Thursday, December 18, 2008

Seeds and Snow

It is that time of year again where we dive into the Seeds. Such a rewarding and quiet time as well as infinitely stressful as we wait for seeds to germinate and germinate well! For me there are 2 main things that give me such a boost when I am feeling the immediate stress of this work: Kind and lovely people who encourage us and appreciate what we do, and the amazing seeds themselves. Looking at "Tigers Eye" dry bean today as my child and I shelled them by hand, I was stunned by their beauty and the intricate life inside each one. I am brought back to warm Summer days and the green of lush plants thriving in the sun. Somehow I seem to bypass all the work that went into those greenly waving plants when I am sitting inside watching the snow fall!

Which brings me to the snow...the snow that is falling outside in great heaps(for this town anyway)and shows no sign of stopping for days! This is so wonderful and different and cold. Today I skied around and around our neighborhood and then later, Brian and I went out for a late night ski around Lake Padden. Quiet, white, and snowing still. I realized that I am a great skier when I cannot see what lies ahead! Fearless I surge ahead, following the path and carefully trying not to ski into our nearly blind and deaf 15 yr old dogfriend.

It is almost time to start packing seeds and sending them out into the world. I am thankful for this work that connects me to a multitude of stories and in turn gives me the opportunity to pass them on. I love stories and love the vitality and spirit that they hold and embolden in others. These seeds really are gifts. Gifts to the body and spirit and to the multitudes who crave story, meaning, and good food in their lives.

And let's not forget the politics! Save your own seed or buy OP and/or Heirloom varieties. Continuing interest in these varieties will ensure that they continue on and that seed savers around the country will be able to continue saving seeds. With Huge, corporate seed companies buying up more and more seed companies it is vital that we research and support the work of so many amazing and dedicated growers on small family farms.

Happy Holidays to you all!

Friday, October 3, 2008

gone but not forgotten

bringing in the arugula seed

Oct already and we have not posted since July! And we thought we'd be able to keep up with this blog during farm season...Even now I should not be posting as we have market early tomorrow but I did want to check in for anyone out there still checking this very seldom updated blog.

Such a difficult season filled with rain that ruined so much of our seed crops that we had been watching grow since March. It's difficult to even explain what it is like watching all that work and intention melt into the ground and then be eaten one rainy day by birds while I watched! I wandered into the greenhouse, crouched low to the earth and just sobbed. The thunder of the rain on the roof so loud the only evidence of my sobbing were my copious tears. But that was last month and we got over it quickly. Our busy schedule holds no time for depression and there was and is so much that worked out wonderfully and nothing we could do about the rest so... now we RUN! We have been harvesting and cleaning seeds like mad for a month or so and are excited about all the new possibilities. The areas we harvested peas from are awash in the new green of pea leaves unfurling, all the peas we did not get to pick. The lettuce seed areas that melted into the ground are bursting with green lettuce leaves...and so we have early cover crops!
With only 2 more markets left and our trip to Italy and Terre Madre on the horizon, we now await a window to plant our garlic and french shallots. We hope to have a crew of nimble fingers, strong backs, and loud, singing voices. If you'd like to sign up drop a line and we'll add you to the list! Terre Madre (made possible to us by Jeff Lydon and the Betsy Lydon Award), is an event filled with inspiring people and their stories. Filled with farmers from around the world who gather together for 5 days to celebrate and discuss their stories, struggles, and victories....the garlic will get planted and then, we're off!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Full Moon

buried under work are we...  a million things to do like weed, weed, weed, weed, breathe, string tomatoes, water everything frantically, set the last drip tape, weed, harvest, Harvest, HARVEST, WEED, pack seeds for that lovely Kim at Olympia Coop who keeps on movin them!, till down, transplant, sow seeds for next years seed crops, WATER!, eat, sleep, pull all that garlic and set it out in the greenhouse that still needs...plastic!, get it up, string and prune those speedy tomatoes, pinch back the basil, breathe, listen to the thrushes, play w/rowan, hike, swim, listen to music, dance, laugh, marvel at the sunflowers, go to market, tend to the CSA, print seed catalogues and mail them to all you  very very patient people, drive to and fro, bike, watch the full moon rise while stretching for a moment in just the right direction, look at it a long long time and, remember that the weariness of our bones, the  strength of our soil imprinted hands, and the sometimes heaviness of our hearts are also our joy and the fullness of our lives, sit down, breathe, whisper a prayer,  look up, lay down, body to earth, whisper thankyou.

at the farm: snow peas, snap peas, garlic scapes and heads, kales, chard, squash, zuchinni, some very tiny but golden yellow tomatoes, some very tiny but black eggplants, fingerling potatoes!, red sweet onions, scallions, broccoli, cauliflower, parsley, rainbow carrots, radishes, beets, lettuce and mix, bok choi, cucumbers, lots of flowers blooming small but w/ continual whispered encouragement, stretching skyward.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


...this time of the morning right before the cars and trucks begin. quiet in my own little peaceful and right. even though the padding of little feet has begun and i hear the faint notes of a glockenspiel being rung, i have not yet been found!
i wanted to write this before it faded into the soreness of my body from too much weeding and too little i came into the fields monday i was greeted by a sound i have come to look forward to. a slight and quick toning, bursts of music. this day the eagles came from the river and forest to grace the skies above the farm and fields, looking for any little delicacy left over from haying. they were swooping and diving, carrying their treasures far afield to where i assume the nests are, cradled high above in the tallest trees. at one time we counted 5 which is not a crowd by any means but lovely to see, flying low and graceful. usually they are near the river where we have counted up to 100 in a slow and meandering boat ride. but there they are usually sitting in the trees and it is a rare treat to see them so active in flight. one sat in the sun(hooray for That(the sun)seldom seen event!), in a newly formed mound of hay for over an hour while i weeded green beans just a half acre or so away. it was as if it felt as i had felt this past weekend, a simple desire to lay in the sun and dry my bones lately i have been feeling like a damp book with pages needing to be aired, and quick! anyway, it just sat quiet and unperturbed even as a small barn swallow dove and dove at it as if to remind it about the speed and agility even the smallest of us possess in light of the largeness of the world. as i finished this last long row i walked to get my camera so i could capture the event of an eagle sunning itself peacefully in a field of new hay.
you will not see that picture because off it flew as i came within yards of it but i am reminded that we all need to rest and enjoy the sun! simple.
so, go to it as that will be what i and my child will be doing on mamas day home from the farm.
off i go as i have been Found!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happy Summer

we're still here just working like mad to keep up with everything! the bok choi is now flowering and the bees are flying about with their gloriously yellow, pollen laden little legs. the cascadia peas too are beginning to bloom. next to flower will be the chard and next the onions. the garlic is beginning to throw scapes. all plants and animals are stretching up towards the mysteriously absent sun.

all is well and all is yearning for the heat and sunshine. with solstice right around the corner, i feel it coming...

Happy Summer to you All!!

Ripe at the farm: turnips, radishes, salad mix, spinach , arugula, head lettuce, bok choi, kales-collard-chard, scallions

Monday, June 9, 2008

Rain~rain ~rain ~rain

looking back on last years first CSA box letter I noticed that we were Begging for rain, Begging for a respite from dragging hoses and other irrigation around the fields. That is very funny considering the Spring we have had. Today I almost lost a boot, more then once, because of the incredible amount of mud caked to the bottom and sides. Today we planted beautiful pepper starts, winter squash, and the last of our field tomatoes and held out on planting our eggplants and basil. We wished them well and hoped for sun and heat. But, an Eagle flew by.
The Mountains were quiet and magical in their foggy blanket.
Lush green glowed everywhere.
So looking forward to Epsom salts and a cup of tea we wiped the water from our eyes, disregarded the gleefully growing weeds and headed home.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


A new term coined at market today for the month that kicks off "summer" here in Western Washington. A solid 6 days of rain...highs rarely pushing past 60F...Hi, I have watermelons to put in the ground...a little help please? thanks.
Today felt like the beginning of summer at the market though. A degree of nerve and bustle we have not felt yet this season and an anticipation of things to come. At this point in the growing year I grow restless for that first zucchini (though still a couple weeks out). Lettuce, kale, chard, bok choi, rapini, arugula, spinach...we are four weeks deep into the farmers market season and I start to crave something, anything that is Yes, we have radishes and soon will pull turnips, scallions, and beets. There are roots, but for me it is the first zucchini, the first fruit, that heralds the transition to summer and all its bounty.

The kale seed crop is buzzing with bees (mostly bumble bees and a handful of masons, as there are no honey bee hives left on ours or our neighbors farm). With the cold spring and no hives I was worried about the lack of pollinators when it began to go. Now in full bloom it vibrates with the dance of bees drunk on nectar and weighed down with pollen. The Bok Choi is starting to throw its flowers to carry the torch once the kale fades to seed pods. Chard, carrots, and onions are all stretching out their arms to join the riot of flower and seed-making. Peas are inching their way up the trellises, Cascadias just beginning to reveal their first blooms.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


finally it has begun...the long awaited farm blog is up and running fueled by the sugary sweetness of a birthday week and upcoming first CSA pickup of the season. just as i am positive it will rain tomorrow, i know this will be all things; farm, seeds, family, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts on a staggering and brilliant amount of topics! for now i will keep it short and welcome you into this world. goodnight.