Monday, April 29, 2013

Little patch of shelter

I thought I'd share a bit about what's going on in our sun porch right now.

I've been awfully busy starting seeds early - thank goodness b.c. with this late spring who knows when we'd have been pulling in a harvest!
Nope, not sowing them all but close!

My fav little spot right now is my potting table. It's a well loved enamel top table that belonged to my husband's grandmother. It will be our work table in our tiny little home once it's built. But for now; it's where I sow seeds, look out the windows and daydream, and soak up some sun without the cold wind to rip the warmth away from me.
Surface of my 'potting table'

I've purchased a gardening apron made of sturdy canvas with just right pockets. I'm not at all afraid to get this one dirty and wipe my grimy hands on its front more oftener than not.

And if we have any reservations about having enough food this season; let me present to you 157 Copenhagen Market cabbages and at least 200-300 leeks, 40 broccoli, 100 escarole and 65 tomatoes not to mention 225 onions already in the ground.

We found an inexpensive way to transplant from egg cartons to plastic cups ($1.99 for 100). I don't like using plastic but I console myself with the fact that we'll likely use them repeatedly and when they are completely un-usable, I'll recycle them.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Sound of Silence

Silence is underrated.

"Hello darkness my old friend....."

When we get a moment of it we don't know what to do so we fill it with thought, speech, and what was for a moment rare and beautiful, is no longer.

(or FEEL for that matter)

I think I miss quite a lot by talking so much. I used to think that talking got what was going on inside my head (you know, that superhighway of thought) out and therefore alleviated some of the 'traffic' between my ears.

( cream)

Today I took a vow of silence.  

For an indeterminate period of time and with some exceptions (prayer and in group settings) I will not speak. What I'm already discovering is that my mental traffic has actually slowed down a bit. I'm experiencing a level of contemplation I don't normally.

There is a modicum of peace in refraining from flapping your jaw unnecessarily. If I must communicate I write it down. There's the real deal: I have to think through what I want to communicate. I can't create doilies (as writing one down would take a year) and I can't offend, sound snide, use the wrong word etc. because I have to put it down on paper.

I think I may have found the key to effective communication. Everyone must write everything down first.

Imagine how much shorter the laws would be, how much simpler life would be if we would simply:

Think before speaking

Bwahahah.  And don't forget to laugh at yourself.......and your relatives.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood....."

When you have just bought a piece of land that's seen no action for 10 years, it's not too surprising that a little at a time, the neighbors start trickling in.

It's been a few weeks of us making steady trips to our parcels and in that time I've gotten a good sense of what we're up against, in for and blessed with in our neighbors.

First there was the Native American lady who tried to scare us with ghost stories and snide mention of how she nearly bought our place.

Then there was the walking lady who stopped to genuinely wish us well, kindness oozing from her smile and eyes, charm coming out of her mouth with every word. Ever read Anne of The Island? Looks like we will be having Miss Lavender for a neighbor and we are both more than thrilled.

Then there was the man who owned the land next to us (it's vacant) who stopped to see what we were doing, what our plans were, nose about, see if we were going to sell ours to him or possibly if he could sell his to us. That visit was quite confusing.

Then there was the lady whose cat has been camping out at our property, urinating and defecating in the old farm house, smelling it up badly. She stopped to tell us she's been trying to catch the durned thing. I think she needs to try harder.

Then there was the family that tried to tell us that the property line was three feet further in (in their favor) than it actually was. (Rumor has it that they move the surveyor's pins in their favor) After checking the tax maps and staking it our ourselves, we realized they were full of it.

Then there was the family up the road who didn't ask questions, just said "Hi,  how are you" and when I offered some info they offered their pile of 4 year old aged manure, offered to haul it down to us and give us as much as we needed. Genuinely neighborly. (finally!)

And finally there was the lady who, talking a mile a minute, informed us about the wolf pack that roams our property, the rabid raccoon that was shot up the road and that we should get a better lock on our shed. Scare tactics? She also offered us as much manure as we could want and I think she was trying to sell us one of her horses. The jury is still out on her....sincere? Maybe.

Unfortunately, what I'm learning from all of these encounters is most everyone who talks to us has an ulterior motive. Is a new neighbor such a threat? Do they think we're going to start fracking on our land?

Yesterday, we staked out one set of raised beds roughly twice the size of the garden I had last year.
We will be staking out 3 or 4 more of such set-a-beds. Holy mackerel; we will not be going hungry. At one point we took a break and as I looked at the empty, open, mountain backdrop to our land I thought and people quibble over a few feet of land.......and people believe that we are overpopulated.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Central New York knows no temperance

In my last post I bemoaned the snow. I had onions growing and many things early seeded but.....snow. Well I've heard it's not UNheard of to have a snow storm in June here; this might take a little getting used to!

In the Spring, every farmer hopes for a little temperance. They are out of luck in CNY. We went from 8 inches of snow to 8 inches of rain without hardly a day in between to get stuff done.

My husband and I have been getting very very wet lately.

The hilarious part is he was saying how we can't go down to the farm (it's a decent drive and $30 in gas for us) to work if it's going to rain. I said; "I'm afraid we are being whimps, we have to seed stuff for food!"

Bwahahahah. God heard that.

Because yesterday we spent a good part of the day salvaging plywood and a whole lotta lumber from someone who had knocked down their shed and offered it up for free. And we did this in the rain. At 40 degrees. Slogging through mud.

Next time I get the bright idea to question me or my husbands fortitude, remind me to bite my tongue.

When we were through on our salvage operation, we spent the remainder of the day stuffing our faces with Chinese food and passing out, in the vain hope of getting warm again. It finally worked.

And yet again I am learning that patience is a virtue......that I wish I had more of.