Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day

I guess if it helps people become more aware, then it's a good thing, but I don't understand the need for an Earth Day, not really. For me, every day is Earth Day.

Don't know if it's because I used to be a witch or just the way I've evolved into an adult. I identify as pagan now, half witch, half Buddhist with plenty of Celtic and Norse curiosity thrown in. I'm a gardener and farmer wannabe who gets pleasure from figuring out how to grow things. I see how the climate is changing for the worse because of humans, and it makes me ache; and I'm studying sustainability in the hopes that my efforts will retard that ever-so-slightly. Our next car will be some sort of hybrid, and I dream of solar panels and rainwater catchment.

Asheville is an amazing community, chock full of hippie types intent on changing the world. I hope to be able to find a niche of friends here eventually. I should be getting out more, to knitting circles or community gardening. It'll happen eventually. I'm only just getting back to some semblance of time management, and debt looms like a storm cloud.


The fair was so terrific...more on that over at Dark Meadow. I'm still processing, and digging into the books we bought. I experienced another 2 days of soreness after all the activity, and it was the push I needed to get walking again. I've already signed up for another 5K, this one in May, and I have my eye on that June 6K too.

My body surprised me by jogging a fair amount yesterday. I'm trying not to think about what it looks like, because it certainly isn't a Merriam-Webster definition of jogging. Not going to make any magazine covers any time soon, winkwink. But it's just a pinch more than a speed walk, and my joints aren't screaming today, so I must have been watching my gait well. Hot damn!

Image from here.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday! Mother Earth News Fair! Huzzah!

I know! Twice in one week! Call Ripley's!

Was going to post on Dark Meadow, but the guilt over not starting seeds yet drew me over here instead. I'm plowing through sites today as quickly as possible, so I can plan out the delicious logistics of our weekend. Mother Earth News Fair is in town!

Homesteading is so much more than being a farmer. I stopped buying bread about 6 months ago, and never looked back - I make it by hand. Now that the farmer's markets have started up again, our Saturday mornings will consist of getting up at a decent hour to take a wander through the North Asheville Market, our cash jingling in our pockets as we maintain loyalty to vendors and make a friend or two along the way. Made breakfast this morning of a made-from-scratch waffle with unsweetened almond butter and local jam and was struck by how these simple things taste so much better than what the American food industry passes off as food.

Side note: the jam people at Imladris are often at the North market, and I've bought eggs from them a couple of times. The lady running the booth said her son was in charge of the eggs. Happened upon this article recently, which only increases my love of the area. Her son is 12.

Les and I attended the Fair in Seven Springs, PA, last September and it was an amazing, motivating time - a serious 3-day high. Even if you already have a farm or live sustainably, there should be stuff of interest for you there. From workshops to live demonstrations, if you have any interest in homesteading, living sustainably, knowing where your food comes from, animal husbandry, goodness, I could go on....it's an educational and fun time.

Les learned enough about herbalism to start himself on a new hobby, and our apothecary has slowly grown ever since. Just this past week, we created a homemade first aid salve that will definitely replace anything with the name Neosporin in our cabinet (full disclosure: Les added arnica for pain relief and comfrey and plantain for wound healing, and double boiled everything instead of straight pan heat). I learned about a little bit of everything, and hope to narrow that focus just a touch with this year's workshops.

Joel Salatin is headlining again, Deborah Niemann and Dawn Combs are in the house, and I'm digging thru the program guide today to see when the demonstrations are occurring at the John C. Campbell booths, as I'd love for Les to see some blacksmithing first-hand. While I dream of enough pasture land for sheep to live comfortably, he dreams of a backyard forge.

Come on out to the WNC Ag Center in Fletcher, y'all! Should be a big time!

Image from here.

I'm not a sponsored blog, so this postscript is barely necessary, but Mother Earth doesn't know me from Adam and hasn't compensated me for this post. I just seriously dig what they do.

Monday, April 07, 2014

April Showers

Man, time flies. And it turns out I have 7½ readers instead of 6, because someone actually missed me, which is funny since I've always thought of this blog as a diary that very few read.

I pulled out of my responsibilities with Ashevillage, which made me sad but couldn't be helped. They weren't asking much of me, but we're in decent debt this year, and my attention needs to be focused on projects that actually make us money.

The landlord never inspected our place, but I'm glad I tore down the shelving out front, as it was a catch-all and an eye sore. I set up our plastic patio furniture and gardening containers out there, and I hope to have the same size garden as last year. Starting seeds this week. Guess I should decide on what the heck I'm growing...I'm already thinking it will be more of an herb and tea garden this year than veggies, just to be safe. I'd rather not have lots of veggies growing and have the landlord decide everything needs to be moved inside.


I'm still struggling with my weight issues over at Melanie's Gym. I'm not on the straight and narrow yet where that is concerned, unfortunately, but reading Robert Lustig's Fat Chance was illuminating, and I just did a 5K, my first walking race in years. Hell, maybe a decade. I finished in under an hour, my everything is sore, and I'm determined to improve myself more.


Over on Dark Meadow, I focus on the farm, such as it is. Our debt isn't going to go away overnight, unfortunately, but on the other side of the coin is the knowledge that our landlord is a bit of a douche (based on the way he's treating a neighbor), so I'm motivated all the more to improving our situation so we can find somewhere more stable.

April is shaping up to be rather excellent. I read and respect a handful of bloggers, and this past weekend, I got to meet a biggie: Ashley English of Small Measure. She hosted a wild foods walk and talk with Keri Evjy of Healing Roots Design. Les and I joined a bunch of other females as we traipsed through Ash's property a bit, identifying edibles, and then enjoyed lunch out in the sunshine. Made me a bit sore going into yesterday's walk, but I wouldn't change a thing...it was an informative and exhilarating time! I'll likely gush more about it over on Dark Meadow in the next day or so.

This coming weekend is the Mother Earth News Fair here in Asheville. We attended the Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania, last year and it did not disappoint. Les came away with a strong interest in herbalism, and I came away solid in the notion that this farming dream ain't going anywhere. Can't wait!

Image from here.