Its been awhile.
The hardest part about creativity is keeping it over time. Even as I think about what genuine creativity is, I realize that some of the most creative parts of life aren’t recognized as such. Truly, the most creativity any person can have starts with that person being themselves. I’m confident that I am not alone in this – I have and will spent a majority of my life not being fully true to myself. Perhaps it is impossible for somebody to be fully true to themselves, yet we have every opportunity to try our best. And so I reach this conclusion – glory comes not always in the achievement, though it can still be had in our attempts (Anyways, I’ll stop getting off topic now). Lately, I’ve put so much focus on letting the unimportant things go. I’ve spent so much time reconsidering who I am in the midst of my surroundings. Ultimately, I’ve just decided to smile more. All of that said, I am getting better at capturing the fullness of my days, and taking joy in my efforts.
Creativity actually has very little to do with paintbrushes and poems and pictures. Creativity is about living in the right frame of mind, which starts by making every moment joyful. I understand that some times are harder than others, but if you can find something to be thankful for, something to look forward to, and simply something to laugh about, you’ve truly found creative genius.
On the farm, creativity is watering seeds, patiently waiting for them to germinate, wrestling the slivers of doubt as you wonder if you even put seeds in your plug tray, and bursting with excitement as the first leaves burst through the ground.
Creativity is chasing the chicken through their run, excited to hold one in your arms, and entertaining yourself over what the chicken might be thinking as you meet them eye to eye.
Creativity is living – every single day.
This week at the farm we demolished a mulch pile! We put mulch everywhere. We put some in the back where the chickens are, in the chicken run and behind it. We also added to the path that was being made on the left side of the farm.
Oh this week we let the chickens out! It’s been fun figuring out their personalities. I’ve already named six chickens including two of the black ones. There are Holly, Jackie, Falla…those are ones that Laurette helped me name. Then there is Sweetie, she’s the small bantam hen. Then there are Crowna and Calli, two black hens, Australorps.
On Friday, we had a feast and a book discussion with Elinor. I really liked the vegan tamale casserole!
I look forward to next week:)
On Monday we switched stations. Field went to chickens. Chickens went to nursery. Nursery went to field. I was a little sad at first because I was learning and enjoying being on the field but I also was really excited to go to the chicken station. We also changed compost team and I am on it this time!
On Friday, we mulched the chicken area and while we were mulching we got to talk to each other. I learned more about what everyone does for a living. I liked getting to know more about everyone.
I was also excited because I was thinking about adopting some of Rishi’s older chickens.
A few weeks ago we found out that the chickens were going to go to Rishi’s house to be slaughtered. Lucas, Sabi and I were talking to Brooke about it and she said that they had said she could take Aussie (the chicken) because they saw that Brooke had a special bond with Aussie. But she was sad because she didn’t have any place to keep Aussie. So I offered to see if we could take Aussie, because we have eight chickens already. I asked my mom and she said that was fine, but she would talk to Pearl about it and maybe we should take more than one chicken so Aussie would have a friend. Also it’s important to have more than one chicken when introducing new chickens to a big flock. Pearl said yes and we arranged to get them today.
So after the farm, we headed to Rishi and Pearl’s house…but along the way we stopped at an India Sweet and Spices store and Pearl showed us all of the different spices that she suggested we have so as she mentions a recipe, we will have the correct spices for Indian cooking. (My mom has been asking her for recipes). After this, we went to her house and had a delicious Indian lunch. I watched her cook lentil papad and display the other food.
Then we went out to the chickens. We decided that we would get three! Sabi chose Aussie, I chose Falouf and Penguin. My mom wanted to get another one but we couldn’t fit another one in the carrier that we had brought.
I was surprised that they were very quiet during our drive home. I kept forgetting that we had chickens in the back. When we got home, we let them roam in our backyard until it was night. Then we put them in the carrier and brought it inside so they could sleep. We are not putting them into the coop yet because we need to introduce them to our chickens slowly. Because chickens have a pecking order, the older chickens might pick on the new ones and fight.
On Monday my dad came to the farm. It was cool to have my whole family there. On Wednesday we came for the lecture that Rishi gave. On Friday only Laurette and I were there from our team.We also found out that it was our last day on the field station. Laurette and I walked the fields with Manju. We went through all the fields and checked out all the plants. This week has been the best last week on the field station.
Also while me and chica were harvesting lettuce one time, we made up a radio station called whoo 37.1. and we would interview each other about what we were doing. So we decided that we should interview other interns. This week I interviewed Laurette, but the file is too big so we can’t upload it here. I’m going to try and edit it.
In Elinor’s fermentation class, we got to make our own fermented pickles. It was very cool being able to pick what was going to go in your jar. The only thing was that the onions made me go blind!
Oh also after the class that Elinor gave on fermentation, we stayed there for a while and I buried myself in the mulch and here’s a picture:
Monday was presidents day so my dad had the day off and he decided to come to the farm. It was really cool having my dad there because one, I enjoyed having my whole family there and two, because it was fun knowing more than my dad.
Monday was a compost day for me so I started the day doing compost, we created a pile on Monday putting sticks at the bottom then doing layers of horse manure, brewery waste, leaves, and old citrus fruit it was very interesting and fun and I was sad that it would be my last day on compost 🙁
Wednesday we came to the farm and listened to the lecture by Rishi.
By the way, Rishi is a natural (sorry I forgot to never say natural) speaker.
On Friday, Tyler and I shoveled mulch:
At the farm there is so much fresh air; yes, the literal air which is lovely and then there are the awesome people. I so enjoy learning about every person that was drawn to Sarvodaya and find their thoughtfulness and insight so reFRESHing. This makes sense of course, because my work for the last twenty years has consisted of listening to people’s stories, and I am always captivated. Outside of counseling, my children will tell you that everywhere I go, I also “interview” people.
In fact, it is the primary way that I homeschool them; by modeling engagement and curiosity with the world and learning about our diverse population and how they live. (Ask them to tell you about when I interviewed the State Trooper who pulled us over one time!) At the farm, what feels like fresh air, is that I am talking with others who have contemplated many of the same things that I have and are taking action in their own ways, which I find both to be great company and inspiration. As well as, simply a DEEP breath, in a life that often gets full with motherhood, and to be honest, a bit suffocated in the OC.
While potting seedlings, planting seeds and mixing potting soil, Cindy, Cheryl and I covered a range of topics from veganism, cultural differences to raves. We all had different experiences and perspectives and great respect for each person’s uniqueness. Their LA vibe is palpable and it reminds me of all there is to experience, including this opportunity to really learn, hands on, how to gently transplant baby beets and kale, into bigger homes, loosening the roots, making their transition easier…how to mix just the right ingredients into a fresh and better than what you’d ever find in a store potting mix…and how to smooth not pat the freshly mixed potting soil and gently lay the seeds in tiny depresses.. learning by doing…alive and sinking into my bones with the hopes of our future mini homestead feeling more doable…FRESH AIR.
Wednesday, Lynn gave a great talk on composting…and even though we actually had a compost workshop at my home with her before, where we made piles, it was a much needed review. She gave a great off the cuff explanation with quick drawings of all of the invisible microbes that create and live in soil and how there are literally billions. I sat there thinking, there you go, the most amazing homeschool biology class coupled with deep hands on experience. As usual I sat there with immense gratitude that we are having this experience…FRESH AIR.
With Valentine’s the day before, I also thought of how in year’s past I have arranged to have horse poop or mulch delivered on Valentine’s or my birthday, unconsciously honoring how much dirt and the process of death and rebirth really makes me happy. I really love this shit. (is that okay to say here? pun intended :)) And thanks to Lynn, now I even know how to ensure decomposition smells like FRESH AIR!
What did you do with the shovel w Elinor? We rinsed it off…let it hang and then we put the wax on”
What did you use the shovel for? “compost.”
What did you do with the compost? “Sometimes we make it, sometimes we flip it, sometimes we move it, we do everything.”
What went into the compost? “Leaves, horse poop, brewer waste, fruit, that’s basically all”
(Lucas chimes in) Did you put sticks in it? “well yeah, at the bottom”
“We found some good oranges, they had stuff on them, but we rinsed them off and ate them”
Why are you making a compost pile? “because there is a pile of horse manure and we added that to the pile, now weeeeeerrrrrrreeeee just letting it sit there” (lots of giggles at extending the word, and tells me to specifically write it that way..then asks me to read it to him and is delighted with more giggles at how funny it is going to sound for everyone)
And what’s going to happen? Iiiiiiittttts gooooonnnnn tttoooo beeeee reeeadddy.” (“It’s going to be ready”— lots more giggles :)))
What do you mean ready?
“Like a ready pile… it’s ready to do whatever you want!”
Like plant seeds in? “Yeah or use it however!”
How did you like this week at the farm? “I liked it”
(“write ‘the end’ mom”)
On Monday I spent most of my time with the chickens. I helped out with getting the eggs, feeding, and putting them up. I also did some harvesting with Chika. We were harvesting spinach. I had a great time.
On Wednesday we couldn’t make it for the morning part but we came for the lesson about composting. I learned a lot from that lesson like how to make a compost pile and how to take care of it. And I am looking forward to learning some more!!!
On Friday we didn’t go to the farm because it was pouring and we didn’t want to be driving in the rain. I was disappointed but I didn’t want to be in the car in rain either.
This week at the farm has definitely been fun.