Category Archives: some amazing people i happen to know

Autumn at the farm.

Panorama view from the greenhouse, which is now occupied by heaps of winter squash.


This isn’t an up-to-date photo… It’s from last week before I cleaned & sorted onions. Now the wire racks are covered in Butternut  & Acorn squash, while the floor has twice as many crates of Delicata, Buttercup, Honeynut and Kabocha varieties.


Greens are dunked, or properly termed “hydro-cooled” in the greenhouse.

Here’s John, one of the on-farm interns washing endive for this past week’s CSA share pickup.


Head lettuce in a wheelbarrow awaits it’s turn at the sink.


Jared, another on-farm intern, bags mesclun for the shares, which are given out in re-purposed banana boxes.


“Captain” Bob talking with the interns about what will be going to market this coming week near the list of vegetables in Week 17.

These are some of the most dedicated & hardest working people I know.


Yellow tray full of Basil and boxes of Hot peppers for the heat-lovers.


Equinox brings changing. This is from just this past Sunday.


And the previous Sunday.


Sebastian (the Elder) cozy in the “cold frame” where tender seedlings are a step closer to being set outside in order to “harden off” and adjust to being out in the swing of temperature & elements.


These are all from the last seeding of the season in early September. They’ll be heading to the high tunnels for the Winter CSA share.


Tio. The neurotic farm dog. 

In a recent/former life, he was used as a “bait-dog” and consequently has some unresolved issues. He loves laying in the sunshine and being the center of attention.


Dandelion greens (photo from last week’s share) at the greenhouse.

Also from last week, I got to housesit with a sweet pup & kitty:


Tiara.


Who loves a good sock.


Genuine.


A polydactyl kitty. 26 claws and toes in all.


At night, T slept on my legs and Genuine slept on my chest.

Best. Thing. Ever.


Wishing you all a happy Autumn.


Harvest & seeding day at Nook & Cranny (take 2).

  
Can you see the hot?

It was warm this past Sunday. 

I tried to post on Monday, but there are many photos & my phone dropped the thread & so none of it was saved…

  
Sooooo, Take 2.

It was the second to last day of seeding for the 2015 season, & Sebastian was holding down the Yin.

During a pause while filling trays, I asked Bob if he could let me know before the cover-plastic was unrolled so I could take a photo of the boxes…  
 He asked if instead I’d take photos of the boxes as they were filled up through the day…

 Seriously, I have the cushy job.

I’ll try to keep the small & large boxes in order (I’ll be more methodical next time)

Above, the top box is the large, their tomato box comes later.

the bottom box (the one with the 1/2 peck box of tomatoes) is the small.

Back to the seeding…  
24 trays in all

10 Spinach, 4 Sylvetta Arugula, 4 Lettuce, 2 Red Pac Choi, 2 Red Mustard, 2 Mizuna.

   
 
“The Nusery”

   
 
The ones outside a little further along.

All these greens will head to the hoop houses & high tunnels in time.

  
Chard drip-draining before being set into boxes.

   
 
Small on top, Large below.

  
Bob sets leeks into the Large boxes.

 “Shining the zucchini” with a cloth, removing any stuck on stuff from the field.

   
 
Small on top, large on bottom.

  
I’ve tried three times to load a short video of Garrett’s hands washing carrots, but WP on my phone keeps crashing.

Suffice it to say that Bob intends to invest in a rotating drum spray method for next season. Garrett is super fast on the sprayer, but I guess the rotating drum is a faster way.

  
Into the box they go.

 Edamame happy dance!

Those were seeded in early June & here they are!!
One of the workers generously gave me a mounded quart full. One of the many benefits of working here.    

 
Here are two “smalls”

Bob knows details about each CSA member regarding any vegetables they may need to avoid…

So every now and again, some of the boxes will have slightly different contents.

   
   
You’d never know there was a lot of vegetable action going on underneath this layer of leafy greens.

    
Large boxes with tomatoes on top, a final sweep of vegetable droppings, plastic comes over, & Bob sets out Brussels Sprout tops at the “extras” area.

   
 Mmmm. Basil.

 
Week 14 ready for pick-up.

Did I mention it was hot?

It was SO hot & all the workers were amazing & lunch was a time of great delight & welcomed rest.  

Blessings on Late Summer.


known & unknown.

(please pardon the blurred photos to follow – they are from 2009, taken on a flip phone, & are slowly being downloaded from my Facebook account which has served as a photo album between 2009 and 2014)  
I know how to see & recognize beauty in this world.

I try to expand this notion of beauty as a practice.

Sometimes I fall into rigidity, sometimes, I stretch this seeing.

  
I try to honor life in all forms.

Sometimes I fail to see my actions, sometimes I can be gentle with this life so-called outside.

  
It’s easier to encourage others, harder with myself.

  
(Don’t worry, Mom & Dad, I didn’t get another tattoo – it’s the forearm of an acquaintance)

🙂

But it’s great for me to see. 

  
I’ve written before that I tend to forget, which is why I write things down.

But what do you do when there’s an unknown to step into?

  
Like beginning graduate school

  
When telling yourself “I can do this” feels like a lie

  
Where does faith come from?

  
I lean on my friends when the voice of “who do you think you are?” presses on like a broken record.

  

They say things like: “have you talked back to that voice question? Tell it who you think you are!”

This has been helpful.

  
Plants, like this late Autum Sedum already sending buds forth before the long Winter, anticipating Spring.

I can learn a lot from plants.

I have learned a lot from plants & this world continues to be one of my greatest teachers.

  
So, I’ll keep on, like the sedum, beginning, again.

& heading in a direction…

  
…like the Red-Winged Blackbirds migrating…

  
With whatever is luck…

  
…and whatever is faith…

  
To challenge the voices, (or even simply turning my attention elsewhere, dropping the habitual thought, as suggested to me) 

Sensing the world 

  
And challenge myself to step into the unknown.


Garlic Pull – Big.

Yet another tardy post from two Sunday’s ago…

Sara’s garlic pull.

There’s a bit of a walk to get to the field.

First there’s the path which crosses a dry/wet stream…

  
The sound of laughter leading through a canopy of hardwood trees

Up a hillside

  
Sunlight – a sign of being close to the field

  
Almost there, just out of the woods, laughter louder…

  
A faraway welcome greeting from friends

  
It’s good to be known & loved.

  
Okay, down to business.

There those who “pull” and those who “dig”

I dig. That means I’ve had years of experience wielding a digging fork so as to be less likely to stab the bulb of garlic.

  
I don’t have a photo of a stab, but if you can imagine gouging a 1/2 inch wide steel tine with the force of a human leg behind it pushing through soil & scraping into the tender flesh of a below ground vegetable, well, you get the picture.

  
Both jobs are important.

Those that dig, loosen the soil below & around each head of garlic with a 4-tine digging fork. Methodically moving down each row.

The ones who pull, grab low on the stem to unearth the garlic intact. 

The soil is brushed from the roots & bulb, then laying it (gently) in piles.

  
   
 
Bundles are made, & tied in such a way as to be strong enough to hold the weight of about 15 – 20 stalks in each bundle, which are then tied via square knot in pairs.

These will be hung over nails high in the barn to dry.

  
It was a beautiful day – and we dug the entire half-acre of garlic with the least amount of stabs EVER.

  

This is the river of bundled garlic awaiting Sara & two of her horses pulling the wagon.

  
A view from the field across the pasture where the horse barn lives.

  
A closer view as she harnesses the horses…

  
Here they come!

  
Connor on the left, & Larry on the right!

  
So handsome. Big beauties.

  
I mostly was taking many videos at this point of the day – but I didn’t ask everyone for their blessing to be posted on the blog, so my apologies for the choppy sequence.

Once the cart was loaded to capacity, Sara drives Connor & Larry down a lane then up the road to where the garlic is hung at the barn near the house.

  
Then they return with an empty cart, and once again the cart is loaded back up with the remaining garlic, & Sara drives the horses back to the barn by the house where the rest of the garlic is hung.

  
While I’m not afraid of heights, & used to be one of the people at the top of the ladders, it’s a heavy job so I bowed out this year of that final step.

  
And it was with Sara’s blessing that I stayed and simply sat in the field & enjoyed just being there, taking in the sounds.

  
Half-acre of garlic, hanging from the barn rafters.

I felt fatigued from the long day of physical work out in the sun, and I felt happy & proud & grateful to be a part of this yearly ritual & especially, with the awareness that this garlic allowed the horses to have hay in the winter & Sara’s daughter to go to college… Well, I felt content in a deep way.


Anchor’s away.

or Aweigh, as it’s correctly spelled…

  
My Elder, who has been my anchor, is away.

But this time, it’s away away.

  
Brilliant, sweet, & at times a grump, my Elder-friend exhaled his last breath this past Saturday.

And a week prior, the Good Puppy, and full-on Ancient (he was 14 years old…) Bentley also exhaled his last breath

  

I’ll try to write more soon


Reflecting a bit about My Elder/s.

I remember the first day I worked for my Elders

  
– though I didn’t call them that then.

It was November 2009

  
And I remember feeling nervous.

  
Nervous that they wouldn’t like the lunch I had made…

Nervous that we wouldn’t find things to talk about…

  
Nervous that I wouldn’t be smart enough to hold a conversation with them…

I had met them in the Spring of 2008 while working on a landscape gardening crew – and we tended their beautiful perennial garden.

  
It’s funny to reflect on that nervousness now, because over time… week after week after week, their lives became a huge part of my life.

  
There was a kind of braiding together

Nervousness gave way to a sense of ease

They became my anchor.

  
Through changing homes, relationships, and a variety of other part-time jobs… They were my one steadiness.

  
I came to love them & their dog

They came to know me & my quirks

Their home became familiar territory

  
And as I look through the rooms

I’m reminded of them, of conversations, the many meals, hugs, mannerisms & habits I had the honor to witness & be a part of for the past almost 6 years.

   
 “Would you like some black pepper?” I asked, lifting the pepper grinder

& was told early-on “fresh ground black pepper”

And so, at lunch, went the question: would you like some FRESH GROUND black pepper?

Nearly always, the reply was YES

  

Markers of time, reminders are everywhere 

His chair where he sat

Her chair where she sat

The clock with large numbers, easier to read, marks the time after his surgery

  
A stuffed toy left on the floor, a moose chew toy belonging to Bentley, the ancient puppy

Pinching salt in a dish

The ubiquitous box of Kleenex 

  
Wedding invitations from a grandchild

A pile of letters from another grandchild

Well-worn sweatshirts (which I feel compelled to wear, though I stop myself…) 

  
There are numerous photos, the smell of cigars & cinnamon, and long-lived plants (a few which have stories told about them) like this Hoya now after 19 years, in bloom…

  
For this past week, my elder was home, surrounded by family, lovingly tended to, & there was only breathing…

  
And though I have no sense of what it was like for him during that time 

(He stopped speaking at that point)

It was an honor to simply be with him 

  
A sacred time

  A slow unbraiding

Even now, sitting here, pausing now & again to look around & really take in the surroundings, a swirl from past moments floods my mind

& then coming present, that sense of honor… What an honor it is to have gotten to be in these dear people’s lives over time

  
We got to really know each other.

“We’re such lucky, lucky people” she would say.

  
There will likely be other posts reflecting on them, & my time working for them…

It’s all kinda fresh, still.


Friday at Nook & Cranny.

Yes, well this post is a bit late…

It has been a busy time.

  
Quite the beautiful day this past Friday at Nook & Cranny.

The living things at the farm are growing well

 
Standing just outside the door of the greenhouse looking in

 
Soon joined by Sebastian

 On my way to say hello to the Cathedral

  
Sebastian’s got a Big Purr.

   

Stepping into the greenhouse to gather up some supplies for my time of seeding

I say hello to the Celeriac, the many Peppers, Tomatoes, & Eggplant

By the day’s end, the right side underneath the table was also covered with ten more trays of beans

  

Harit Covert to be exact

(A French variety of green bean, which is longer & thinner)

 
Other took up his spot on one of the chairs in the porch

(I’ve yet to ask about how he was given his name – but I’ll ask next chance I get)

It was a day off for the two on-farm interns 

 And Garrett set out to make Dandelion Wine!
 Tori did too

They gathered up many of the abundant Dandelion heads from around the farm

  
Steadily pulling the petals off into gallon jars

 Petals and petals and petals

 Staining fingertips golden

 
Eventually filling a jar with the gently aromatic fluff

  

Sebastian opted to sun himself 

  

It was a cool & bright day

  

Beans & basil & lettuce are faring well 

 
Sebastian ever-ready for affection

  

Evidence soon swept into the earth-ground.