Friday, April 30, 2010

Homeless and Homesick

If you know me, you probably know that I am a home-body. I like to spend hours, days on end, alone or with others, at home. I like to putter around the house, alternately making and cleaning up messes. I love having my own space to think, reflect, create and relax.

When we started planning our road trip last year I was not so happy with our living situation and not so happy with my job and life in general. I was feeling crowded by my own involvements and emotions. I wanted a change.

I've always wanted to go on a long journey, go away and maybe never come back. I have wanderlust and desire for adventures in unknown places. I've moved a lot and felt adaptable my whole life.

And now here I am. I just got back from a 5 month trip and we've been home for two weeks only to leave again for a 6 month apprenticeship. I am so excited to go to the farm and move into our cabin but torn about leaving my friends and Vancouver. I'm tired of living out of a suitcase and having all my art supplies and sewing stuff in storage. I miss having a home!

I want to make things! I want to create and share and be a part of a community again. My challenge now is to make my life a piece of art and build a community around me wherever I go.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Orion Magazine

Yesterday I indulged and subscribed to this amazing magazine, Orion. Jay and I read a bunch of issues cover to cover at our first WWOOF farm. It is so inspiring and beautiful and they offer a lot of the articles free on the website. My favourite things about it are the lack of advertisements and the inclusion of short fiction and poetry as well as beautiful art and photography spreads.

In terms of content it is mostly regarding environmental issues but it brings these issues up in the human context and addresses community and spirituality as essential elements in our interaction with our environment. Anyhoo, I love it and can't wait to hold it in my hands. Although, digital subscriptions are cheaper and don't require paper...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sapo Bravo and East Van

We went to the farm a few days ago and it was everything we had imagined and more! Tucked into the side of a mountain up in the Fraser River Valley, the fruit trees were heavy with pink and white blossoms and the spring wildflowers were everywhere. Can't wait 'til peach time!

The farm is 60 acres split between three families. There are various houses, cabins, sheds and a large greenhouse. Curving rows of already growing garlic stretch out in terraces around the mountain slope. Commercial certified organic crops include garlic, onions, basil, 50 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, peaches, plums, and apricots. Not to mention a full family garden with everything from potatoes to kale to herbs.

Our cabin is adorable.

Here is Jay in the outdoor kitchen.

One room plus a loft bedroom, a huge deck and a little balcony. We have cold running water but no power (other than our trusty power pack and solar panel) and a squat toilet :).

We have an amazing view of the Fraser River from our deck.

We both can't wait to get out there and start growing things. We even have our own garden that is 4 times the size of our old garden at Glam Haus. There are already many herbs and flowers coming up as well as garlic and broccoli from the apprentices last year. We still have to decide what else to plant!

Now we are back in the city enjoying bike rides (I didn't realise how much I missed my bike until I was on it again!) and spending time with friends. I did my taxes yesterday... Jay is passing Elwood (our intrepid van) on to his new home today, which happens to be with folks who live in our old haus. Happy times.

Next on the block is to buy a used truck for the summer. We go to Calgary on the 1st of May for family visits and Edmonton on the 6th for Jay's little brother's wedding. And after that we go pretty much directly to Sapo Bravo with a short stop in Vancouver.

Life is full and busy. I can't complain.

Monday, April 19, 2010

City to Farm

I was just updating my flickr with some new 365 photos. I feel like I've been pretty crappy at that project because I've missed so many days and amazing opportunities for photos. I'm going to put more work into it this summer. I promise! And I am going to continue to use this here weblog to document my/our apprenticeship at Sapo Bravo. There are many more radventures to come on this road I travel.

I am elated to be back in Vancouver. Ironically, I'm so happy about it because I don't have to stay here for very long. I don't have to get a crappy apartment and go back to my job, which made me rather depressed before we left. I am going to continue to miss my dear friends but I'll be able to see them every week at the Farmer's Market at least.

The future looks bright, and green! Today we are going to the farm to solidify our "contract" and see where we will be living and working. I can't wait to go back to rural life. I love certain things about the city and I love my friends here but I think that the next part of my life is the transition from city to farm.

And moving to the country is a lot harder than moving to the city. Fewer jobs, you need a vehicle, isolation, etc. But the rewards will be worth it, eventually.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


We're home now. We had an itinerary planned for the Pacific Northwest but then we just decided to drive straight home from Portland.

It feels good to be home. I'm so happy to see my cats and friends. SO happy.

The next part of the journey is to visit Sapo Bravo in Lytton, BC. That's the farm we're going to be working on all summer learning the ins and outs of organic farming. Can't wait to get back in the soil.

After our two weeks in BC we're heading to Calgary and Edmonton to visit our respective families and attend Jay's little bro's wedding! So exciting!

Not to mention, I want to get to the island (Vancouver Island, that is) in the next little while because my brother Joel and sister(-in-law) Jo are expecting a new addition to the Harrison clan. So exciting!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Going back to Cali... Cali... Cali...

We are back in San Francisco! We left Mullin, Texas on Saturday, March 27th and in that time we have been through New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and Southern California.

The high desert was breathtaking. We visited Arches National Park in Utah based on the advice of our first Wwoof host, Tom and I am very glad we did. If you ever want to fall in love with Utah, read "Desert Solitaire" by Edward Abbey and go to Arches. He was a park ranger there in the '60s and has very specific views on preservation.

The Mormon State is epically beautiful. Red rock mesas, sandstone fins, and towering hoodoos everywhere. It looks something like Mars might if it had junipers and pinyon pines.

Next we hit the Grand Canyon. It is truly the grandest of canyons but unfortunately we were there during spring break and it felt more like a mall than one of the wonders of the world. It's really weird how being in America can make you feel like a consumer no matter who or where you are.

Jay and I have been reflecting a lot on the things we've done and learned on this trip. We're working on a list of things to do in/about all the cities and states we've been too. I'll be posting that soon.

We are so close to home now and have one more stop in Willits, California to visit a friend we made while in Mexico. We are both somewhat travel weary and can't wait to be welcomed back into Canada. I definitely think this trip has made us more proud of being from Canada. It is nice to have such a big, spacious place to call home.