Showing posts from May, 2009

Berkshire summer begins

And now, here I am back in the Berkshires, smelling the last of the lilac scent, which is slowly fading from remembering as the thicker summer air seems to be moving in. I am always amazed at the sneakiness of the seasons, how they manage to slide into play subtly. I am trying desperately to catch spring sneaking off; it seems that I came back to a changed Farm, everything had bloomed from one shade of green to about one hundred different hues of foliage--everything from celery to forest tones. And flowers bursting forth in places not even I imagined they would come out to greet the dawn.
The gardens have begun to bloom. The leafy heads of plants are bursting through the soil and starting to shade the ground below. Asparagus and bibb lettuce has been making their way into the Kitchen and into our bellies. The thick shoots of asparagus, which push forth from the ground--a green tipped mound, cracking through as some sort of iceberg tip, breaks forth from the sea--are especially delicio…

love, love, love, love, crazy love

Seems an age in middle Earth has passed since last I wrote. Somewhere in that space of time that I was away from my blog I made a trip back to Michigan to attend the wedding of my friend Stac (and Jay), which meant I was also home to celebrate my Mom’s birthday and celebrate Monster Nephew A’s 3rd birthday (a little early). I still can't believe my little monster is 3! I remember anxiously driving to the hospital to meet my first nephew; to hold this tiny little person; to make promises over this sleeping angel. And now, he is three and full of mischief just like his old auntie. Time does fly, no?

"The only reason for times is so that everything doesn't happen at once." ~ Albert Einstein

While home I:
Slept and slept and slept on my first day home. Apparently staying up all night before I flew wiped me out. I also hadn't been sleeping well before I left so I think my body needed itFriday I went to Stac and Jay's wedding in Flat Rock, MI. My first time there--…

awake--check, watching a movie--check, packed...ummm...

It is nearly 11:30pm. I am leaving for the airport--to fly to MI--at 4am. These are all the things I haven't done yet:
PackedCleaned Mummy Dearests' (and Hubby's) house where I have been staying all week while they were on vacation. It's not really dirty...just need to gather and take home my crapWash a load of laundry (which would include the clothes that I am still wearing and the clothes that I need to PACK!)Check in with Farmer MacDonald to make sure he is still driving me to the airport at 4am

I am looking forward to the time away from community, to get some perspective and take some time for myself. I am going to my friend Stac's (and Jay's) wedding on Friday. As a singleton I always feel on the outskirts of some secret society when I go to weddings. I have a sneaky suspicion that one of these days I may actually be in a committed relationship and all the non-singletons will teach me the secret-you're-gonna-get-married-handshake. Until that point I stu…

my bovine ilk

The cow is of the bovine ilk;
One end is moo, the other, milk. "The Cow," Ogden Nash
I picked up some of my old habits when I returned to the Farm, one of them being my Monday afternoon milking shift down in the Dairy Barn. After several weeks working alongside Farmer MacDonald I am back to milking by myself (for the most part--with an occasional helping hand with a particularly sassy cow).
So, in the spirit of cataloging all things Farm, I thought I would share some information on milking and also one days milking stats. We are currently only milking 9 of our dairy cows, and yet that produces enough milk to provide our Farm community (of about 100 people) with milk (skim and whole), cream, cheddar cheese ( good!) and cheese curd. (We also sell our cheese to the public).
Most people have that very Hollywood-city slickers-meets-Laura Ingalls Wilder mental picture of milking cows. No, dear readers, we don't sit on stools, rhythmically squeezing milk from the udde…


Got an email from the town library--where I have recently applied (for an Intermitten Sub position)--to set up an interview. Librarian M wanted me to have an interview this weekend, but I will be back in Michigan for my friend Stac's (and Jay's) wedding. I tried to set up an interview for next weekend when I am back, but then the Librarian will be on vacay. Apparently we are going to play a little email tag until we can pick a date. Librarian M (at Town Library) said that there is no rush as the budget for this position might not even kick in until July 1st. That is good.

Getting this email was very encouraging. I have been thinking about library life a lot lately. Thinking of what I would be doing back in Library Land; preparing for Summer Reading, getting into that last-minute-what-needs-to-be-done-mode, as school winds down and parents and kids prepare to rush into the library, like waves onto a shore. It is not that I regret my decision to leave library life for farming, it…

the relation between man and vegetable

These pictures show Week 2 of my seeds. If you look closely you can see the first green shoots of life bursting through the soil--mostly from my shasta daisies.

I am looking forward to Memorial weekend and planting; giving the land control of what I puppeteer indoors in planting plastic. I will stay my hands and water pitcher and allow Mother Nature to make sure there is enough water and sunlight.

Lately I only think in poetry (I wish I could only speak in poetry too, instead of blathering through daily conversation), so I turned to Emerson for what I could not eloquently put into words.

"The greatest delight which the fields and woods minister, is the suggestion of an occult relation between man and the vegetable. I am not alone and unacknowledged. They nod to me, and I to them. The waving of the boughs in the storm, is new to me and old. It takes me by surprise, and yet is not unknown. Its effect is like that of a higher thought or a better emotion coming over me, when I deemed I …

growing out doors

"I am enamour'd of growing out-doors, Of men that live among cattle or taste of the ocean or woods, Of the builders and steerers of ships and the wielders of axes and mauls, and the drivers of horses, I can eat and sleep with them week in and week out. " ~ Song of Myself, Walt Whitman
Can I use the same quote two blogs in a row? I just did. I love it so much...and it reminded me to put up pictures of my seeds which I started and which soon will help me do what I love, as Whitman put it, "growing out-doors." In true Farm fashion...I used old empty flats and a strawberry plastic container to plant some of my seeds: Shasta Daisies, Red Peppers, Parsley and Delphiniums. I will also be planting Columbines, Cosmos, Detroit Beets and Green Onions, but those things can wait until ground planting time. TSO and I will be sharing a garden plot. I AM SO EXCITED!!

of men that live among cattle

"I am enamour'd of growing out-doors,
Of men that live among cattle or taste of the ocean or woods,
Of the builders and steerers of ships and the wielders of axes and
mauls, and the drivers of horses,
I can eat and sleep with them week in and week out. "
~ Song of Myself, Walt Whitman

Pam asked me to blog a little more about the Farm where I work, but I am not really sure where to begin, so I guess I will blog about some of the things here that make us unique.

First, our Farm's history:

In the nineteen-teens, the founders of the Farm borrowed $1,000 and made a down payment on a farm in western Massachusetts. Eight people arrived with the founders and quickly discovered that there was a great deal of work to be done at the Farm to make it a livable place. The work and tasks were shared by everyone; others soon appeared, offering their labor in exchange for respite from their own trials and tribulations. (Back in the early days of the Farm there was no distinction between…

I'm not avoiding you!

I feel like I never have the energy to sit down and write about Farm life lately (and I too have been avoiding my journal). The blog ignoring part comes partially from the fact that I don't have internet at home and partially because I have been feeling a little stressed out lately for a multitude of reasons.
My best friend Mummy Dearest wrote on Life in Avalon,

"Where we live is most peoples' idea of escape: on a Farm in the hills, quiet and low-stim. But what we do, which is to work with people recovering from severe mental illness, is far from slow-paced and bucolic. Daily I work with people in despair, hopeful for recovery, but often finding themselves taking one step forwards and two steps backwards. The work is rendering on a daily basis, often challenging me in ways I am unaware of."

While she was speaking of stress in her life from different reasons, I thought it was a great way to explain a bit of our life here and the constant push and pull we feel at work…