Often we don't think about it at all. The truck takes it away and we never have to see it again.
But it doesn't go away. It's often shipped to other, less fortunate countries--because we pay them to take it, so we don't have to look at it. Seems pretty selfish and unfair to me. They are in a position where they need the money (that we so often spend frivolously,) and we take advantage.

Join me in thinking before you buy to reduce what you throw. Reusing and reducing more than recycling to conserve resources and energy. We can all do a little and it amounts to a lot--I mean, just look at all the trash we make! --just by buying, little by little! If we stop, if we change our ways little by little, we can reduce just as much.

I urge you to watch this awesome video if you haven't already.
It has really informed and inspired me.

Let's do what we can. Yeah? I want the world to stay beautiful for generations to come, for all people (even carrot people!) and no amount of rationalizing why I might need something I don't is worth contributing to hurting it. How about you?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fall Now

It's fall. I declare it.

It's difficult to stop myself from thinking, dreaming, anticipating forward. The seasons move me through time fast, marking it with memories, creating a want to hurry up and make more, to get to the greener pasture that lives in my dreams for what I want my life to be--that will forever be changing, moving, growing. Always on the horizon.

But it's good now and I need to remember to stop and savor it. Summer is inevitably too busy and too short and too fun and the first snowfall always gives me a happy flutter. But really I have never had enough of fall.

These beautiful sunny days. Warm in the sun, cool in the shade, sweet smokey, dry leafed breezes. Cozy nights fading to darkness faster all the time.

It's time to hug-wrap your shoulders tight after a hot shower--so cozy like mom used to do after swimming. To sip warm drinks and linger over them, soaking in the steaminess. Put on your toasty woolens, take them off for the warm daytime and back on, sitting up before bed. To lie down in the cool September grass, before it's hard and corse and then buried under frozen crystals.

I love fall.
I don't want to say goodbye to summer, luckily fall helps us step away from it sweetly--slightly at first until all the sudden.... the tree leaves are aflame with color--and then the fire is blown out like a match, to cold winter. But not yet. Taking the time to truly fully enjoy it, to breath it all in, stop and stare at it, be in it. And tuck away the thoughts that already drift to snow for awhile longer, while slowly letting the clinging to summer go...


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Weekend and Labor Day Laboring

It was my weekend to be at the farm again and since I couldn't wander off for the holiday weekend, friends wandered my way. We enjoyed the cool, clean fall air camping at Nugget Lake. (I wrote about Nugget Lake here in the spring.) They helped me with my farm chores (and then some,) and we visited some new neato places together....
A beautiful spot, good food (yep, those tiny lobster things are crawfish,) fishing, live music, cute kiddos and dogs running all around
--I'd recommend a visit here to anyone.

There was also lovely local art....
and the corny kinds of things I love

On Labor Day, we labored on the farm (that's why they call it that--right?)
But how could you mind when your job is to pick the prettiest flour corn I have ever seen?
(I wrote about its mesmerizing seed here a few months ago.)
It's called Mandan Bride and the pictures don't do it justice--it's just gorgeous.

Today we tied up cauliflower, which is sizing up nicely
I like how the leaves look in a little ponytail
and tomorrow we'll harvest the season's first cabbage (yum)
--I can't wait to try it and my first ever attempt at making kraut
Next week we'll harvest winter squash, the summer squash is done for the year...it really is fall now, isn't it?