Thursday, October 27, 2011


As often it does, my favorite blog struck a cord with me here and now. Here's a link to SoulePapa's most recent post:

What I've Lost, What I've Found

Since introduced to it, I have always thought that I wanted this life that my favorite bloggers SouleMama, SoulePapa and their littles have led. Their blog is one of the things that inspired me to do the farm internship--that, and wanting to have a goat, work outside, homestead, be self-sufficient...

I've always wanted to use my hands while I use my brain, always a doodler--my high school English teacher gave me a pipe cleaner to form while I listened to the days lesson...
--But you go through life, you go through school, wondering what you should be, searching for that special spot you fill with what you've been given. When you pull out the things that you love most of all those gifts-- you start to see the direction you will go.

So I tried many majors in college.... in the end I studied Philosophy, I have always been obsessed with my own mind, the thoughts in it, those of others, what it all means, what is good, evil, ethical...? I found never-ending questions, no sure answers--and I found that I never want to stop learning, asking, seeking. I love the hunt and it is endless. I gathered a mindful of meaningful mystery.

But then there were my restless hands.

So I went to design school. To work my hands, to draw, to construct, to sew, to create something tangible--something achievable, something simple and useful and beautiful. I found skills, creativity, tools. I felt equipped. --And I went out into the world.

Then of course you must find work. You must share your knowledge, your skills, develop them--you must contribute, learn and contribute more. And you must make money... to support yourself, to support all of us working towards this one enormous greater good.

But it never felt right. The good wasn't the great ideal I had worked up inside me.
I am, to great impossible lengths, an idealist. A dreamer.

So I found it hard to settle in. Anywhere.

Now I've ended up here--done with an eye-opening, soul-sending-reeling experience that was all my own. This farm life was in fact, romanticized (yes, idealized.) I don't want SouleMama's life--or anyone else's. I want my own, wonderful life. What I wanted was the joy that she found in each day. And I had that. I have that. I have always had that. It's always been with me. And it seems so unbearably simple that it's incredibly hard to believe that I didn't realize it.

So now I move to the family farm--a long-time dream of mine, wrapped up in ideals. I intend to use the experience as one of continued learning for as long or as short as it might make sense. I will find joy there in the new experiences, as I will find it everywhere else I go, always. And I hope I go places I haven't even dreamt of and find joy in the most unexpected ways.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chickens in the City

Look at these cute chickens! Don't they look happy? These gals have a wonderful home in Minneapolis with my chicken-keeping friends that I think oh-so highly of.
They have a lovely coop...
delicious greens to eat...
All kinds of love.

And they have neighbors!
Another set of ladies who live a short walk away are cared for by some more awesome, chicken-keeping friends.
They also have a lovely coop...
and enjoy flocking together in the backyard.
Pretty lucky girls.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


It's getting to where I can say it's cold now. (I am COLD. I feel a bit guilty about the word "cold," in my family, we prefer the term "refreshing..." --I am COLD.) Whether we're out in the wind harvesting or in the packing shed washing the harvest, there is a definite chill that sets into your bones. Living here as an intern, I have a bit of my ego wrapped up in being tough. ....but as I sit here, writing this in the very drafty, not heated or insulated granary --suddenly I hear rain --that's not going to help things. Wet and cold is, well, wet and cold. Wet and cold and having lifted crates full of root vegetables and tubers much of the day --that will knock you out. I'm caring less about my tough caliber and I'm more and more excited to be in comfort very very soon.

So let us remember warmer times.... Friday I de-cobbed corn. (Interested in making a corncob pipe? I have a source.) I found a new appreciation for corn flour. This antique de-cobber is amazing, but for any volume, very, very time consuming--I did this for 3 plus hours and made a small dent.
Lucky me though, there was NPR to listen to and lots to think about --and it may have been a monotonous task, but this corn is beautiful to look at...
This last one, it may as well be the fall-time sky.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Any good adventure story will make apparent that triumphant endings are just not triumphant at all if there is nothing to overcome. Scary, but exciting... the potential of the possibilities! And when you know all is well and right, it is oh so rewarding. This summer I've learned that some things are too important not to be patient for, too important to allow impulses. You just have to wait for things to grow into what they're going to be, through the sun and rain, there's no way to speed it up--life will take the time it needs. Patience is easy when you finally figure out what those important things really are. I am so happy to know what is most important to me. And happy for the journey behind and ahead, the clarity going forward and the adventure of it all.

I've found out that the most amazing thing about this planet, is the people that are on it.

This past weekend was again, full of these people. Staying with friends (the best--just the best people) in the city again I discovered a whole new part of Minneapolis I never knew existed in their neighborhood. It is full of incredible things all kinds of fantastic people are doing. I lived in Minneapolis for 5 years and learned I still have so much new to be inspired by--and I am. So here's a short tour of just some of what we saw during our bicycle travel --the best kind:
so many colorful murals telling stories
the work of an amazing program I would love to be involved in someday: Youth Farm
a new Fire Arts Center --I would love to try this
maybe the coolest, was Leonardo's Basement
I've never heard of this place before and it looked super cool. They teach kids about designing and building art with science and technology--I want in.

the random--I always love this stuff
I think it's a dinosaur?....

Lastly an afghan blanket bomb--a form of yarn-bombing I hadn't yet seen--very pretty.

People are just out there, doing inspiring things all the time. I aspire to be one of them.

Someone smart told me lately,
"Focus on what you want because if you focus on what you don't want, that's what you'll get." I'm ready to focus.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The last....

We're still harvesting--the last of the greens are very happily growing in the high tunnel that we built when I first arrived. It has already had 2 successful plantings this season. Last Friday I hoed inside and most of the weeds were little tomato plants from the first planting --little seeds trying to make their former fruits proud. It felt a little wrong to cut them down--even though it's October--I just never want to deny life to a tomato for some reason. There are just a few weeks left. And it's been a great season. I've learned more than I ever bargained for and I'm much heartier and I'm happy about both. I'm really excited to move on to what's next now though, it's so close, I just want to reach out and grab it and get going.

We harvested the last of the carrots this week on Monday, when the farm was graced by the previous year's intern and her very own crew from the Wellspring CSA near Milwaukee that she has managed this season. They worked with us--lightening the day's load and quickening the pace of it. That evening we all sat down for dinner together and it was so encouraging to be with like-minded folks with a shared goal--all trying to do their part. We are not alone, lonely as farming can be sometimes. It was, as always great to have some company and I hope I have lots and lots of visitors, who visit often at my next home.

The last of the carrots, of course, means the last of the carrot pictures. This one is an idea for a Valentine that my boss had--and since I love puns, it made me laugh and I thought I'd share it.

Do you CARROT all about me?
I thought the photo was fitting. Such sweet loving carrots. Awwwwww......

Monday, October 10, 2011

In the City

I love this:
And this:
This city holds so much that is dear to me. I was on my bike headed to the Farmer's Market and saw the bird of prey in the lower lefthand corner of the photo, hanging out in downtown Minneapolis. Wildlife in the city gives me a feeling of hope --a good omen.

Staying with the salt of the earth, rock solid, sweetest ever friends felt just like home. I know I have family away from family.

I went back to visit with no plans and couldn't have planned it better.

One fantastic, always making life sweeter and the whole world a better place... friend suggested an all day craft project on Saturday--involving a leaf collecting walk, art supply shopping, stamp making and fabric stamping.... other fantastic friends joined us, there was take-out and music and silliness --it was fun, it was relaxing, it was an awesome time.
Sunday was just as nice. After breakfast with the clan at the usual spot, where I had "the usual," (always so tasty) I took up an invitation from inspiring, wonderful in so very many ways, urban homesteading friends... to join them at their place for some good old fashioned walnut cleaning.
The walnuts were beautiful and the people, superstars.

And after that, there was just sitting and knitting with such a dear sweet friend of mine, who is just so amazing. Talented, thoughtful, countless qualities of greatness --especially in friendship, there is so much goodness in her. We headed over to yet another rockin' urban homestead to watch the Packers with more ridiculously terrific friends who provided chili and love. I am so lucky to have all of these people in my life. I got it good.
Thank you, to all my friends. You mean the world to me.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Falling Leaves Art Tour

The past Sunday was spent driving around the countryside seeking out the stops on the Falling Leaves Art Tour. The the sun scored the kaleidoscope stained scape. It was gorgeous. Greater still was the talent and the remarkable personalities who held it. They were tremendously inspiring.

Pretty, recycled metal sculpture--made of old tractor parts, old tools, old baking pans--you name it.

This guy was my favorite--I'm a sucker for cute old men, and he made ceramic animal whistles that you have to kiss to whistle. I'm partial to the fish, since I like to kiss fish anyway...

The striking work of amazing painters-- each voice and vision all their own.

Others pulling the natural world into the home, with the vibrance of butterflies and comfort of wood grain, functional earthy pottery... There was so much goodness--so much that these seemingly everyday folk have done. They are extraordinary.

The historic structures on the way were also super neat.
There is so much to see out there... everywhere...

And, I keep thinking I'm going to lay off the carrot photos... but this one braided itself, so I couldn't let the effort go unnoticed.
Signing off with the sky....