Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Just another day

I got up this morning about ten minutes after Rohan left for work. Sleeping in was an option I seriously considered, but I wanted to spend one of my last days of unemployed freedom at the farm.

I had a cup of green tea while reading a chapter in "Lark and Termite" by Jayne Anne Phillips, a book checked out from the library and found through my research into banned books in America. Ate a bowl of muesli with pomegranate and soy milk. Got dressed, watched a bit of a lecture from given by Barbara Ehrenreich about positive thinking.

Chris picked me up and together with his three pit bulls, we went to the farm. We caught the goats and tied them up in the overgrown tomato field to eat, poop and be merry. We spent the next part of the morning weeding the lettuce, spinach, cabbage and broccoli and laying out drip line.

Once the lines were laid we planted more cauliflower starts. Wading through the fluffy tilled field was more like walking through snow than dirt. After we got a hundred or so plants in, Chad showed up. The three of us worked together planting about 800 plants: more cauliflower, more broccoli, more lettuce and a few squash. It's incredible how much food can be planted by only three people!

We finished the day off by picking some spinach and pulling up a few carrots, which will be part of tonight's dinner. Not an Incredible, Amazing, Wonderful day, but instead a quietly satisfying one.

Baby Broccoli

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nothing Gold Can Stay

by: Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

An Autumn's Afternoon in Chico

Featured Writer: Rohan Smith

Note from Editor
This month will feature a series of photo essays from my husband, Rohan, as he explores our new town. Today he takes us on a walk through the streets of Chico, California. I hope you enjoy Rohan's essay and tune in later in the month for more!

On a beautiful afternoon in our new neighbourhood Tabatha and I take our camera for a walk and observe the change of seasons as reflected in the...

giant trees of green...

streets of yellow...

skies of fire,

...and crimson.

We take a turn into Bidwell Park...

where some of the town's young practice their performance...

or read in the afternoon sun.

Our walk home takes us through neighbourhoods. . .

past beautiful old homes, like this one below built early last century.

And this one; Tab's old rental home. She shared the basement of this house with 3 other girls back in the booze and debauchery days of her late teen years.

And back home.

by: Rohan

What's the season like where you are? What's currently got you stoked? Share your comments by clicking the Comments link below.

The Editor

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Yesterday's Harvest

The smell of the rendering plant marks that we will soon be arriving at the farm. Luckily because of the road location from where we can smell the rotting, decomposing animals, it means the farm won't be stinking today.

As soon as the goats hear us pull up they start bleating to be fed. I hunt down the ax, chop down enough foliage to quiet them for an hour or two and then plan out the the rest of the morning.

While hundreds (literally) of broccoli and cauliflower plants have already been planted, there are still lots to go. Not to mention the lettuce that also need to go in. There aren't any fields completely ready to go yet, so Chris will spend the morning plowing and prepping more space.

Before he can go over the corn fields, the remaining corn needs to harvested and the drip lines and sprinklers pulled out. Looks like that's what I'll be up to.

While wandering through the corn I disturb field mice and sparrows who have been happily feasting. How can things so cute be so destructive? Ear after ear of corn I open has been nibbled bare. I hear the rustle of dried corn stalks blowing in the wind and crunching beneath my feet. I open an ear I've just tugged off the stalk. In it, and others like it, I find kernels colors I didn't know corn came in: brilliant reds and burgundies, iridescent blues, bright oranges streaked with reds and yellows.

If it's not the color of the corn surprising me, it's the extreme heat of a chili, the sweetness of a melon or the tomatoes that continue to be prolific well after their supposed season. Nature and all her bounty is incredible!

By midday the autumn sun is beating down on us. The corn's been harvested, the field stripped of its water lines and the tractor's over-heated. Time to call it a day.