Wednesday, July 31, 2013

We All Had a Hand in This

What comes to mind when you think about pinto beans?  For me there are at least two memories that are pinto related.

First, there was our one-time pastor Van Banks who insisted that, the smell of pinto beans and cornbread cooking, was the smell of hope.  Once you were eating them; that was no longer hope, that was achievement!  Since that sermon I’ve never been able to cook a pot of pinto beans without thinking about hope.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mindful Monday

This world falls on me
With dreams of immortality
Everywhere I turn
All the beauty just keeps shaking me.

Indigo Girls
World Falls

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Each One Teach One

So.  Since we last talked you have all taken up some type of hobby and deciphered its hieroglyphics, right?  Now the next step is to pass it on to someone else.  The principle of "each one teach one" is commonly used in re-entry and rehab programs.  Through this method, clients who have made serious progress in getting their lives together are in charge of helping new clients get a start on a new life.  It works really well and some of the most successful programs in world (like Delancey Street in San Francisco) use the principle as a cornerstone of their organization.  Not only do people really respond to being taught new ways in a one on one situation, but also the teacher learns the subject they are teaching much more deeply.

This morning, between bouts  of canning tomato sauce, I did what I do every Saturday. I drove into town and spent some time at one of our local taquerias.  I tutor the daughter of the owners, and this summer I told her I wouldn't stop coming just because school was out.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Deciphering Hieroglyphics

Tomato season is bearing down with full force.  Two days ago I made ketchup (from a new recipe out of Preserving Food without Canning or Freezing) and it was the best I've ever made.  Indeed it's the first I've made in about 15-20 years!  This morning I canned up 21 quarts of stewed tomatoes from one bushel of tomatoes.
Tonight there are two more bushels
waiting for morning when they'll be converted into pasta sauce.  That's not even a large picking.  In the next couple of weeks I expect to be picking at least four bushels every two to three days.  I don't mind though. I expect to be tomato independent this winter!

You'd never think with all these tomatoes to deal with that I'd be in the process of picking up a hobby, but that's exactly what I've gone and done.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mindful Monday

What can poor mortals say about clouds?
John Muir
My First Summer in the Sierra
July 23

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Aliens vs. Predators

It's been an extremely hectic week here at Groundwell Farm.  You see, it was time for the pre-tomato-onslaught- cleanup.  Once tomatoes begin really rolling in (we picked a half bushel yesterday) there will be no hope for getting time to clean house, and having barely finished spending most of our last month planting and cultivating, the house was a disaster.  Now that that cleanup is done, and I'm ready for the great red wave, I find myself increasingly pleased that we gave up on mowing most of our place this year.  Mowing takes a lot of time, and though I can say that I do enjoy the look of a fully conquered lawn, there are positive aspects of not mowing that I'm only just realizing.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Mindful Monday

. . . I am in love
Alive in this mortal world 
Wendell Berry
A Timbered Choir 
 1994 VII

Friday, July 12, 2013

Yoga Berries and Chanterelles

Bet you never heard of yoga berries before.  And no, I am not confused, I am not speaking of the great Yankees catcher and manager Yogi Berra.  I am honestly talking about yoga berries.

You see, every morning I get up and spend about a half hour getting my body and mind in good condition with a little yoga.  It keeps me limber and flexible both mentally and physically.  When I woke up this morning, however, I knew there was something else I needed to do.  We had been gone for three days, right in the middle of the raspberry harvest!  I knew the canes were loaded, so without further ado I went out to the patch. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Mindful Monday

We are all immortal until our work is done.

Brendan Murphy

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Ranger Rick

I just received some terrible news. A great Mammoth Cave guide passed away today.  His name was Rick Sanders and he was an amazing man.  A quintessential storyteller from whom I learned a great deal about the cave, but more importantly, about how to tell a story.  He will not soon be forgotten.
Peace to you Ranger Rick.

My heart is with the whole Mammoth Cave guide force today.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day

When we left our day jobs at the great Mammoth Cave a lot of people thought we were nuts because in this great nation of ours only one means of survival is considered viable: a good (read high paying) wage earning, job.  We have set out to prove that a beautiful, satisfying life can still be lived without selling our time for less than we believe it is worth.  And, so far, it seems to be working out.  Granted it has only been about a month, but in that month we have made serious strides toward true independence, without depleting our meager savings.  Indeed, our savings have actually increased!

"What is true independence?" you ask, well here at Groundwell Farm we consider independence to be:
Meeting, or even occasionally exceeding, all of the necessities and desires of life through either direct work, or through agreeable trade with people we are close to in everyday life.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Mindful Monday

Life seems neither long nor short, and we take no more heed to save time or make haste than do the trees and stars.  This is true freedom, a good practical sort of immortality.

John Muir
My First Summer in the Sierra