I love working with my Amish carpenter neighbors… Relentless when it comes to climbing up on steep barn roofs and along rafters to get the job done… But just as quickly swayed by the mid day heat to let work be work and call it a day.
The best thing on a hot summer’s day when work just doesn’t cut it… Grab the fishing pole and some bait and head out to the lake…
Well, I am not big on poking hooks thru worms so I sit on the landing dangling my feet in the water and soaking in the peace and quiet while minnows swarm around my feet beggimg for treats.
And of corse I cannot help myself noticing the beauty of nature all around! From the family of loons enjoying a leisurely swim around the clear lake to hundreds of baby tree frogs bouncing around in the greens to the lush flowers beckoning from the water’s edge to snap some pics…
Yep, it sure beats work!
Yesterday was this Winter’s first real snow storm. For hours the snow was blowing in heavily and all you could see was white furious flurry and the vague shadows of trees battered in the wind.
Today the sun is shining, the storm is over, calm is restored. It is gorgeous outside. It is peaceful and I’m enjoying digging my way through the snow, out the front door, to the barn, and to all the spots where I feed the birds.
The birds are happy and are gratefully crowding the feeders. Woodpeckers, blue jays, cardinals, sparrows, starlings… It is a regular feeding frenzy out there.
I am waiting for the snow plow to clear my driveway and I am glad I don’t need to leave yet… I surely would be stuck as soon as I kicked the car in reverse. In some spots the snow is knee deep, in others just high enough to lap over the edge of my boots.
I wish I had a one horse sleigh… This would be the perfect day to take my Percheron mare out for a little joy ride!
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.
Treat bags… Check. Pumpkin…. Check. I’m on top of it!
I love the cooler weather and the changing colors of nature all around. The farming season is done with my last delivery gone out this past Thursday. And now comes the ckean up. Putting the harvest shed back in order, tucking away deer fences and seeding supplies, clearing the greenhouses and tying up loose ends…
I am still waiting for my pumpkins to change color… With the lack of sun and recent cooler weather they are lagging a bit behind… So are my green beans, and there are still a few eggplant and peppers and watermelons limping along, too.
I had hoped for a fall delivery for Thanksgiving, planned on raising turkeys and putting together a harvest meal in a box, but I am glad I decided not to. Once the season got rolling, there was little wiggle room to fit any more work into the days. And now I am grateful to be done with the tight schedule and the long drive for the deliveries every week.
It is time to slow down, breathe, put my feet up and enjoy life a little more, ponder what might come next. I am looking forward to finding a farm to call my own, to still grow vegetables and flowers, if not for a second CSA season, then for a farmers market or just a farm stand in the driveway… And to realize some of my ambitions to raise more animals… Like a cow or rwo for milking, sheep or goats and a few turkeys… I have a dream!
And I finally have the time to work on some artsy projects, some of which I intend to sell at the upcoming art fair and christmas boutique.
Fall, time to fall in love with life again!
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 ~
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.
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 😉 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.
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!”
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.. 😉 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!