Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The flow of days

It's been a long while since I posted here. Life has been busy, and I have been hard at work in the garden and setting up the website for our collaborative farm, Stone Soup Collaborative and the "Garden Ho(e)s blog on that site. Hopefully, my partner Ho(e) will sign in soon with some of her thoughts from her farm, but she is as busy as I... if not more so.. as she has critters to tend as well as veggies. Her goats are kidding and she is brooding the first batch of chicks and ducks, some of which will come home here in a month or so.

But this is once again a cold, rainy day and I am taking a few moments with my coffee, to muse on life... in particular on my need to live life within what I call "the natural flow of days." This can be very frustrating, when you also have to live life within the modern workaday structure, that cares not for the coming and goings of the seasons nor the sun. This has been a thread in my life for years... I recall noting it when all I "farmed" was a 50x50 plot in the back yard of our house in Appleton, WI and that was before all my girls were born. Then I did not work a paid job, but even in interactions with other stay-at-home moms (La Leache League, homeschoolers and our church) they did not GET that I couldn't just take off and play whenever, even when I explained "...but the tomatoes are RIPE!" or that I had just brought back two bushels of peaches from the pick-your-own orchard which needed to be canned.

But in my ongoing quest to live in my own little world (as some folks see it) I still pay attention, first, to the natural flow of days. I have a feeling some of you know whereof I speak... Some days, when the sun rises happily on the horizon and the air is comfortably warm, and the breeze stirs... those days just call us to be outside. They say "I'm a good drying day! Get up and start the washing!" or "The soil is warm and calling for seeds and seedlings" and there is no shame in leaving the floors unswept because you know that there will soon be garden tracks added to the dust bunnies... and because you also know that there will be days like today.

Today the weather-guessers predict an 80% chance of rain and the high temp is supposed to rise only a few degrees, to the mid-40s. I can see droplets on the leaves of the seedlings on the porch and know I will find more than a trace of water in the rain gauge when I read it in a bit. Perhaps, if the threatened rain is light and intermittent, perhaps some herb-garden weeding might be in order (for it is long overdue and being on a rise, our soil does tend to drain) on a day when burning weeds, running the tiller or planting seedlings might not go well.

But mostly today wants us to catch up on inside chores... corralling the constant herd of dusk bunnies (which we call proto-kitties and proto-pups based on their dog and cat hair composition) and knocking out many other projects that need to be done before market season opens (Mothers Day weekend! Wow!) like our Stone Soup Collaborative sign (at least the frame is done, need to stretch the fabric, print out the text at size to trace and paint the sign) and the matching green aprons for the farmers' market crew (which hopefully will also get the logo painted on them). I also bought some lightweight plastic sheeting, tulle fabric and elastic from which to make transparent covers for the large bowls that I use to display the lettuce leaf and lettuce/spinach blends that customers wanted last year. Oh and planting more seeds indoors!

Strangely, folks did not buy individual lettuces, of any kind... but seemed to want a pre-mixed version from all our varieties. Last year I struggled with plastic wrap (even the commercial width roll needed two pieces to cover the large bowls) semi-secured with blue duct tape to keep the product covered to stay clean and fresh. My fellow 'Ho(e)' mentioned having seen the "shower cap" style of bowl covers that I remember from the 50, for sale at Walmart... but for the life of my I have not been able to find them anywhere... not even online in the size needed. So when I spotted the very flexible plastic stuff (in Walmart, of all places!) I snagged a few yards. The tulle I got just recently, on a search mission to find something from which to make a casing that would be sufficiently light and flexible. I also got some seam sealer, as I know the stuff, especially when cut on the bias, will be very inclined to ravel. Wish me luck that this turns out as planned!

But I digress, as that is but one of the indoor chores that calls today and had not been done earlier as the sewing machine had been blocked in by 4' hex signs, packaged and awaiting shipping to the customer when he returned home. That got done this week, the machine is open again and business on this thread shall commence.

Also I have been hankering for strawberry shortcake, and we have berries from last year to use from the freezer. When I saw a new pound cake recipe as I passed through the living room where K was watching TV one day, I Googled and saved it... Cold Oven Pound Cake and I think this is a good day for that as well. I got come organic whole wheat pastry flour, plenty of eggs, butter and milk at the store yesterday (though the recipe calls for "cake flour" I could not see buying the white stuff, so we will see...)

And I suppose I better get at it!

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