Sustain

Watching the Seasons Change And a Little Girl Grow Up

photo-189The cold is coming. It hasn’t reached us yet, but the rain ahead of it knocked the maple leaves to the ground en masse last night. I don’t mind the chill so much as the moving away from this week’s sweet foggy mornings. The gauzy curtains of mist were comforting and protective, setting up a make-believe border of quiet and stillness around the farm, letting me wander from one lazy farm chore to the other without compulsion, as if time were suspended.

photo-217It is all about the landscape now, this slow march to winter. I can’t take my eyes off the shifting shapes and colors and textures that nature randomly yet gracefully offers up on a daily, hourly, almost minute-by-minute basis.

photo-219

My good camera is still broken, but that hasn’t stopped me from exploiting the phone camera. Fuzzy images or not, they must be taken. I have to grab some of these moments. Especially the ones where a little girl (who’s not so little any more) wanders into the frame.

photo-187A good farm chore to do together: Removing tomato clips from the trellis while listening to music on the iPhone. First song up, of all things, Gabriel’s Oboe (the beautiful theme from the movie The Mission). Don’t worry, lest you think this is a bit morose for a 12-year-old, Taylor Swift was up next on the playlist. And a little basketball practice. (Next sport for Libby this winter.) More fun tossing those little clips into the bucket from a distance, don’t you know.

photo-185

Watching Libby grow up is like observing nature. There are so many subtle shifts that you don’t notice if you’re not paying close attention. And then one day a season has passed and a whole new one is right there, undeniably. It is stunning and heart-achy at the same time. Why can’t time stand still? I never used to think that—I was always projecting into the future, looking for something to come. Now, not so much. What is right here, right now is the best.

photo-190

Stuffing and Roasting a Long Island Cheese Pumpkin. Yes.

Totally out of character, I decided to stuff and roast a pumpkin. Totally in character, I decided to do this because someone gave me a very pretty pumpkin, one that seemed at first glance like it would be a more efficient holder-of-stuffing than a sugar pumpkin. Not that there’s anything wrong with sugar pumpkins. But, […]

Something About October

What is it about October? Darn if I don’t get all gushy and grateful this time of year. It may be just that we are finally slowly, slowly, slowly but surely winding down from summer’s hectic pace. (Whew, I am relieved). There’s time to stretch a bit, ponder a lot. Time to appreciate the magic […]

How Much Water Does a Small Farm Need? A lot!

Just when I thought things were going to calm down a bit around here, a whole posse of trucks shows up in the driveway. First it was the electrician and his assistant. They’re here to update the wiring in this old farm house. This is actually a very big deal (maybe we’ll have an outlet […]

Little Blue Boxes

There might have been a time when I was more interested in something that came in a different kind of little blue box. But these days, I am obsessed with berry boxes. You know, those little blue cardboard farmstand classics. They come in half-pint, pint, and quart sizes. (We order them online by the case, […]

Tomatoland

Some weeks are crazier than others around here, and I will just say that this week, I was pretty darn happy to see Friday arrive. It’s also easy, this time of year, to look around a farm and get discouraged. Weeds are ravenous, pests are ravenous, farm stand customers are ravenous. (And our egg supply […]

Strange but True — Chickens Chasing Fireflies and Pumpkins in the Piggery

Funny, strange, unexpected things seem to be happening a lot on the farm these days. Never a dull moment, as my father likes to say. We found a birds’ nest in a tomato plant yesterday. (Four beautiful eggs; Mommy is a fox sparrow.) Farmer found (another) nest of baby bunnies (six of them) in between […]

Hope for the Flowers, Witchcraft for the Weeds

Thursday night I drove up to York, Maine. Taught two cooking classes Friday and Saturday mornings at Stonewall Kitchen, spent some precious hours Friday afternoon and evening with my friend Eliza and her family, and drove back to Woods Hole to catch a 6 pm ferry home on Saturday night. I was hardly gone for […]