Friday, September 24, 2010

Visitors Finally; Cabin Fever Broken

My Dad and his Bea came to visit on Monday. It was one of the rainiest days we've seen out here so far. We had a fire going all day and sat around in the warm little cabin while the rain came down all around. It is so nice to have visitors! And we have more coming!

Erica, Mike and Mark are due to be here sometime on Sunday for a night. It is a trip being out here for so long without going back to the city. Hell, I've barely left the property for three months. Having people from our "other" life come see us at the farm is really fun. I've been looking forward to it all summer.

An old friend of Jay's and mine, Rachel, is coming next weekend and it'll be really neat to have her here for a few days. We'll get to work together and talk about all this farm stuff/city stuff. I can't wait.

The season is nearing an end. We've moved from harvesting fruits to roots. A lot of the more tropical or Mediterranean plants like eggplants, peppers, basil, are giving up and we'll either be pulling them out or nursing them along for the next few weeks. Still harvesting tomatoes but not a lot. About a quarter of what we were getting two weeks ago. Gabriel says this is one of the worst Septembers they've seen out here, at least weather-wise.

Doesn't look like that's changing either. Lots of rain in the forecast. We just keep calm and carry on.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Gold Panner

his eyes, like gold they glitter
golden cat eyes
greedy with the quickening winter
crowbar & garlic breath
down by the river
rushing cold water
teeth chatter, shoulders shiver
what mineral delights,
iron-stained, sand-mingled,
will the banks of the Fraser
choose to deliver?
or reveal...

in the instant of discovery
do waves wash over you?
does your soul,
a patient alchemist,
miss the minutes and hours
that the seeking
of precious nuggets,
flakes and flower
must (in favour of physics
and thermodynamics)

the treasure you stockpile
is weighty with value
stock market and otherwise
but money
never makes a man wise.
it is your soul
that, inlaid with gold,
can only appreciate
and never be sold.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Just a few thoughts...

Waiting for the Jay & Kevin's homemade pizza to come out of the oven... yummy. Spelt crust, sauce from scratch, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, basil, onion and garlic all from the garden.

We're moving out of the busy season now, which is a relief to me and my back. I'm ready for the rainy season; rich, hearty food to nourish and saunas to heal and restore. Kevin is leaving us on Wednesday and we will definitely miss him. He's a funny, hard-working guy, the best kind to have around. I feel lucky to have a friend to go visit in Austria now! It's not "goodbye", it's "until next time!"

I've been busy with planning our trip to Hawaii and lining up farms to visit on Vancouver Island to see about our prospects for next season's apprenticeship. Even when we get an email saying, "Sorry, we're full," I can at least be happy that some person out there is learning about organic farming and that they will go on to incorporate that into their way of life.

Time to eat!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Book-fed and Sated

In between our daily tasks I take my time to look to the sky; to memorize the September day-moon in dance with the August-steeped sun.

We harvested a patch of gone-to-seed cilantro today and winnowed the coriander seeds. It was a delightful process that felt childlike and wholesome. The feeling of sinking your fingers into tiny oceans of grain. Watching the wind sweep the chaff away while the seeds chime into the bowl below. Having seeds for next year's cilantro and also the coriander to use as a spice. I love how the earthy aroma lingers on my fingers...

I've been reading a lot this summer as I am known to do. The last two books I devoured were Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut and The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Both of these books re-affirmed my love for life (and food) and my conviction that individuals can do what they are meant to do and affect the world in small and wonderful ways.

Reading Timequake is like sitting down to dinner with a good friend (or attending a clambake with a few). Having read so many of his books and being so deeply affected by his humanism, Vonnegut has been a good friend to me as I'm sure he was to many. This particular book was written towards the end of his career and life (he's up in heaven now) and is a semi-autobiographical romp through ten years "re-lived". Heavily doused with Trout-isms and Vonnegut's special brand of humour, at the end of this book I felt happy to be alive.

In The Omnivore's Dilemma you are invited to sit down with Pollan for three meals that he details from corn-field through slaughter-house all the way to the table. I've wanted to read this book ever since I read another of his books, In Defense of Food, back in December. Pollan is a great lover of food and his journalistic research is peppered with personal reflection and musings that make his books both intensely informative and hilarious.

Reading these two books back to back and being so immersed in the cultivation and culture of food has led me to answer the question: If you could have dinner with three people living or dead, who would they be?

Definitely Micheal Pollan and Kurt Vonnegut. For the third, obviously I must choose a woman. Frida Kahlo perhaps?