My Prayer Today

Today, I embrace Life.

Today, I embrace everything that makes me β€˜Me’, every wonderful aspect that makes me who I am. 

Today, I embrace my true self, and I discover that my greatest love is right here within me, my best friend is right here within me, my most powerful mentor is right here within me, the source of all good is right here at the center of my being.

I need not ask for anything, but open my arms to the infinite abundance of gifts and blessings pouring into my life every moment of my existence.

I need not wait for my good, but enjoy all the riches I already have in my life right here and now.

I need not seek for happiness, but live the joy and love in every moment.

I need not venture outside for answers or solutions, for all I need to know is right here within me.

Today, I embrace my true self, and I vow to love, honor, value, and accept myself as I am, right here, right now. I surrender to the Power and the Presence of Spirit within me, and claim my place in the Universe, my place of choice, my place of power, my place of purpose, my place of joy.

Turning to the stillness within, I hear Spirit speak to me, and I listen to the beat of my own drummer, the pulse of my life, and I allow it to set the pace for my life.

Today, I embrace the freedom to flow with the energy that creates, maintains, and sustains all that is, constantly, continuously, lovingly, gracefully. And I allow myself to enjoy every good thing I desire, realize every dream, and reach for the stars. Today, I embrace Life, and I let Life embrace me.

Today, I release the past and place my trust in the field of infinite possibilities.

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Synchronicity and Intuition

I love it when I have a thought and almost instantly have a matching experience. Perhaps I am thinking of a person and within moments the phone rings and it is that person calling me. Or I think of something I need and within a short period of time I find just the right thing at a yardsale I pass, perhaps, or somewhere else I did not expect going or think to look.

These things work the other way round as well, for instance if someone is thinking of me I may have a hiccup or just a flash thought of them, and maybe feel urged to call them just to find them telling me they were just thinking of me.

Sometimes when I look for something I get a thought of where that thing may be. I used to ignore those thoughts and spend hours looking before finally checking the spot I thought of first and finding the thing right there. I am finally learning to acknowledge and appreciate these wonderfully guided and insightful experiences. 

Now, I often stop and call upon my intuition or guidance from within before taking action. And I find that almost every time I ask and expect the answer, it virtually instantly comes to me without fail. It makes me smile or even laught out loud with joy when I experience these amazing moments of my personal power to clearly ask and listen and receive.

At times when I am most ease and totally detached from what is going on around me, I am often surprised by the manifestations of me thoughts. Just the other day I thought how quiet this place is, and how fun it was when people used to just stop in to chat all the time. It was just a fleeting thought really. Not even a wish or desire. But that whole afternoon people were showing up to chat and say hello.

Life is good. And doesn’t take any effort to make it better. Just some quiet time and focus on recognizing and appreciating all the wonderful things and experiences and people in our lives. And the more we think about what makes us smile and feel warm and fuzzy and powerful and successful, the more of these great good things show up. 

So if you feel stressed or worried or unhappy, sit down for a moment. Relax. Close your eyes and focus on what makes your heart sing. Just for a few minutes. And you will find that what bothered you before has moved out of your sight and everything feels easier, lighter and brighter. And then go and look for those fun things to show up everywhere to keep you smiling no matter what the task at hand.

Namaste!

Gratitude

As the season winds down I am grateful to have received some lovely emails from members and neighbors who enjoy sharing in my harvests and appreciate the beauty and bounty of the fresh food I deliver. Here are a couple of the messages I received

~ Hello Neighbor!

 Holy cats. Those are just beautiful tomatoes! Thank you so very much…

 Have a great rest of your week! Cheers, J ~

Hi Susanne,

Thank you for the email informing us, and thank you for all your work starting this up. I commend you (actually that’s understating it – I’m in awe of you) for entering the risky world of CSA farming and doing a mountain of work – not to mention successfully providing a year of delicious veggies! Please keep me on the contact list if you start up in another location. My husband Bill and I would love to continue to support your efforts starting up a farm. Take care,  Celesre .M. and Bill S. ~

Dear Susanne,

I apologize for my slow reply. But I’m so sorry to hear that this has been a difficult season. And I’m even sorrier to hear that Kate is selling her farm, and that you won’t be able to continue next year. We’ve very much enjoyed our season with you and have loved the many delicious vegetables you’ve provided. Thank you for all you’ve put into this–your work and care have been much appreciated.  Daniel and I look forward to these final few weeks of the CSA, and then we wish you all the best for for what comes next…

With gratitude, Erik ~

Tomatoes

Every size shape amd color of tomato you can imagine! What fun to harvest even just a small-ish basket full for the end of summer bash for the folks at the assisted living where I work part time. 

A Season Review

I have been facing a bunch of difficulties here on the farm that are trying my creativity and abilities to say the least… Torrential rains and relentless critters munching away on my crops are just some of the influences that I am grappling with. Plants not growing or not producing crops is another challenge I am learning to deal with – calling on fellow farmers in the area who are willing to share their extras with me, or even buying things like sweet corn since mine was a complete loss.

There are many differences to Kate’s CSA besides number of members and her many years of experience. There were always 6 or 7 helpers on the farm, and a lot of action everywhere throughout the day.

I am here by myself, there is much less activity. It is quiet and peaceful and apparently quite inviting to the overflow of deer and rabbits and rodents that mess with my stuff πŸ˜‰ And much less (wo)manpower to do the work.

In essence, running a CSA is quite an undertaking. And while I enjoy the work and farming very much, I have my share of disappointment and frustration with the things that don’t go well. I still am proud of the beautiful food I grow and the full bags I deliver.

I had big plans for my CSA – fun festivals on the farm, volunteer days throughout the season, scavenger hunt on and around the farm… But all these plans were derailed and fell flat as time progressed. Too few members right from the start, insurance limitations, Kate’s decision to move in spring, preparing for her move early in the season, and finally her move and decision to sell the farm… Things did not turn out as planned at all.

So now that Kate has moved to California and decided to sell the farm, I will be finishing my season here in early fall, and depending on the sale and new folks moving in, will probably stay on through winter to look after things here. This means of course that my CSA on Kate’s land is shorter lived than I initially planned. I am not certain where I will settle next year and whether I will have the opportunity to continue my CSA on another farm.

I thank all my members for their trust and giving me the wonderful opportunity to grow and deliver vegetables this summer. A big thank you also to my lovely drop site hosts! I appreciate all the support and feedback this season! And I regret not having had the chance to have everybody out here for the hands on festivities everyone enjoyed so much with Kate. And to continue growing with everybody through the seasons I hoped would follow this one.

Beautiful Food

There is nothing as gratifying as a bowl of beautiful food. A work of art created in collaboration with mother nature.

Running my CSA by myself, without hired help, has its challenges and rewards alike. Some tasks seem daunting, like planting countless flats of seedlings by hand, trellising 250 tomato plants in a hot hoophouse, or pulling weeds out of rows and rows of lettuce, spinach, carrots and so on.

But the rewards are plenty. There is the quietude and serenity of my communion with nature. No noisy tractors or machinery to disturb the harmony of birds singing along with the breeze playing in the trees and grasses all around me.

And of course there is the deliciousness of picking the fresh, plump squash, huge buttery lettuces, colorful duck egg sized radishes and bunches of lush and crunchy baby spinach… Handsful of green and purple beans, clusters of ripe and juicy tomatoes, aromatic bulbs of fennel… Beautiful food. Fresh, organic, home grown, bursting with flavor and love…

I am proud to say: “Yes, I grow this!”

Everything grows with love

I know it has been a while and I am sure my members are all eagerly anticipating their goodie bags.

I have been busy tilling and transplanting and weeding and deer proofing (who knew deer went into hoophouses to munch on lettuce,) and irrigating… and more planting and transplanting and mowing and tilling.. πŸ˜‰ And with the recent stretch of hot and sunny weather things are finally taking off and growing wonderfully.

I am planning my first delivery for the 15th. There will be boc choi, lettuce, rhubarb and herb pots (basil, chives, rosemary, cilantro, parsley)… And possibly garlic scapes if they keep growing as they have been.

I am excited to be starting deliveries, knowing folks get to enjoy the fresh and yummy goods I so enjoy growing!

Here’s to summer!

Weather aside…

There is spring in the air and great progress in the greenhouse! As in nature, where the first wild flowers are adding spots of color to the greener and greener surroundings. To my delight I spotted a large patch of violets happily abloom along the driveway! And in the greenhouse, another batch of seeds I feared lost is finally poking its needlepoint-tiny buds through the soil.

Despite early hiccups with that batch of bad soil that fried my first big set of seeds and set me back about three weeks, things are now growing nicely and rapidly and we are moving right along. Luckily there is a wonderful community of farmers working together and trading seeds, seedlings, and advice is the name of the game.

The first phase of deer fence is up around the garden, next comes the netting to keep those smarty-nosed dears from just walking right through the lines… But I will leave that tedious task for a dry and more pleasant day.

A new bigger hoophouse is going up, replacing the small “pepper shack”… This one is literally twice the size and with double siding offers opportunity for an extended season… Aaaah the possibilities.

I love this place…

Barn Cats

Rural areas have plenty of them. In fact, many farms have large colonies of 30 or 40 or more… Barn cats. Feral cats, mostly. Some fairly friendly and curious.

Every farm I have visited is feeding their cats and cares about them greatly. But because it is costly, farmers just cannot keep up with their vaccinations or, most importantly, getting them all spayed and neutered. 

Sadly, any healthy and happy barn cat population can be decimated in a blink of an eye by only one visit of a passing stray tom that brings in diseases such as feline rhinotracheitis (upper respiratory or pulminary infection), FIV, or feline leukemia which are easily spread by sharing water and food sources. Once infected, treatment, if at all possible, is costly and difficult. The only way to eliminate the virus from the farm is to put down every last cat.

Recently a neighbor’s barn cats have started sneezing and getting runny eyes. A sure sign of rhinotracheitis, caused by the feline herpes virus. I am trying to help catch the sickest so they can get antibiotic shots, and giving L-Lysine in treats and liquid form to build their immune systems and recover.

I am also researching possible forms of antibiotics or other treatments that can be administered in food to reach all the kitties.

Having been involved in animal rescue for a good 20 years in Los Angeles, I feel quite strongly about caring for all animals, even those who are not snuggly and friendly, or in farmer’s terms, useful. They do rely on us.

Together with a friend, and hopefully the support of our local vets, I am working on creating a program to fund and host annual spay/neuter and vaccine clinics, and to make medications and treatment for sick barn cats available and affordable.

Wish us luck, I will keep you all posted on our progress. If you have ideas, connections, or time and energy to help us with this project, please contact me! All support is appreciated.

Purrs!

Water

I remember years ago, I was living in Los Angeles at the time, wondering why we had to pay for water and why it cost so much. And reading reports about how dirty our tap water actually is… Bacteria, fecal particles, skin and other bio matter and all kinds of icky stuff that was found in the water we so readily drink straight from the tap. And that is served to us in restaurants, hotels and eateries everywhere.

Considering the source of our water in LA, as in most other metro areas, are reservoirs of used water, recycled over and over… Water that ran through sinks and bath tubs and car washes and toilets, ran down sewers and eaves and dirty sidewalks … Recycled and returned to us.

Oh the money we spend on water filters and bottled mountain spring water to reassure us that we drink clean, healthy water. Sucking on our water bottles 24/7 believing that we need to replenish our bodies continuously… While in reality we are feeding our bodies the very dirt, germs and bacteria we so desperately try to protect ourselves from with all the soaps and foams and sprays we can find.

Out here in the country, things are simpler for sure. First of all, getting dirty is a promise, and nobody bothers with antibacterial soaps. We embrace nature and our bodies naturally adjust, as they are designed to. Our water comes straight from an underground vein through a sand point well. Off and on we stop at a natural spring in the woods to fill up water bottles for drinking. The water there is so clean and fresh, and now with temperatures below zero, ice cold, even the best commercial copy writer could not capture the taste in words.

And best of all: it’s free. Cheers!