Rain, rain, go away. You could, of course, come again some other day. I don't want a drought either. The tomatoes are withering away. The basil simply won't stay alive. Plant #3 & 4 have almost bit the dust. I will say the broccoli and cabbage are looking fantastic. The onions, garlic, and chard are happy enough too. The chard is actually already going to seed. I'm afraid the onions and garlic may rot soon though if we don't get some dry weather. The slugs are having a heyday too with everything. Can't keep the beer strong enough to draw them away. Need some little beer tents! The potato bugs seem happy enough too.

Porter is on restricted movement too. Poor thing has been so housebound this spring with Jovi and I working extra hours both of us and the rain. Now he has a slight disc problem - that's the vet's guess anyway. Yesterday morning he just started whining randomly. We fed him breakfast and he just looked at it and then started pawing at it. This dog LOVES food and he's on a diet so he devours anything that looks remotely tasty including food soiled paper towels. So, dog-food flavored anti-inflamatories for now and not a lot of activity. Good news is that we found out he has lost 4 pounds! AND, they make dog-food flavored chewable anti-inflamatories. Bad news, they are $5 bucks per pill.

While we were at the vets yesterday, we saw a poster with two adult kitties needing a new home. They are brothers, they are six and they need a new home because the toddler in the house is allergic. They look very sweet and spunky. I was very tempted. I haven't been this long without a kitty since I was maybe 12? Then again, it's nice to have one less litter box. I'm also worried everyone would think we were nuts if we added two cats to our menagerie. Feel free to give your opinion below.


Some reading for these raining days?

I stole this link from my friend Hannah. Interesting review of books - interesting looking list of books for folks interested in modern and sustainable food production movements. Full article: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/jun/10/food-movement-rising/

Here's an excerpt:
It’s [the food movement] a big, lumpy tent, and sometimes the various factions beneath it work at cross-purposes. For example, activists working to strengthen federal food safety regulations have recently run afoul of local food advocates, who fear that the burden of new regulation will cripple the current revival of small-farm agriculture. Joel Salatin, the Virginia meat producer and writer who has become a hero to the food movement, fulminates against food safety regulation on libertarian grounds in his Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal: War Stories From the Local Food Front. Hunger activists like Joel Berg, in All You Can Eat: How Hungry Is America?, criticize supporters of “sustainable” agriculture—i.e., producing food in ways that do not harm the environment—for advocating reforms that threaten to raise the cost of food to the poor. Animal rights advocates occasionally pick fights with sustainable meat producers (such as Joel Salatin), as Jonathan Safran Foer does in his recent vegetarian polemic, Eating Animals.


My Bliss

I realized my bliss Sunday. People say to follow your bliss. One of my favorite quotes is "Let yourself be silently drawn by the greater pull of what you really love." Life is about becoming aware of those moments when you realize you're being drawn by what you really love.

I was sitting in my garden on Sunday when I had a bliss moment and I let myself be acutely aware of it. I hadn't showered that day. To me a hot shower is like most people's morning coffee yet I relish a weekend day of dirtiness. My hair was in prime Bob Dylan disarray and curl. I was wearing comfy cotton pants that had, over the course of a morning of yard work and then gardening, had become covered in dirt. I was breaking up clumps of dirt with my bare hands so my nails were filled with the stuff. Every wrinkle of skin on my hands were brown.

The sun was setting and the air still warm. The temperature was at that just right point of warm enough for short sleeves, but not so warm you were sweating. Half the garden was completed and I was at the level on the ground where some plants were taller than me.

A worm crawled across the ground where I had just laid down a layer of fresh compost. I looked at the scoop I was just about to spread. Dirt I made. I made that dirt! The worm stretched out across the warm soil. I thought, "That would make a good fishing worm. If I were 12 again I'd pick it up and hold it." So, I picked up the worm and let it crawl across my hand. I watched him, looked up around me. I thought about the perfect weather, the perfect amount of dirt worked into my toes and hands and I just felt right. I felt whole and content. In that moment, the work I had done to grow the plants that were around me, the dirt I was holding, came together with the potential of the plants I had just put in and the life in the soil the worm meant. I was right in the middle of it all.

That's my bliss.


The "Real" Farm

Spring in Missouri is dangerous for me. A visit to the creek when it is running full and everything around is buzzing with life. Little baby corn popping up in chocolate fields. Leaves on deciduous trees turning with the rain that you can't see is coming. Birds chasing each other through a carpet of close cut grass that bleeds right into a very full pond. Fish jumping. Clouds cruising by. The smell of dirt, grass, trees, wind that has blown half-way across a country to reach you.

It's intoxicating. It lures me in and makes me day-dream of a little house beyond the field. A little house tucked into the woods, just by the third pond, close to the fourth pond that was always my favorite. Laying in the grass, looking up at a perfectly clear, cornflower blue sky. Building fairy houses by the "waterfall" that isn't really a waterfall anymore. The unplanted fields make me hungry, remind me of chunky cookie dough. Part of me finally feels at peace, part of me feels planted on the bank above the water in this pregnant landscape.

But then there's farm business and I'm ready to throw in the towel, ready to run toward the sea, ready to say, "I know I'm not the first born son." I am just a girl. A girl with a garden of her own. A garden I now ache to return to, to shelter in. I have memories of tractors I picked out that my brother opened for Christmas as I walk my nephew to the garage on his motorized toy tractor. Cycles of life, cycles of farm management. I have a garden that I have bought with my wife. I have a garden that is mine. I will plant myself there.