I arrived at the farm in the evening after dark to a wonderful warm reception of a lovely salad and squash soup. But, the most wonderful thing of all to discover (since Charlie wanted to snuggle all night before I left, and I was exhausted) was this lovely and comfortable bed.
I'll take some more pics of the cabin they lovingly call "The Grandma House" later.
The next morning, Joyce and I did a walkabout through the lovely 34 acre property. Tony is a lover of trees and there's every kind of tree you can imagine. My favorite is the shaggy bark hickory, not just cause it's pretty, but cause I just love saying "shaggy bark hickory" (it makes me think of smoky food, and it sounds like something from an old storybook). Joyce loves her native prairie, and as amazing as they look now, I can only imagine how they will look later. More pics of the property, the oak savanna and stories about that later!
Tony & Joyce on a stool looking for some local honey for me so I will be resistant to their local poison ivy. MO is such a lovely blend of both of them and i see so much of her in them.
Joyce and I love to putter in the garden that she and MO planned and planted together. We've been harvesting tomatoes, potatoes, watermelon, arugula, cantaloupe, cucumbers and peppers (peter peppers - sending pics later - you can guess what they look like - tehee - I'm sure Jake will add a "that's what she said" somewhere). We put up some tomatoes, potatoes and peppers last night. Joyce taught me a much easier way to blanch them & peel them, Jake!
So many chickens! She takes in strays. There's always a rooster crowing and we don't have to drive a million miles for eggs.
So many nasturtiums and zinnias. I hope you can't overdose on flowers!
I have been loving the time to play and do some serious kitchen witchin! I have multiple kefir batches and am going to experiment making kefir cheese. I've made four tinctures - lemon balm, lemon verbena, lemon grass and another holy basil. I'm making bone broth, sprouting barley and beans, making chimichuri and on and on.... She has a kick ass deydrator called the Excaliber, so there's lots more dried lemongrass & holy basil for tea! There's a garden here by the Grammy House (my name for it) with lots of Kale that's just waiting to be converted to Kale Chips! I'll bring you some, Mattie and we can do some binging on green chips instead of the others!
This morning, Joyce took me to their local market, which is huge! It's right on the Mississippi river and has a FERRIS WHEEL! (i'll get pics for you). I might have some of these flavored honey sticks in my lil pocketses when I get home (habenero for you, Ben).
Jake, check out these crazy looking pumkins...
I'm in hog heaven. I have so many veggies that I don't know what to do with them! But, their sweet potatoes look wimpy next to the one you harvested Manders.
Nicole, I thought about you when I saw this adorable camper booth. It's a cupcake stand. Check out the cupcake curtains!
When we got home, Tony had set up a tour of the property with his friend Ray who is a weather specialist with the US weather service and a master gardener. He's an expert in micro-climates. He was amazingly helpful at helping me to diagnose some of the growing issues I've had and said the extra rain in the midwest was due to climate change. Also, he said I can get the wilt out of my soil by solar cooking it. Can't wait to learn about this.
Tony is in the blue jacket and Joyce is in the black one. The people on the ends are a couple (Ray the Metorologist) and the other dude is a neighbor who's lived on a farm next door his whole life. Him and Tony are tree-planting fools.
Farmer David found some "hen of the woods" mushrooms, right in the backyard of my house here! I've had them before. They taste like chicken!
So I came home and started a fire after our chily morning out and warmed up some butternut squash, kale salad and lemongrass/holy basil tea to enjoy while writing to you!
I'll continue adding more pics and stories here about:
- The lovely Sangha we enjoyed yesterday
- The wonderful massages and myofascial release they've been gifting me
- My furry feline friends
- and the rolling hills of Iowa...
I miss all my family, but feel your love here with me. Every day is a new discovery and I feel so happy and blessed to have you, my roots - to know you are there, sending me love while I spread my wings!
Love, Peace & Dirt,