The stories, travails, mistakes, successes; the journey of a change in lifestyle for two would-be market farmers and permaculturists.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

2 Doors Shut, Very Many More Open

Well, I didn't turn out to be a very good blogger.  I've tried before to keep up a blog, and I've done better with this one than others.  But, obviously, my posts are few and long spaces come in between.  I actually started this a couple of days ago, and just when I finally get something written, Blogger goes down.  So, this is actually dated material, but I'm going to post it anyway, when Blogger becomes available again.

I left my job at a small library last fall for a variety of reasons that I don't need to go into here.  I had expected to find something to replace it in a fairly short time.  The South Central Library System was going to a new software system, so I did expect there would be retirements from some of the libraries, and an opening would occur.  Well, .....that didn't happen.  I also was expecting that the new library opening in Fitchburg would appreciate someone with my contacts and experience.  Those jobs did not appear for a LONG time, and well, they apparently had so many people apply that my contacts and experience did not matter.  I just got the no thank you letter for that.  While waiting to hear from Fitchburg, an opening popped up at a small library just 15 minutes North of us.  I interviewed, and walked away certain of library employment again.  Just today I got the call that someone younger, more local, and possibly more comfortable with the low pay was chosen.  My ego reeled.  I was surprisingly sad, and spent the afternoon grieving.

I'm a big believer in following the leads that the Universe provides.  Not that I always do that.  Often I fight it.  But, this time, it looks like the right things are happening.  I'm free now from a lot of mental restrictions.  I had put off filing applications with Farmer's Markets, because I didn't know what my new library schedule would be.  It had been easy to put off a lot of creative projects because I was sure I would not have time.  It looks like since the library doors are shut, the possibilities of what I can do for myself have become multiple.

Many doors beckon.

Spring and almost summer are finally here.  The trees are just in the throes of blossoming.  The daffodils are winding down, and everything the earth provides is bursting through the crust in earnest.  As I walked around the property after the day's mega-rain, I found some pleasant surprises.
Can you see it?

The asparagus is finally up!  I looked at last year's emergence notes and saw that we were eating asparagus the middle of April last year.  Here it is the 11th of May, and the season is just starting!  It is coming up super fast now.

Tomorrow's meal is going to be extraordinary, and this is why.

Our first Shiitake Mushrooms!!
I couldn't believe it when I checked over our mushroom logs.  This is what I saw on the Shiitake log.

 Roland took a mushroom workshop last year and inoculated this log with Shiitake Mushroom spawn.  We kept checking it all last year, but it took todays' rain to finally get it going.  There are mushrooms coming in all up and down the log.  This is the biggest one.  Can't wait to see what it looks like tomorrow.  We also have logs inoculated with oyster mushrooms and a big bed full of wine caps to look forward to.

As if this wasn't enough, I was admiring the blossoms on the fruit trees, which are about 3 weeks behind last year, and got yet another big surprise.

Grafting takes!
 This might not look like much, but to me it's a big deal.  We have been experimenting with grafting different varieties of fruit trees on to the mature trees that we have here now.  I need to go out and make an accurate count, but I think we did at least 30 different grafts.  This particular one is on a plum tree.  We have never gotten much off of the trees that we have now, so I have my fingers crossed that at least some of the grafts take, and in a couple of years, we should be getting fruit from them.

As I walk around, I have to appreciate and be grateful for the way that we have been able to live.  We are eating more and more of the food that we raise, or that others we know raise.  We eat very little in the way of processed foods, with that being pretty much limited to chips or cereal.  Or, ok, maybe the wine....  Tomorrow's meal will include asparagus, mushrooms, greens and radishes, all fresh from our garden.  A couple of days ago, we had goose.  No, not the Cotton Patch, but the ones we raised last year.  The poultry we raised here is SO much better than the "stuff" we used to get at the grocery store, it isn't even comparable.  We have no plans for larger animals, but do have friends who raise them organically, so it is a joy to eat them as well.

As I finish my walk, the Cotton Patch geese are making their way across the upper horse pasture.  The geese are setting, and I hope we have goslings in a week or so. The broody hen and her babies (who are turning into chickens) are out grazing on the grass.  There are more chicks in the barn office, a dozen that just hatched, and 2 hens are setting on around 20 eggs between them.

We are slowly getting things planted.  We won't be as ready I would have like, but we can only do so much.  The garlic looks great, and the new  little greenhouse helps a lot!
Cotton Patch Ganders Roaming
Sharing a nest!

We are blessed.
Baguette and her getting big babies

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