right now :: save the date

After you feed your belly this beautiful Thanksgiving week, make your gratitude active and get knowledgeable about you food.  Here’s an opportunity for local food enthusiasts…

2015 food summit

this picture is a link to the event website.

This is a wonderful event.  Check it out!

 

letting them grow

Things feel different around here these days. It’s really quiet and there are remarkably fewer dishes in the sink. Last week our dear friends were visiting from Nashville. On Friday, when it was time for them to pack up and head back to the city, they also packed up a little something extra… three additional children! Oh, my. All three of my kids were heading for a week long adventure in the big city.

This is out of the ordinary for Eric and me. (And for the kids, too!) We generally like to keep our little ones close at hand, with most of their influences coming from us and the farm. I mean, that’s kind of our personal mission: to have a strong and connected family with compassionate, capable, nature-oriented children. Sure, they have had sleepovers here and there, but a whole week? And in an urban setting with bus rides and Elvis, big libraries and public pools, candy stores and Bobby’s Dairy Dip? Not so much.photo 5

As it inevitably goes, my kids are growing. Their interests are widening. As much as I want the farm to be their center of influence, and eventually the place they might choose to live and possibly even raise their own families, how will they choose this life if they never experience anything different? The sparkling allure of “other” might hang in the backs of their minds when they are adults, enticing them to get the hell off the farm. What basis of comparison will they have to decide if there is nothing to compare? I don’t know the answers. Not at all. I don’t even know the questions, as new ones seem to arise each and every day. I muddle through this parenting gig, hoping that I’m not totally screwing up.

I know how to love my children, though. I love them fiercely. But I can’t let that fierce mama bear love hinder my children’s potential or limit their opportunities. As their parent, I obviously have their best interests in mind. I wouldn’t just set them loose in the city. They have a loving and remarkable guide. (Albeit somewhat crazy for offering to host my three wild kids for an entire week! Eric says it’s the greatest sacrifice since the Crucifixion. Ha!!) It’s the letting go part of parenting that I am wrestling with now. I see, too, that there is more than just “letting go”… it’s about letting them grow into the beautiful flowers I know they will become.

Here I sit, with tears in my eyes just thinking about my babes. I’ll bet they are laughing and having a grand time. I hope so.photo 1{photos courtesy of D.}

but wait, there’s more…

on friday, after completing our first harvest for the CSA season, we celebrated sasha’s 15th birthday. the anniversary of the birth of my first born is something like no other, for i delight in the remembrance of the beginning of my journey into motherhood. the abrupt transition from being concerned with only my own well being, to caring for another dependent soul,  was certainly one of the biggest shifts in my life to date. 15 years ago i labored in the shack, just me and my man on our very own farm. i rose to levels i could never have imagined and still can’t describe as that day ended and we greeted our first born. wow.

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with out very many hours of sleep after this wonderful lemon cake with lemon icing, we awoke and headed gleefully to the metro nashville farmers market for our first of many CSA deliveries for the 2014 season. the first market day is so intense. this time around, our 15th, the ushering in of our busiest months, was flawless and delightful. full with bountiful baskets and the community of joy that continues to surround our farm and our family, we had, yet another reason to celebrate.

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we welcomed back our 2011 apprentice andy to the farm this past week. as we continue on our paths as farmer mentors, we have longed for the appropriate situation to invite someone back to work with us beyond one growing season. over all these years, that scenario never created itself. now it has. without giving away many details of our latest unfolding project, andy will live here and work with us and you will just have to stay tuned for more specifics. (how’s that for tantalizing?) his arrival could not have been more perfect and would have been cause for party alone, but he pulled in just in time to celebrate with us his own birthday! we returned home from market, set up our dining tables and fired up the grill.

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steak and cake and salad for all who dared share in the delights with us, by this time, absolutely bathed in joy.

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the festivities wound down well past my bed time. we gathered in the twilight that melted into moonlight. we were surrounded by the fireflies and the sound of heather’s banjo, burdock’s fiddle and madeline’s guitar (ok, heather’s guitar that madeline is using while heather teaches her to play). the combination of old time music, new beginnings and full bellies had us all brimming with happiness. good times friends, truly good times. i am wishing the same for all of you. joy. more joy.