This photo doesn’t do it justice, but last week after market, the two girls and I (Janet) got to participate in making this beautiful mandala, led by our dear friend.
This was created to honor the earth, and the time creating it was one of reflection and gratitude. See all those gorgeous materials used? Rocks, sticks, leaves, flowers, shells. It was a grand time. Juxtapose this with what’s going on around the farm right now: Ironically, equipment is grinding and churning away. Pushing down trees, tearing up stumps. Leveling the ground.
We are, hopefully obviously, pretty passionate about this earth that feeds us. (If you want to listen to an amazing radio program that reminds us about how the food we eat literally becomes part of us, listen here.) So, it is with mixed feelings that we clear land. But we really love growing food. We really love helping our community feed itself from a local, responsibly grown source. We really want to help Virginia be more self-reliant in the food department, instead of depending on California.
See how wonderful this stuff is?! It’s a fabulous mix of circumstances that brought us to be building a farm on this particular patch of the earth. Family, climate, finances, market opportunities, and forces we’re not aware of all joined together to plunk us here, surrounded by mostly trees. And we can’t grow this stuff in a forest. (Though we do use, and will use more, practices related to the permaculture concept of a Food Forest. But that’s a post for another day.)
(True spinach is back! Sing praises – it’s so good.)
Also – this greenhouse arrived! We need a place to put it, obviously.
It’s just a big, confusing pile of metal right now, but soon it will be up where trees recently stood:
So we clear. Soon, more of this:
Food and flowers included in this week’s harvest:
Bunched Greens (a tremendous variety of greens – tis the season! Stock up, ward off the flu, and enjoy), Arugula, Basil, Beets, Bell Peppers (purple, green, red, and orange), Hearty Greens Mix, Rainbow Chard, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Jalapeno Peppers, Kale, Heads of Lettuce, Spinach, Microgreens, Okra, Onions, Shiitake Mushrooms, Hakurei Turnips…and Eggs, Bread, and Bouquets of Flowers. (And it’s Dan’s birthday, so wish him a happy one. He’s 37, by the way.)
Reminder: Next Farm Tour – Oct 20th, 4:00
No fee, family friendly. Please, no pets.
(This week we are at Clover Hill Elementary School’s Fall Festival on Thursday 10/18, and at Midlothian Day at the Millworks next Saturday afternoon. Yes, that’s during our tour. We’re going to divide and conquer. Sunday 10/21 sees us at Millwood School’s Fall Festival. Then Wednesday Oct 24th we are participating in a Food Forum in Richmond on Food Day. Happy Fall!)
And – for those of you that don’t follow us on FaceBook, we highly recommend reading an article from the New York Times this week, titled Everyone Eats There. Good stuff is at the end.