Update 03/21/2017

Wow, what a winter. I’m finally starting to see some dirt and grass through all the snow in the back yard. Our front yard is still pretty well covered, although the piles are continuing to shrink. I hold out hope that we will see grass in the front soon.

A new addition to our front yard is a sold sign. I’m very excited to announce our upcoming move from town to country life. My garden plans at the moment are up in the air. The only thing I know for sure is that there will be one. I’m hoping to move the whole operation to the new place but I’m keeping open the option to also use the current garden space or a combination of the two. The uncertainty is making me a bit crazy, even though I know that it will all turn out in the end. Our move is scheduled for early May and will make for a hectic first month but again, deep breath, it will all work out.

I’ve recently gone through my seed saved from last year and have made an extensive list of plants and seed that needs to be purchased. Since my plans that were drawn up before the first of the year may not be relevant, I’ve given up on planning and will just stock up on seeds and plants and till up ground until they all have a place.

The 2017 CSA contract is out and as updated as it can get for the time being. Whether at the new place or using the current garden I should have plenty of produce for both the CSA and Farmers Market.

I’ll try to post updates at things progress with the move and hopefully post some pictures of Barnhardt Farms new home as soon as I can.

Happy second day of spring!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update 03/21/2017

Thoughts for January 2017

I’m watching in horror as people destroy property, disrupt livelihoods, and set back our race relations hundreds of years. They are doing this all in the name of peaceful protest. What I’m seeing is destruction, hate, violence, and greed covering up those that have valid issues that they are trying to support. How can someone who is claiming to protect the environment and make the world a better place burn, smash, and spew hatred? It’s discouraging to hear someone claim to passionately stand for something while watching them defile what is not theirs. All on a large scale. These have been no small fires. This is more than a gum wrapper thrown on the ground. Terrorizing businesses across the county as you have a childish meltdown for not getting your way.

We all have days that we would like to sit back and pout, throw some rocks, and smash a few plates to take out our frustration. Everyone is not going to agree on everything, all the time. Most of us are able to realize this and continue with our lives or we try to find a constructive solution to the problem. Some, like the man/child in one video, fell to his knees crying and screaming like a baby in the middle of a street, while others took hammers to store fronts. What is this? Does that help your cause? Does this make you feel better about yourself? Is this a solution to your problems? Will you be able to show this to you children and grandchildren with pride?

I’d like to place some blame here. Squarely on the shoulders of parents with a bit of runoff for the legal adult children. I’m afraid and ashamed of the products of recent parenthood and I’ll take some of that blame for myself. Entitlement is a slippery slope that is greased by our want to make our children’s lives better and easier than our own. We want to compensate for all the times our parents were horrible to us and withheld those things that we longed for. We give and give without giving what is needed the most, morals and values. Instead of teaching about cost and work ethic we are teaching that puppy eyes and enough whining will get you anything. Why work when there is someone somewhere willing to throw the cash at you if you make a compelling story?

I’m holding out hope that there is still time to change this. This change needs to start in the home, not in our schools and governments. Parents and guardians need to step up and hold themselves and their children accountable. Childhood is not and should not be all fun and games. We are not raising children, we are raising future adults and leaders. A child not expected to work and later not trusted to do things on their own will have one heck of a time when you’re finally bled dry financially and emotionally and expect them to take care of themselves. How will that adult-child ever take care of a family, property, or community when they have a hard time leaving home without their pacifiers?

Let children know that it is okay to not like everyone. It is okay to not get along with and hang out with everyone. Children need to know that even when you don’t get along, you still need to be courteous. There will be situations where you have to work closely with those that you disagree with. Teach them to be respectful. A wise woman once said, “There will always be someone that is better than you and there will always be someone worse than you at whatever you are doing. Remember that before beating yourself up for not being the best and also before you gloat about an accomplishment.” You do not need a participation ribbon or pat on the back for every little thing you do and even “gasp” most of the big things you do.

Be willing to help people, starting in your own community and possibly never reaching beyond that. Open a door, make a donation, pick up a piece of trash on the sidewalk, or just smile. It’s counterproductive to adopt a starving oil covered giraffe in Antarctica while a park just a block from your house if covered in graffiti and trash or worse yet your front lawn.

Most importantly take care of yourself and your family first. Don’t worry about which neighbor has a new boat. Forget about the fancy vacation you saw a classmate post about on social media. Do what is right for your family and be damned the haters. Don’t forget to let you children know why you are doing the things you do. They won’t know how to deal with hardships if we don’t share ours with them. Let them have and help them to deal with their own struggles while they are still young.

Maybe I’m being overly optimistic but I think that our future generations still have a chance. There is a possibility that we can stop public adult temper tantrums. We can teach our children to become successful, hardworking, and honest adults. By “we” I am talking about parents. Hold your children accountable starting at a young age. The parent is not responsible for homework and all household chores. Children need to contribute and take responsibility or they turn into Eco-terroristic fools, suckling from the tit of unsuspecting but equally foolish bleeding hearts, while rioting their way across the county claiming just causes as their own, in order to further their social media status.

Thoughts for January 2017

Giving Thanks

This year there has been much turmoil and disruption but there are still many things to be thankful for. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving here’s my list.

My husband is at the top. He’s my rock and an amazing provider. Hardworking, kind, and patient I’m very thankful that he’s in my life.

My children bring joy and adventure to everyday. The endless questions and motion can be tiresome but reflecting on each day I learn more from them then they will ever learn from me.

Family and friends who are always there even if we don’t talk on a regular basis. Having such a great support group who would do anything and I would do anything for.

Being human and having the ability to make mistakes and learn from them. Everyday is a chance to experiment, fail, and expand.

The list may seem short and there are many more things that I’m thankful for but these are the big ones. Take time to be thankful this Holiday season and don’t forget your blessings in the coming year.

 

 

Giving Thanks

Love

My daughter recently sprung on me a question that was difficult to answer. In part because I’m a very suspicious person and was wondering where the question came from and how my answer would be used against me but also because I haven’t really thought about it. She asked, “What is your definition of love? What is the first thing that you think of when you hear the word?”

Like I said, my first thought was not how to answer the question but why was she asking it. Does she think she’s in love? What recent conversations would have her questioning my ability to love? Is she not feeling loved? Am I a horrible mother? Then came: If I answer this wrong will she forever base her definition of love off of mine and have messed up relationships from this point forward? How can my answer be used against me later during some very messed up teenage/parent argument? If you haven’t noticed yet I tend to overthink things a bit.

After a very long pause on my end she says, “Mom you’re making this harder than it is. Just tell me the first thing that you think of.”

Here is the answer that she got.

I think of you and your brother and you dad. With your dad, I’ve always liked your dad, but the love I feel for him has grown and changed a bit over time. It started exciting and new and has evolved into comfort. He’s like a worn pair of jeans that I go to when I need to feel good. He’s my constant and my contentment. With you kids it was an instant ache in my chest from the first time I heard your hearts beat. Love for you guys is so powerful that it hurts and is always there every time I look at you. It is also something that you won’t experience until you have children yourself. The love I feel for you and your brother is something that can never go away. No action on your parts will ever make me love you less. This is hard because when you do things that I don’t like my reaction may make it seem like I don’t love you. Know from now on that even when it doesn’t seem like it, my every action is done with love for you.

The look on her face after hearing my explanation of my love for her confirmed my fear that she doubted my love for her. We say the words every day, multiple times a day, but do we really show it? I’ll have to make a point to show it more often.

Some of the things that I would like to add to our conversation; Love is different than like. Love doesn’t go away even after you are hurt. When you like a person you can love moments with them but the love doesn’t penetrate through the whole relationship. People you like can leave your life, and you still have feelings that hang on certain moments with them, but you don’t really love the person. When someone you love leaves your life that love stays with you forever, and with that love that person is always there.

When you love someone let them know, not just in words but also with your actions, never just assume that they can feel the pressure squeezing your heart every time you look at them.

 

Love

November 17th Update

So, lots of emotional stuff out there that I could be posting about but I’m going to avoid those subjects for the time being. Most of my writing lately has centered on things that I’d rather not share so you are stuck with a boring update for now.

On the garden front there is not much to report other than the fact that weeds are growing in November. Hopefully the next few days of cooler weather will take care of that problem. I’ve been doing some research on weed management and companion crops for the coming year and have most of the garden plotted out in my handy notebook. Hopefully next year I’ll be able to better manage the space that I’ve got and with the additional space be able to provide for approximately 20 full share CSA members as well as the farmers market and of course my own freezer and canning room. Those of you that mentioned coming to help pull weeds next summer may want to change your phone numbers soon. I may be taking you up on it.

At home things have finally fallen into as close to a routine as we will ever manage. Our time revolving around school, work, and trips to the farm to do chores, and even though I try to avoid it, I’ve found time to clean up the house.

After finally getting the kids rooms cleaned out I’m dreading Christmas. Every time I go to the store I find myself wandering around looking for gift inspiration that never comes. My inner Grinch has taken over and I envision a Christmas with no tree, no presents, and no laughter. Me sitting in a corner with an evil grin enjoying the lack of busyness that tends to rule this time of year. Then I think of the lack of nummy food that accompanies the craziness and change my mind. Gift inspiration will eventually strike and I’ll be complaining about messy rooms again by January.

My to do list for this time includes; getting into the holiday spirit, finalizing my CSA contract for next year, putting together some recipes and tips for CSA drop offs, doing some writing that I feel comfortable posting, and beating the kids at Rummikub which is the game of choice lately.

Hope everyone has a great day!

November 17th Update

Home

Driving away from the farm today I came to the realization that the place I’m referring to when I say, “I’m going home.” is not the place that is home in my heart. My house, while still the place I mean when I say “home,” is really just a structure in which my home resides part-time. Home has become my husband and children. Looking into their eyes and holding them in my arms is home. Home is the feeling of safety, security, love, and comfort. It’s also something inside of me that takes over whenever I feel grounded.

Growing up I never really analyzed the feeling of home. It was where I slept at night, received meals, and played. Looking back I had a multitude of places that I would now consider home. The town, my relatives and friends, school, and work were all things that gave me incredible comfort. They are also things that if they were taken away would have left a great void in my life. That’s home, something that when taken away leaves an empty space. I’ve lost some of these homes and have come to rely on memory to take me down hallways and through doors that are no longer physically available to me.

Home is also any place that I can dump my emotional baggage on the front step and walk in unencumbered or if I chose can bring the chaos with me and get help unpacking. At one time it was an uncle who was always there to listen, the shop where I could go and dream of being anything I wanted, my parents who supported me no matter what. Added to these now are my husband who definitely gets the brunt of emotional mess, a great friend who has become my personal counselor, and my sisters both blood and in-law. My house could burn to the ground with all my physical possessions inside but I’d still feel at home with those I love.

My garden has also become my home. It’s stress relief, gym membership, confidant, dreams and goals all rolled into one. Here I have a feeling of security, a sense of ownership and accomplishment. Digging my hands into the rich black soil I feel connected in a way that leaves me missing it when my hands are washed clean. Every time that we drive away from the piece of rented dirt that my heart calls home, I fight to remind myself that we were lucky to have this day here and even if there is never another, we made memories in this “home” that will last forever.

 

 

 

 

Home

Year End 2016

The only things left in the garden are a few green tomatoes and some almost orange pumpkins. At this point I’m happy to be done but also sad that it’s over. The summer wasn’t too awfully warm and we got a decent amount of moisture. I had one heck of a time getting plants to come up, but once they were started they produced well and I can’t complain about the year overall. Now I just have to collect a few seeds and till one last time and it will be ready for next year.

My first year of CSA was a success, meaning I haven’t heard any complaints, I got a few compliments, and I learned a lot. There are many changes to come on the CSA front next year and I’m excited to get started on all the planning that’s involved. Farmers Market was more of a challenge for me this year partly because of the CSA.  I will need to up the quantity of plants by quite a bit next year to keep up with both and, you guessed it, that means it’s time to expand the garden again. I’d like to be able to offer a greater variety to both the CSA and market next year and an expansion is necessary.

I’m sure that my family is looking forward to me clearing the canning paraphernalia out of the kitchen, living-room, and hallway. For some reason my initial small pile on the counter starts to take over the house. This will have to wait for a few weeks yet, as I finish up some apples and tomatoes but the end is near. They are also probably waiting for the day that the clean laundry makes it out of baskets and into drawers and closets. I pick my battles during the summer and folding laundry rarely makes the cut.

This winter I plan to get a lot of my paperwork out of the way for next season, including trying out some recipes to share and getting them printed out. I’m also hoping to do a bit more writing and make some changes to my labels and cards. Maybe laundry won’t get done?

I’d like to say a very big THANK YOU, to all of those who made it down to the farmers market this year and especially to those that participated in the CSA. Neither would survive without great customers and members.

Stay tuned for updates throughout the winter.

Year End 2016