Thursday, July 5, 2012

Early July on the Farm

by Laura

Laura's July 2nd dinner

One of 27 heritage breed chickens that Laura is raising at the Land School

The second day of July, a hot Monday, is accepting earth’s rotation towards darkness. A beautiful plate of food sits before me, much of which came from the soil of this farm: nasturtium flowers, lettuces, basil, thyme, mint, broccoli (frozen from last year), pickles, garlic scapes. In our patient anticipation of our gardens’ overflowing, we have been harvesting wild edibles for our meals. Andy made a soup for lunch that included milkweed flower buds and a chicken of the woods mushroom, found by Jen. Two of our most abundant garden weeds – pigweed and lamb’s quarters – often find their way onto our plates. With the intense heat, it is easy to notice the growth in all parts of the gardens. It is looking beautiful, and it excites me to know our market will begin next week, potentially with lettuce, kale, garlic scapes, green beans, onions, basil, parsley, and flowers. This morning, Andy and I spent four hours weeding onions. Looking past the hot discomfort, it was a yet another opportunity to experience the nurture of encouragement: encouraging the plants to grow, and encouraging one another to persist with our work through the seemingly sweaty eternity of the rows. We typically rest for a few hours in the afternoon, and today, as I usually do, I packed my bag with a water bottle, book, and a few markers, and went to the tree house. One of my favorite places to spend time, the tree house is a love I know I share with many of the Lake Country students who I have met here. On my walk there today, barefoot as I typically am, I stepped on a bee, for the second time. The first occurrence left me with a swollen and irritated foot for days, but today I remembered what my Italian farmer friends taught me – put wet clay over the skin (or mud, and our soil here is mostly clay), and the bee venom will be pulled to the skin’s surface. It worked! Time fills up easily here, and I am continually renewed in gratitude that it fills with things I love: garden work, caring for animals, cooking, eating, preserving food for the winter, playing piano and guitar, reading, writing, walking. I am experiencing a simple and perfectly beautiful option for a way to live, to experience the earth, to contribute to and receive from the many communities of which I, we, are all apart. While I was hanging in my hammock under the great tree house oak today, making a card for a friend, I memorized a favorite Mary Oliver poem of mine:


If I envy anyone it must be
My grandmother in a long ago
Green summer, who hurried
Between kitchen and orchard on small
Uneducated feet, and took easily
All shining fruits into her eager hands.

That summer I hurried too, wakened
To books and music and circling philosophies.
I sat in the kitchen sorting through volumes of answers
That could not solve the mystery of the trees.

My grandmother stood among her kettles and ladles.
Smiling, in faulty grammar,
She praised my fortune and urged my lofty career:
So to please her I studied - but I will remember always
How she poured confusion out, how she cooled and labeled
All the wild sauces of the brimming year. 

I am thoroughly enjoying my time here at the Land School and look forward to meeting many of you, at the Thursday market or here on the farm. 

No comments:

Post a Comment