Tag Archives: family

The Year in Photos: Green Island Farm, 2014

January

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2014’s best moment: Little Barney comes in from the cold

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February

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Paulie’s last stand.

March

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photo-12Egg production picks up big-time in spring.

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Turning over the new veg field in the “back four.”

April

10171130_10203818806489450_6846942003228336987_n DSC_4091Onion and potato planting in the damp new days of spring.

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May

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11 may photo-291 photo-293 photo-294And we’re off! Baby kale, Baby bok choy, radishes–and lots of seedlings.

June

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It’s all happening fast now–berries, basil, carrots, and…plenty of daylight

July

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Blueberries, black raspberries,  yellow pattypans, purple eggplants, sunny sung olds, cheery calendulas–June is color at last.

August

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Tomatoes, of course. And new chickens. And lots of ribbons at the Fair, oh yeah!

September

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Serious harvest time.

October

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October is the best.

November

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December

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photo-308 photo-305photo-307And to all a good night. Cheers to 2015!

Missionaries of Joy, Peace on the Farm

Xmas card 2014PicMonkey CollagebChristmas came early for me this year. I got the best gift I could have asked for—a visit from my Mom and Dad last weekend. Since they live in Delaware and I live on an island in Massachusetts, we don’t get to see each other all that often.

But next week, these two, Pauletta (aka Perky) and Bob, will mark their 60th wedding anniversary. So the trip north was an early celebration. Though we dragged them all over the place and they enjoyed meeting our friends, I think Mom had the most fun playing board games with Libby back here in our cozy living room. (I believe the cute photo of Perky and Bob below was taken in 1956 during a trip to Hong Kong while my Dad was a Navy officer stationed in the Philippines.)

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Among other things, we also got 200 more chickens last week. I got to help Roy clean the coops in advance of their arrival. Yay. My least favorite farm job without a doubt.

While our friends from Burr Farm were unloading the chickens (actually 16-week-old pullets), another friend, artist Heather Goff, was visiting the farm studying our older hens, looking for inspiration for one of her daily sketches. (She produces a stunning sketch every day, which I look forward to seeing on Face Book every night. You can see them all here.) I love this one.

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Now Roy and I are scurrying around finishing up deadlines. I had five quinoa recipes to turn into Vegetarian Times today. Summer recipes, testing in December. 

We finally got the Christmas tree inside this morning. We bought it last Saturday at Morning Glory Farm while Mom and Dad were here, but it has been sitting outside patiently waiting to go on duty. Barney the kitty, having already knocked one of my Nativity angels to the ground and decapitated her, has been running around the house in circles since the tree came in. (Farmer is just rolling his eyes and wearing his strap-on reindeer antlers like a good sport.) Can’t wait to see how the decorating goes. Tinsel should be popular.

Christmas Eve we will have dinner at our friend Judy’s house. Beef tenderloin. I will bring a potato gratin and Brussels sprouts. Chocolate cake for dessert. Simple, peaceful, lovely.

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We will madly finish wrapping Libby Joy Riley’s Christmas presents, which all seem to be in very large boxes this year. (Yes, Libby’s middle name is Joy.)

Then we are planning a trip to Boston after Christmas to see The Nutcracker.

The days will soon be longer. I’m glad. The darkness bothers me, I have to admit. But one of my favorite psalms (to paraphrase) reminds me that darkness may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.

DSC_1798And as Pope Francis said this past Sunday, we should all be “missionaries of joy,” as it is the best gift we can give our friends and family during the holidays. Christmas is joy, he said. Maybe some days we have to practice being joyful if it isn’t exactly coming naturally. But really there is joy all around us. We just have to grab a little and pass it on.

Roy, Libby, Farmer, Barney and I wish you a holiday season filled with much (sharing of) joy and peace.

 

 

Blue Ribbons, Burgers & Blackberry Ice Cream

A light rain drizzled down on us tonight as we trudged back across State Road from the Fair grounds to the farm. Looking back, Libby noticed our feet left a pattern on the rain-glossed blacktop. It’s almost as if we’d worn a path in the road with so much criss-crossing. You could even see Farmer’s paw prints. (Yes, Farmer got to go to the Fair—three times. French fries—yes; cotton candy—no.)

Now we are all a little comatose, having eaten ourselves silly for four days. Because of these darn free passes the Fair folks give us every year, we indulge ourselves ridiculously and eat nearly every meal at the Fair. This year we made a habit of trying as many different things as we could—barbequed ribs, chicken tacos, steak tacos, pizza, burgers, veggie tempura, sausage and peppers, French fries, corn on the cob, strawberry shortcake, fruit smoothies, ice cream, fried dough, cotton candy. Yes, you read that right—it is not the healthiest list of food. But we had a blast and took Iphone pictures of most every dish to document the extravaganza.

Back at the farm, at least Libby and I added some veggies and fruits to that list, since we were harvesting (and snacking on) tomatoes, green beans and blackberries together in between Fair forays. But then we had to go and make ice cream. I know, I know—what a crazy weekend to make homemade ice cream. The problem was, I had promised Libby that we’d make our annual batch of berry ice cream while she’s here on this visit. A promise is a promise. And this year, we are overflowing with blackberries, and I’ve been picking and freezing the ripe ones every day.

Fortunately, making ice cream happens in small steps which you can squeeze in between Fair visits. You make berry puree. Chill it. Make custard. Chill it. Combine puree and custard. Chill it. Put mix in ice cream maker (the old ice cream maker that doesn’t freeze very well). Put ice cream maker back in freezer and stir every once in a while. Give up on getting anything that’s really completely frozen. Eat soft-serve blackberry ice cream: The absolute most delicious stuff in the whole world. I promise. Libby promises. Even Roy raved.

And speaking of raves. We’re voting MV Ag Fair 2013 our fave so far. Not that winning a blue ribbon for our eggs, our green beans, our cosmos, and Libby’s plum tomatoes has anything to do with it, mind you. But it did put us all in a dandy mood Thursday. And then the sun shone bright in a picture-perfect blue sky for three days. There was a soft breeze and there were stunning sunsets. We saw lots of friends. A mommy sow had 10 piglets in the animal barn Thursday night. (We went to look at these little tiny creatures maybe 12 times after that.) Roy won stuffed animals (a pig and a frog) for both Libby and me. Farmer made new friends and ate his first onion rings. He and Libby are passed out on the couch, side by side. Exhausted, stuffed, happy.

Beauty and The Beast

The day before we go to pick up Libby, we tell Farmer, “Guess who’s coming tomorrow?” First his ears perk up, and then, when we say, “We’re going to get LIBBY!” he runs around the living room and jumps up on the sofa to look out the window.  “Where is she? Where is she? I can’t wait! I can’t wait!”

By the time Libby leaves, Farmer is so exhausted that he climbs up on our bed and doesn’t move for two days.

He loves that girl like nobody’s business. And she loves him. A little girl and a dog, made for each other.

This is the kind of weekend when farm chores can be overwhelming, and Farm Dog and Farm Girl are both co-opted into helping. Roy is teaching Farmer to herd chickens. Plus, Farmer has to keep an eye out for customers coming down the driveway and duly alert us when he sees them. Libby, admittedly, is a good deal more helpful than Farmer. Together, we’ve been moving seedlings back and forth from the house to the greenhouse, planting more flower and vegetable seeds, picking lettuce, washing lettuce, packing eggs, putting the covers back on the garden beds that blew off in the wind the other night, and weeding  her garden plot.

Since these two hard workers deserve a break, Roy has taken them for a romp down at Quansoo beach.  Actually, they just got back, blowing in the back door, giggling and jingling. Libby is covered in sand and has a big grin on her face. She fell in the water apparently. Fortunately, Farmer didn’t have to rescue her. All is well. They had fun.

They will both sleep well tonight.

 

 

 

These Are The Days

Lest you think we are all farm and no play around here…Yesterday we took advantage of a 24-hour visit from Libby and the most beautiful day we’ve seen in months and headed up to the clay cliffs at Gay Head for a spectacular beach walk.  My Iphone ran out of juice, so I didn’t get to document Libby covered in clay from head to toe. (We always forget to bring appropriate clean-up materials on this kind of walk.)

While Roy looked for arrowheads and Libby painted herself with warrior clay, I lay down in the warm sand with my face to the sun and almost fell asleep. In my head, Keith Urban’s song, These Are The Days, was playing. Partly because I was thinking, “These are the days we’ve been waiting for all through the cold mucky winter.” But also I was thinking how great it is to be present and to know that it absolutely does not get any better than it is right in that moment.

Maybe all that sunshine was going to my head—it is incredibly uplifting after all. And no doubt we are very fortunate to live in such a beautiful place, though we tend to forget it sometimes. But no matter where you are or what the weather is this Easter weekend, I hope you find yourself walking into the light, enjoying moments with your family or friends, and remembering to take a mental snapshot of what you love most so you can conjure it up on a rainy day.