The Depth of Winter and A Year on This Farm

11 Jan



We have been on the farm ten months now.  i’ve been diggin’ my self into this place with deep roots.  Maybe because it is a farm.  Maybe because that is what I know.  

My transition from 2012 into 2013 has been wild and bumpy and real deal.  On December 3, I turned 41.  On December 4, driving home from Ashland on a very wet night, I crashed my car on the I-5.  The car spun in circles on the highway, bounced off the concrete median and came to rest on the shoulder, facing oncoming traffic.  I walked away in one piece.  A sweet friend rescued me from the side of the road in Medford, offering me safe haven till morning.  The owner of the farm where I live owns a body shop in town.  He straightened out the frame, put on a new door, banged out the worst of the dents, covered them nicely with a new bumper and got us back on the road.

When we were picking up the car, our landlord said, “You guys thinking about another year out there?”  We answered affirmative and he said, “Well, we want to do a walk through and make sure we still want you there.”  A totally reasonable thing that shook me to remember that life is changeable and that what I think I’m doing is such a small part of this whole shebang.  

So while I was laying low with whiplash wounding and astonishment, my partner D was raking and pruning and burning, working so hard on the land!  Getting wood for our fires, dealing with infrastructural blow outs and broken limbs in the trees and baby sheep born in snowstorms.  Non stop action and full on craziness (also called farming). 

And we’ve both been thinking about the year we’ve had here.  About the hard work that farming is.  About what else we could do and where else we would go.  About the future of this farm, the future of ourselves, the future of our family.  And we’ve been processing this very deep stuff to the best of our ability.  Compost is indescribable gorgeousness.  The process is messy and it takes a long time to really break things down.

We are not one of those families that romantic love created.  When I was pregnant, we had opposing ideas about where to go with that.  He did not want anything to do with having a family, so he took off.  With time he turned around.  So we’ve slowly tiptoed into this very sweet family, built backwards but with conscious effort.  When we moved to the farm last February, it was BE’s third birthday and our first time living under the same roof.

So 2012 recap: 1. Move to farm an hour away from our familiars.  2. Move in together for the first time.  2. Integrate farm into a very new tea company and attempt very fast growth. 4. Two adults with a toddler establish farm infrastructure, plant, maintain, harvest, process & sell the foods we grow, get a bunch of animals: chickens, ducks, sheep & two big farm dogs. 5. Experience steep learning curves with all of the above.

Which brings us back to now.  And the walk through with the land owners.  Which really was no sweat.  We care for this place, they can see that and they are grateful for it.

2012 was completely experimental!  All we did was “test the waters”. Then came December filled with slowness, reflection and assessment.  I truly felt like a little seed in the dark ground pushing, pushing, PUSHING at my container, seeking the paths of least resistance.  OUT!  And now I’ve got some wiggle room and I feel empowered because by looking deeply at possibility, I am actively choosing my reality.

So it looks like we are staying another year.  And as we set intentions for that, I am sitting on the 5 year plan, just waiting for it to hatch.  And it comes through so clear that I’ll speak it here.  I want to dig my roots into this farm and to blossom some goodness in Grant’s Pass.  I’m dreaming a retail space downtown: licensed kitchen, seasonal elixir bar, regional foods market.  Here I will sell my products and other fresh, incredible, regional goodies and the freshest veggies ever. Here I will build a bomb diggity old west style bar serving tea and then some: Heartsong Chai, Habanero Honey Brew, Turmeric Kombucha, Cold pressed coffee drinks, seasonal immune boosting tonics and more.  I am formulating a business plan in my head.  I (think I) am staying grounded in reality while dreaming big. I am allowing visions for the future flow through and I am feeling entrepreneurally creative again. The lessons of Heartsong’s fiery crash I keep close in heart and I am working with the fears that naturally rise up from there. I’ve been calling this storefront, Fresh.  I see it so beautifully and clearly.  Tens of thousands of miracles will have to occur in near perfect unison for this seed to blossom fully.  Regardless, it is a seed I cherish.  One that I will nurture.  I speak to it now to give it life.  Whispers of encouragement as this sprout begins its dark journey through the dirt and toward the light are most welcome.






6 Responses to “The Depth of Winter and A Year on This Farm”

  1. uberherbalmama January 11, 2013 at 6:11 am #

    If you are curious about my company, Uber Herbal and the products we offer visit us on Etsy! Thanks!

  2. marklar January 11, 2013 at 6:42 am #

    We know each other so sparingly. I met you serving chai at a party, then again out at the temple build, a time or two around. I’m responding here to acknowledge how much I think of you; I think the world of you. I don’t, you know, everyone. You’re a special one to me and the why of it, more elusive and not so important. This blog reaches me in a time of similar assessment. Your account of the past year gives me hope, presents a reference point, your example, that a body in a soul can push, can get pushed upon, can rise up and fall back and in all of it, be the hard beauty that we came here to live. Thank you for being in my life even in the little bit you are. I take my light where it comes to me, darlin’, and it’s come from you a few times now. You keep on looking to yourSelf. It’s an example for many around you.

  3. Carrie January 11, 2013 at 7:27 am #

    Uberlicious! Wow, thank you Liz!! This is super inspiring.. Hearing all that you’ve come through, to launch in such a magnificent way! Big congrats to you and yours. I am especially grateful to you and your partner for working it out, I know that that alone will have big impact on lil’ Be! Wishing you all the help and abundance necessary to bring forth your highest vision and I know whatever you do from here on out, will succeed because of all the trials and tribulations and mostly because you’re excited about it!
    Love always,

  4. margi January 11, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    I love your dream! Thank you for sharing your life on these letters to us……enlightening, encouraging, inspirational, tearful……the whole ball of wax (emotions) flow through you to us. I appreciate and enjoy that. Happy new year to you and your precious family….and may all your dreams come true♥

  5. Mom January 11, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    I am your proud mama sending love and encouraging you to continue growing in this mature. You my dear, oldest daughter can aspire to all your dreams. I KNOW you can.

  6. Ellen January 14, 2013 at 3:52 am #

    Tears of excitement and reverence for you and your vision. I know it will grow and evolve as you are constantly doing, showing us how its done! Your spirit is so inspiring, uplifting, honest, purposeful, and courageous. Just your existence is helping the planet. Lots of love, e

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