Sunday, April 19, 2009

April 19th- Nikiah Adam and Rosie visited yay!

I explained to Adam and Rosie and Nikiah today, the way I feel mostly isn't "wow this is so exciting!"  It's more that I feel that what I am doing is exactly right, that it is the best thing I could be doing right now.  I feel a calm sense of purpose and contentedness more than nerves or excitement, because I feel more that I am finally doing what I wished I had been doing for the last fifteen years.

That said, I do get excited when I make a meal involving ingredients from the farm, or when there's a new baby cow.  My heart swells when I see the sun rise through the misty trees.  I feel satisfied at the end of a long day when my muscles are tired and I have the feeling that I really deserve to rest and to eat, that I really need it.


Friday, April 17, 2009

List of what we're growing

I wrote this out from looking at the planting chart.

not including all the different varieties.





tomatoes (ten of them areheirloom varieties!)


swiss chard













winter squash





summer squash

sun flowers

brussel sprouts




baby boc choi

collard greens

mixed lettuces

spicy greens





goji berries


other berries

And I might grow some melons


Day 11, April 17th

"Thanks so much, it's been a productive week!" Erica says as we finish up.  We've been hoeing the ground around garlic plants this afternoon, ripping up weeds and loosening the dirt to allow air into the soil.  It's been sunny but windy today, so we never got to celebrate collective layer removal, like the days when it's really hot.

This morning Kaylyn left, and as I came downstairs to hug her goodbye she told me the news: "I went out this morning and I realized we forgot to close the doors yesterday.  But I closed them and they all seemed happy and alive!"  All feelings of grogginess scurried as a feeling of panic invaded.  "Oh, my god, they're okay though?"  We had been left with the task of closing the doors on the makeshift greenhouses for the seedlings yesterday, and I had assumed I would remember so much that I actually forgot about them completely.  This is really, really bad because they could have frozen which could have killed them.  That would have set us back on weeks of work.  Some of the plants are from before I came!

Erica drove up to take Kaylyn to Reading.  We ran over to her car.  A pit grew heavier and heavier in my belly.  

"I can tell her for you!" offered Kaylyn cheerfully.  

"No, I will, or we both can, ugh I feel so bad!" I replied.  We opened the car door and said "Erica we left the doors open!  But they look okay!  We're sorry" Her draw dropped, and her eyes moved back and forth between Kaylyn's and mine. 

"if we'd had frost.." she began, pulled rudely from her own tired state.  

"What a thing to wake up to!" commented Kaylyn.  

"I'm really sorry" I reiterated.

After they drove away I ran down to the plants and looked at them to make sure with my own eyes that they looked okay.  I pressed my self against the coldest box, hoping my body heat would make up for lost warmth.  I stayed there and cried from the shock of it.  I was afraid Erica wouldn't trust me with anything any more and what's worse I wouldn't deserve to be.

In the end Erica confirmed that the plants were fine and told me: "that's the beauty, or not-beauty, of farming.  So much can be ruined by one mistake!" she wasn't angry and she was really nice and comforting about the whole thing.  So in the end I learned to be more careful and the consequences were not bad.  Some leaves were a little weathered but they didn't die.

This week Kaylyn and I have been cooking ourselves beautiful and extravagant feasts.  A chicken (from the farm) stuffed with pumpkin seeds, celary, homemade spelt bread, asparagus (picked by us that morning) raisins, rye crackers, apple cider, chopped almonds, coconut and onions, cooked atop chopped potatoes, onions and carrots, oatmeal with raisins, dates, coconuts and bananas cooked in, and fresh baked bread with split pea lentil vegetable soup were just a few of the meals we collaborated in the creation of.  It's so fun to cook with someone who loves it as much as I do!   

We sun burned together on thursday, and traded massages that night despite of the fact.  Our muscles wanted it!  We had mostly rainy cold days, so for one of those days we went on a little adventure.  Kaylyn used to live nearby and we drove to see her old house!  Then we went to shops she had been to as a child.  "it's so bizarre to be back here!" she smiled.  

The whole trip was a blast from the past as her mom realized earlier Kaylyn had been to Hartz's natural food store regularly for groceries ten years ealier.  Hartz is the H in B&H!  The store is a few steps away from my front door.  Every once in a while she'd recognize something.  "We used to get all our ice cream there when I was a kid" she'd say, pointing to a Turkey Hill shop.

Overall I've been having a lovely time here.  It's beautiful, and refreshing.  Working hard makes food so much more tasty, and bed so much more inviting.  It's exciting to see seeds that I planted spring up as plants with their shell still attached.  I LOVE cutting spinach out of the garden to add to an omelet, and knowing exactly where my chicken comes from and how it lived.

We've had some cold weather, but I know I'll look back on it longingly when it gets summer-hot, so I'm trying not to mind much.  That's easy to say today when it's sixty or seventy degrees and sunny!

I hope this inspires you to plant some tomatoes or seed a little lettuce or buy some chicks!  Or at least come visit me : ).  Let's all grow toward sustainability together!

Love to all


P.S. I may be getting some chickens to lay eggs, if Sam is interested in doing it with me, but that's for another post.

Friday, April 10, 2009

As I settle into routine

There are babies and breakfasts and to-do lists and garden plans.  I feel more and more comfortable.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Day 2, April 7th

I wake

I blink

I look at the trees, hills and birds

I am comforted. Slightly.

I stretch.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Day 1, April 6th

As I write I won't have internet for a while.  There's a password-free network called "linksys" (thank goodness for those networks) somewhere nearby, but I am not desperate enough to awkwardly move my computer around, trying to find out where the signal is strongest.  That may change within the next few days.

I am slowly getting over the initial shock of being moved out on my own.  It seems like some kind of joke as I type it, for surely I am not that grown up, but at least I'm not still crying.

Justin, my mom and I drove through the rain and arrived around noon with my belongings crushed up against me and stuffing the trunk.  After finding Erica we transported my piles of stuff from the car to the house.  Justin and I unpacked while my mom chatted with Paul and Erica downstairs.  I really thought I had LOTS of things to disperse, but my cottage seems surprisingly empty.  

Erica took us for a quick tour of the farm.  Everything is much grassier and bird-full than the last time I was here!  There are also little asparaguses peeping out their heads.  They were really cute, I'm excited to eat some!  We said hi to the cows and the cows said moo.  We also met the mother and father of the family that live here.

Then around two Erica left for work, and my mom started mentioning leaving.  I said "NO DON'T LEAVE ME!" then suggested more tactfully that we go explore the little downtown of Morgantown.

After some thrift shopping and pizza we drove home.  We shopped a little at the on site health food store.  Then my mom said it was really time to leave.  I said "how about not", and she said "we must".  Then, at 3:00, they really drove away.  Suddenly as I closed the door after waving goodbye it hit me.  I just moved out of home for the first time!  I'm not going to see Justin or Nikiah or my mom for at least a week!  I started sobbing.

To distract my self I began putting away the dishes Erica provided for me.  Luckily the cabinet situation is kind of odd so I had to do a little organizing which was satisfying to figure out.  I eventually made everything just right.

During all this a phone guy and paul were setting up some phone lines to the intern house, so I was really trying not to cry too loud because they were right outside the window on a ladder.  Paul came in and told me I wouldn't have a phone line for a few days because he had to figure out how to get some wires hooked up from the inside to the outside.  I don't know how much longer after that I will have an internet connection.

I wandered upstairs.  I glanced out the window and realized, hey!  There are flower buds all over the tree outside my window!  That cheered me up quite a bit.  I set up my computer, which was productive and comforting.  Then I wrote this.

As I finish up it is 5:27 PM.  not too many hours before I'll sleep. I've been here by my self (except when Paul came in) for two and a half hours.  I hope I'm not sad tonight.

A note at 8:27 pm

I seem to start crying a lot more when I am in the kitchen.  Our kitchen has been under construction for so long now that I have this instinctive feeling telling: "homes don't have kitchens!"  And suddenly I feel lost and so far from everything.  As if I'm a little kid trying to play house when I am really lost in the woods.

It feels intimidating to have such a big house to my self.  I can hardly manage to wander beyond my own room and the second floor bathroom.  I'm going to watch the fall to distract my self, then fall asleep.  That's the plan anyway.