So yesterday morning we had another fulfilling morning on the farm... We finished up trimming the garlic and laying them out to dry. Then it was down to the nitty gritty of pulling weeds. Some may not call this fun and I may agree with them after a while but my first day doing it was awesome. I loved getting dirty and freeing up the crops from the overpowering weeds that were attacking them. This farm follows organic practices so no spraying happens to keep pests and weeds at bay... it's all done by the farmers and their helpers (Me!) own hands.
Trimming down the garlic
After we laid them out to dry.... So pretty!!!
These poor Brussel Sprout plants were almost overtaken by these weeds!! But we helped them out and gave them more growing room.
I took pride in my work... I helped the Brussel Sprouts go from this....
TO THIS! :)
I'm done helping out on the farm for this week but I'll be back there on Tuesday. I love this new addition into my life. It's such a great learning experience!
Ohhhhh my goodness... Let me start out by saying this post may sound silly to some because I am TOTALLY giddy about my experience on the farm this morning!! I had the most fun I've ever had working on the farm and I can't wait to go back tomorrow!
They put me to work right away harvesting garlic! I thought I would be a little intimidated not knowing my way around a farm but the lady who owns the farm was so nice and she just showed me a couple times how to pull up the garlic and then left me to do it on my own and let me know I could go get her whenever I needed her.
It was so incredibly peaceful being out on a beautiful farm all by myself. I set my smart phone to play some music in the background and I got to work. It smelled lovely but let me tell you it was hard work! There was lots of grass and weeds so it was difficult at first trying to "weed through" everything to find the garlic but once I got the hang of it the garlic couldn't escape me! I wore my hiking boots and jeans and then just a regular t-shirt. I was up to my ankles in mud and up to my knees in grass and weeds and since we recently had a yucky experience with ticks and someone had just informed me about chiggers I was very happy with what I wore! Before leaving for the morning I lathered myself in olive oil mixed with about 15 drops of lavender essential oil... so I think the combination of that along with my choice of clothing resulted in absolutely NO bug bites whatsoever!
The lady who owns the farm, we'll call her "D"... pulled up in her truck about an hour later with some water for me and some fresh corn that they had just picked! She pulled back the husks for me and said have some of this for a little boost of energy... and oh my goodness it was the most delicious corn I've EVER tasted!! Plus it wasn't even sweet corn! She got back in her truck and drove away back towards her homestead. I thought it was the sweetest, nicest thing ever that she did that for me.
It's supposed to be a hot one tomorrow (as it is in most of the country I think) so my wonderful husband got a Camelback (a backpack that holds water) ready for me! He got it all washed and set up for me so I won't have a lack of water tomorrow. I washed up all my clothes and got them ready for tomorrow and I think for breakfast I'll have some yogurt and granola and make a smoothie to go.
This was truly like a dream come true for us... Even though my husband wasn't there he was so excited for me and loved hearing about everything I did. I know I only spent one day on the farm so far but it reconfirmed my feelings of wanting a farm one day. Ours of course won't be to the scale this one is... but a mini farm is definitely in our future.
I think tomorrow I'll be helping out with some of D's specialty garlic and I can't wait to learn all I can from my new farmer friend! Here are some pictures from my morning at the farm!
My first little batch of garlic that I pulled... just wait till you see how full this trailer gets!
First I had to find the garlic... those are all weeds and grass you see surrounding the garlic. This one was an easy find... some others were buried within the grass and weeds!
Then I had to loosen the roots with a rake.
You can kinda tell here how I brought up the garlic a bit with the rake.
And then you pull!
And Voila! You have garlic!
This is my bounty about halfway through the harvest.
Completion of the first row!
Now onto the next! :) This is where I took a five minute break for some delicious corn!
And here is the full bounty of the harvest! Delicious beautiful garlic!
Driving the riding mower with the trailer full of garlic back to the homestead!
I had no one to take pictures of me so I thought this was fitting... What a day!
It was an amazing feeling to have accomplished so much in just a few hours. I'm going to love working on the farm and I'll dream tonight of our very own one day! :)
Other Magickal Happenings
Magick From the Farm
Our Kitchen Garden
Okay so I know the picture is quite silly but I had to document my very first bite of a wild raspberry. I need to give full credit to my darling husband on this one because I would have no idea how to recognize any wild fruit that was edible. He however recognized from a distance the green foliage of a raspberry bush and ran over to pick all of us some raspberries.
I am so glad my husband has had experience in picking and eating wild berries and we are both anxious to learn more. We can't wait to be on our own land and be able to to pick edible wild herbs and berries.
We also experienced something not so fun... ticks. Yuck! Grandma is the one who ended up finding a couple latched on her leg the next morning. This was definitely a learning experience for us we are all from the desert... Where I've never seen of or even heard of a tick my entire life even with having dogs. Yeah... I'm realizing how lucky we were!!
So... knowing that our future will be in the type of environment where ticks and other yucky pests thrive... I began researching natural tick repellents for my family... In doing this I also discovered that there is a natural tick repellent for our puppy as well! There are quite a few recipes to choose from but I've narrowed it down to one for my family. As far as for our puppy... I've been reading that a few drops of rose geranium essential oil on the collar is all you need!!
So today I put my son down to sleep for a nap after a full morning of playing at the park with my mom's group. As I was sitting on the floor next to the crib singing him to sleep, I started thinking about how many mom's might not quite agree with the fact that I was still helping our almost two year old fall asleep. It also made me think about how those same mom's probably wouldn't agree with the fact that we don't put our son down to bed till around 9:30pm or even 10:00pm and that his crib is in our room and after the first two hours of him sleeping in his crib he comes into bed with us and sleeps the rest of the night till morning. Yeah... there are a lot of things I don't think other mom's would agree with. And every time I begin to doubt the way we are doing things and begin to wonder if maybe we should be doing things a little more like everyone else... I look at my precious sleeping boy and realize... Nope... there's no way I'd change a thing.
These are our special moments... these are the moments we are going to all remember. When I'm old and looking at my grown son... I'll be able to see the precious baby boy that he once was and remember the way he used to drift off to sleep, slowly closing and opening his eyes, the peaceful way he would breath and how his tiny little hand would grab onto a section of my hair with all the strength he had even though he was fast asleep. I'll remember all the mornings I would wake up to a little hand brushing the hair away from my face and seeing my baby boy smiling as I open my eyes and laughing instantly as I hear him say "Hiya Ma!". Nope... there's no way I'd change a thing.
I guess you could call what we do "Attachment Parenting"... and I've heard a lot of parents express concern over the fact that parenting this way will create children who are too dependent and too attached to their mom/parents. I can tell you already that this is not true... My son is the most independent 20 month old I've ever met. This morning at the park as I was cautiously following 2 feet behind him as I'm sure many first time moms tend to do... He turned towards me and waves me off and smiles. I stood in place and allowed him to go keeping my eye on him. My son is already turning into a strong, independent young man who I am very proud of... and knowing that someday soon, after only a blink of an eye he will go off and live his life calling me as often as he can because he knows I will worry about him... Nope... there's no way I'd change a thing.
I'm SO excited about my latest news!! I am going to start helping out at the farm where we get our CSA deliveries from!! Have you ever met anyone so excited to pick weeds!? I'm sure I'll be doing more than that but even picking weeds will be an awesome learning experience. I'll get to learn how a real working small farm operates! Reading books like I've been doing is a great source of information but nothing beats hands on training!
The farm extends all the way to the tree line you see in the far distance of this photo... that is where all the veggies that we'll be getting for the rest of the summer are growing and I can't believe I am going to be a part of helping them grow!
It's time to make yet another change in this household but instead of it having to do with cleaning, cooking or gardening it has to do with me. I have been feeling quite fatigued lately and I believe it has everything to do with my fitness level... Keeping up a toddler boy isn't easy and frankly I think I could do a better job at it. Not only that but I know I will feel more energetic overall which is my ultimate goal.
I already eat fairly healthy, especially with all the vegetables we eat so I am focusing mainly on fitness. I used to run back in my "younger" days and I think it's the perfect thing to pick up again especially since I can take my son along with me in the stroller if needed. I was directed to this beginner's running routine that can be downloaded to an iPod that seems absolutely perfect!
So I'll keep you updated and let you know how I'm doing. If you're not doing anything yet you should give it a try... do something to get your heart rate up daily... It doesn't have to be anything extreme. It can be as gentle as yoga or as simple as walking and it can be FREE. Just remember to take care of yourself not only for yourself but for your family as well. When mama is healthy, mama is happy... And we all know when mama's happy... Everyone's happy! ;)
Today is the Summer Solstice (Midsummer, Litha, St. Johns Day) ... the longest day of the year when the sun is at it's highest power.
The calendars mostly call this day the day that Summer begins... Why then do some call it Midsummer you ask? Because according to old folklore calendars, Summer begins May 1st and ends on August 1st placing this day, June 21st, exactly in the middle... Hence... Midsummer. To me this does tend to make more sense since all days following today gradually begin getting shorter
Today is a day full of magick and folklore and tradition...Soak up the sun, eat fresh vegetables and fruits. Celebrate the earth and it's bounty. Wear flowers in your hair.
So our power went out the other day right before lunch time and we had family visiting. It of course was back on within a couple of hours but it got me thinking of how we could be prepared for a more serious power outage. Then I started to get nervous about how we would cope if it happened during the winter time.
The first thing that came to mind was a wood stove... the simple ones that are for heating your home. And as I was doing some more research I came across wood burning cooks stoves... PERFECT! We of course can't have one of these till we have our homestead but it's definitely going under my Front Porch Dreams wishlist.
Imagine having power out for days but still being able put warm supper on the table including freshly baked bread! It also has the added benefit of warming the room in which you are cooking in during the colder months. I must admit I didn't know much about cook stoves or wood stoves prior to a few days ago but now that I know a little more... I feel it's a necessary item for our homestead. After all... what's more important than feeding and keeping your family warm.
I must admit though for the immediate future I need to do some more research of how we can be more prepared for power outages while living in rentals with no wood burning stoves. We could always fire up my husband's charcoal grill! I'll get back to you on that one!
Other Magickal Happenings
Front Porch Dreams
Magick From the Farm
This was my husband's first magickal duty as a father. He has continued to be an excellent father and protect and love his son far more and better than any father I've ever known.
I am so grateful that my son and all our future children can call this man their father.
Happy Father's Day to all the father's out there who strive to make the world a better place for their children.
Other Magickal Happenings
Our Kitchen Garden
My husband has the week off this week and my mother is visiting us for a while... so yesterday our little family decided to drive out to the country and check out a town that we have researched and has really peaked our interest. When we arrived we drove down Main St. and found it to be thriving with restaurants, tiny shops and small businesses. We stopped and walked into a coffee shop where, although we were in a rural town, were able to get latte's and cappuccinos! To top it off... while we were in the coffee shop we met the Chamber of Commerce Executive who gave us her card and told us a little more about the town and told us to contact her with any questions. I think we MAY have found our future hometown!