Wednesday, October 31, 2012

support your local farmer...even without buying vegetables

Today was my first visit to the eye doctor in 2 years. Having stocked up on contacts before I quit corporate and skipped chi-town, I haven't felt a need until that I've been laid-off and have one month to use up my benefits!

Not sure of my exact plan, but for now, I'm going where the wind blows. I have some freelance design projects. I want to start a farm in spring. There are rumors of me contracting work with my current employer. And I'd like to travel the world for at least a couple months.

Maybe I should play the pity card instead of smile when people apologize to me. But I am pretty content about these recent events. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and here I am, in the middle of it. A couple months ago I felt like I was in a fog. I knew I wanted to do something. I felt stuck. Everything was a blur, didn't make sense, didn't feel quite right. Yet being aware of that, I knew that's exactly where I was suppose to be. Doing just what I was doing. Waiting. It's been a summer of holding patterns. Getting to destinations but timing and conditions being just not quite right for landing. I recognize this's the same feeling I had before my sabbatical. There was so much prep work, so much frustration with my job and the city, yet as soon as I made it to Colorado, pure joy. Everything aligned more perfectly than I would imagine. I brought this up with my best friend, and she and I agreed, we're just prepping for something big, I think it's approaching. Being the top interviewee for a position I barely applied for...yet not being offered a position. Being accepted into the building farmers class was a start. Being laid-off was next. I have a few open doors ...we'll see what's next!

Anyway, back to the eye doctor. After asking me a series of questions about my health history (not much to talk about), she asked me, as a designer, if I work on the computer 8 hours a day.

"Yes, at least for another couple days. I just got laid-off...which is why I'm here to put the last of my benefits to use. I'm going to try to start an organic small farm in spring."
"Are you serious?! You are going to save our world from pestisides! YOU ARE A SAVIOR!"
All I could think was, was she serious? Who gets as excited as me about farming real food...and who isn't one of my fellow farmers? And how did I randomly stumble upon such an eye doctor?!

She went on and on about how she preaches the message of wholesome food to her patients every she can't believe that big commercial farmers receive so much government funding for producing terrible products that are killing us...stupid GMOs...stupid pesticides...if the farmers just knew how to grow crops the way nature intended then it would be so simple! yada yada. Preachin' to the choir and I loved it! She is one of the clients that we talked about in class last who will happily and loyally support my business model, regardless of price.

In fact, she was so appreciative of my future work already, that she didn't charge me for the tests that my insurance wouldn't cover (about $100 worth). She wanted to support my endeavors as much as she could financially with her services...and who knows, maybe she could end up buying my produce as my customer down the road.

Anyone who knows me knows that these little gestures really touch my soul. Now more than ever, I can't wait to pay this forward by providing wholesome food to my neighbors and friends.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I eat vegetables, therefore I am single.

"Miss Shannon, maybe you wouldn't be single if you ate meat, and not just vegetables."

"But I ate a hot dog at the Rockies game with you last month, doesn't that count?"

"Yeah, but it had a pickle on it."

Ahhh...wise words from a sixth grader.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Beginning Farmer

Things just got more serious. I have been accepted in the Colorado Building Farmers program. oh yeah!

I have plans in work to start something before the next growing season. Be it personal gardener, mobile goats, or a business partnership on some acreage. Hopefully this fall course will help me with the business aspects of farming, and help bring to life some ideas.

If anyone has anything you'd like to see in the Denver area, food or farm wise, let me know. And especially let me know if you have, or know someone who has, extra land around here that they'd like to lend.

End of a season

October 5. Here it is. Snow!

This time comes with mixed feelings:

Really? Summer's over already? But my peppers finally overcame the aphids! And a cucumber plant finally has a cucumber the size of a pea! j/k in Colorado! This week is back up to the 70s. Thank you sunshine! And moveable pots (even if the only thing I can grow in them is baby size).

Here are my potted green zebra tomatoes, hiding from the snow.

Finally! Summer was so flippin' hot this year and I'm ready for these dang veggies to frost over. And I've definitely OD'd on arugula. Even my freezer can't take anymore of it.

But we didn't get a fall! Oh, except for every brisk summer night...which is why I still love this place. Constant up and down to appease everyone! There is something nostalgic about fall in the midwest, be it the colors or the temps or the silly awesome festivals. I can't believe I fell for the pumpkin festival back home, but I missed it once again this year. Punkin' Chuckin' this weekend in Aurora, CO, should hopefully somewhat satisfy that craving.

Bring on the winter! Bring on the soup! And the snow! and the snowboarding!! I'm banking on this year being great for snow in the mountains...anything will be better than last year's. Oh, and Wisconsin. just sayin' :)

Guess it's time to get tires for winter!


Going to the garage does not make you a car...

just like going to a farmers market does not make you organic. or local. or awesome. it's certainly a step in the right direction (vs going to the golden 'starches'). but know your farmer. ask questions about where and how the produce was grown. be aware that not all vendors at farmers markets are wonderful and organic and stores may be better in some cases.