"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.