Matt and I are into harvest season and we are harvesting all kinds of things. Last week we had our friends Erica and Luc over for an early Thanksgiving. A chance to share with friends some of the food we had grown and raised over the year. When friends come to our house to share a meal talk inevitably turns to our farm project and our food raising. Every time we engage in these conversations it gives me a chance to refine how I communicate our mission to people. During our conversation I realized that what I want for people is food awareness. Not everyone is going to raise their own food or animals, not everyone is going to be a vegetarian, omnivore, vegan, etc. The world is made up of lots of different people making lots of different choices. The key word in that sentence is CHOICE. I want people to be aware of where their food comes from and to make a choice about how they choose to feed their families and fuel their bodies. Matt used to be a vegetarian. His decided years ago that if he was going to eat meat he had to be the one to raise it and process it. When we met we found we had some common food beliefs, one of them being a commitment to local food. In those days we ate a lot of soy [insert meat type here]. It i s hard to be committed to being a localvore while you are eating soy patties for protein. Over time we came to realize that we couldn’t do both. We can’t committee to eating 80-90% of our food from local sources and be vegetarians. But we can committ to eat 80-90% of our food from local sources if we are NOT vegetarians and the only way we can do that is if we raise the food ourselves.
This has been an experimental year for us, our first foray into lots of animals. We learned a lot, changed alot and came to have a new appreciation for food.
Last night Matt cooked us dinner – roasted chicken with vegetables. All grown in our yard and all handled by Matt right up to the minute it was served on the table. We took a minute to be thankful for the food that graced our table and then ate a delicious meal, thankful for the opportunity we have to grow our own food and nourish our bodies.
This week Sinclair Acres has been a hub of social activity. My niece Hailey has been staying with us for the week while she attends art camp in Portland (I am not so secretly hoping she grows up to do something artistic) and my longest friend Jocelyn is staying with us for the month so she can absorb some of the Maine goodness people come from miles around to get!
We have turned everyone into a farm hand asking them to pitch in with the nightly preparations for dinner or with harvesting and preserving something out of the garden. This week saw us put away lots and lots of green beans for the winter and also had us eating cucumbers and tomatoes fresh from the garden. Corn will be here soon and other vegetables can’t be far behind. Each night we sit down at the table, as a “family” and nourish ourselves on cool, crisp raw cucumbers, fresh corn and potatoes on the grill. I feel blessed at each meal not only to be sharing the food with people I love so much but also blessed that we are able to grow this food on our own and provide nourishment, both body and soul, for us and our families. I think of my grandmother often and I hope I am making her proud.
Tonight after dinner we took everyone down to Bayley’s Ice Cream for a sweet treat! Nothing will replace Four Seas Ice Cream for me as the best of all time but this has become my new local favorite. Today’s scoop of the day was ginger snap -delish!
I brought along my camera to make a few images of our trip. Since reading this quote from Dorothea Lange I try to bring it out more often for the everyday events.
One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you’d be stricken blind.
This week I had my first tomato directly from the garden. I ate it so fast that I don’t even have it to show you! But I can report that all tomoatoes are doing well. This year I took a “plant a tomato EVERYWHERE” approach so as you are walking around the property you might come across some random tomoato plants:)
This one is by t he front door, and doing quite well! These tomatoes will be bigger than cheery tomatoes but smaller than your average size tomato. I think these will be perfect for my lunch box.
I planted two containers of Tumbling Toms right outside my studio door just in case I need a snack while working:)
If you look closely you will also see a regular tomato plan in there as well:)
I am thrilled to report our pumpkin patch is thriving! The pumpkins are growing both inside and outside the fence and producing lots of jack o’lantern pumpkin and sugar pumpkins for pies!
Here are some of our jack’s
The turkeys arrived this past week took. They are in a small coop by the new/old shed. Minion LOVES them – or I should say loves to run around their coop and drive them crazy. Everytime I tell her to stop this is the face she gives me:)
Hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful weather!
3.5 pounds is the first zucchini of the season!
This bad boy is gigantic! When I left for the cape on 07/24 there weren’t any zucinni’s or summer squashes ready for eating. When I came home it was a vertiable harvest including this giant zuchinni.
I have plans to scoop out the guts, mix it with olive oil and breadcrumbs, scope it back into the zucinni body and then roast it up. I had that first tomato today – not from our garden but from the farmers market. Our own tomatoes are not too far away:)
Matt and I both like rituals, predictability in our every day lives. I think if we could both figure out how to do it our Monday – Friday would be the same routine every day and we would shake it up for the weekend, but that is not always to be with the “farm” and my jobs. So we try to create mini rituals in our days, months and years that can be the cornerstones of our lives.
As a daily ritual we walk Minion, or I should say Matt walks Minion. Sometimes I tag along if the photography workload isn’t great or if I am home at walking time. Its nice to carve out that time each day to walk and reflect and when we are together talk about the week.
Minion is turning out to be a really great dog! We have a few moments of serious fiestiness but she has come a long way since January 22nd when she growled at me from the crate the whole way home:)
Once a month Matt and I go to Fore Street in Portland for dinner. The site of a magical date early on we now go there every month on the 19th to celebrate our monthly anniversary. They are getting to know us there and its always a nice treat when the 19th comes around and we can reflect on our marriage over a great meal. We even get to sit in the same seat as our first date since we told them that was our favorite 🙂
Every year since Matt and I started dating we have gotten up 30 minutes before dawn on June 21st to watch the sunrise on one of the longest days of the year! Every year it has been foggy or raining so we have been in bed 10 minutes later – but not this year! This year we knew we would get sun so we headed out to Two Lights in Portland and watched the sun come up while the waves provide background music and the birds started their day. It was somewhat idyllic this morning and a memory I will always have!
I love Storycorps on NPR. Little bits of peoples histories recorded not only for the radio but for archiving at the Library of Congress. Years from now history will not only be what is in the history books but also in these little stories told by every day people about ordinary and extraordinary things.
This year my personal project is to create a little storycorps of my own. I have wonderful images of my family events and I look forward to the day years from now when I can look at them with Hailey and Riley’s children and tell them about the time when. What was missing was the audio and maybe a little of the video. I want to be able to tell them about the day Bampi (my dady) helped me make fritters but also have them hear Bampi tell about how it was when he was a kid – stories from their great grandfather.
So I started my little project when we reinstated the family tradition of fritters for Easter. A few still images, a little audio and a whole lot of learning about this new world of video I have produced my first “short”.
If you read my blogs you know I am big on preserving personal history – how else are people to know where they come from. This is my latest endeavor!
BTW: There are outtakes after the credits:)
How are you recording your personal history?
Matt and I disagree about the place flowers have at the farm. I think that flowers are necessary! Not only are they beautiful but a well crafted flower garden brings order and symmetry to what would otherwise be a plain grassy area. Matt thinks anything you can’t eat is pointless!
I went over to my sister Jen’s on Saturday to help her bring some symmetry and order to her front walkway. My mom joined us and while I was working she said “at least one of us took after Gram”. It was one of the nicest things she could have said:)