Tag Archives: grants pass oregon

Toast

19 Mar

I’ve got a lot on my mind these days. Building a brick & mortar store front, installing a kitchen there, pulling apart my kitchen in J’ville (and having no production space for my biz. in the meanwhile), running a successful (yipee!) Kickstarter campaign and oh, you know, Being a mom and a partner and a farmer in the springtime….

Happy Spring to you my friends!  I hope all those seeds you’ve cared for and revealed this winter are humming with life force and blossoming fully!

Past few days my mind keeps wandering back to toast.  Not JUST toast, but the TOPPINGS on toast too!  Long story short, I’m jumping onto the artisan toast bandwagon, as crazy as it sounds, and I’m gonna serve it up right and proper at the Tea Bar.  Not only do we have some AMAZING local bread bakers in this valley, but also it is the perfect medium to serve up the regional farm fresh foods here.

I’ve already made the menu…Toast To Go, party people… You are gonna love it!

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As the diamond forms from coal under pressure, so too the genius idea is born… Toast at the Tea Bar for the GOLD!

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The New, The Nearly Complete and Wild Turkeys

3 Mar

It has been a little while since I blog-diddy-blogged and I think I have a lot to say.

Springtime on the farm almost.  We’ve had a lot of rain.  All over town the forsythias are boldly blooming, while the apples and lilacs are just barely leafing. I swear I fall in love a thousand times a day as winter releases into this potent blooming of everything alive!  Daffodils, baby cows, violets, leafing trees, the first farmer’s market of the season…  Oh, you’re right there with me?  Awesome!

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Birth.  Emergence.  The Push.

To illustrate the life of a farmer in almost spring one could draw a pair of eyes taking in the entire horizon and connecting that image via dotted lines to a brain full of words that scroll like the words at the beginnig of Star Wars. But instead of an epic saga, its an epic To-Do List.  And that is how it is here with us.

Except that this spring I am in the process of building a brick and mortar, I’m actively fundraising via Kickstarter and I’m moving out of Jacksonville.

Before farm and store and fundraising and moving,  I’m mom. So I’ve got to say here that our silly little child turned 5 last week!  Five is big and doesn’t she know it!?!

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On the birthday we went up to the mountains for some sledding.  It was a beautiful outside and we had an awesome time. It was a wonderful break from the construction and hustle that is and has been the focus of my days.

Last week was all about launching the Kickstarter campaign and getting the plumbing into the shop and so many things were out of my hands.  I filled up my nervous idle time with the zen of painting the furniture for our store. Bright colors, physical labor and obvious results were just what I needed!

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And BE had fun too.

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Today we went to the J’ville house to get the “kitchen”.  The stove, counters, shelves and our beloved bicycle spice grinder.  It was a successful mission.

On our way there, BE and I encountered the biggest flock of turkeys we’ve ever seen. There were easily 50 birds, all crossing the road and headed into the hills.

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The encounter was especially auspicious because in folklore turkeys represent abundance and we had just come from the auto parts place where we were trying to get parts to fix the brake lights on our borrowed trailer but instead we got this rhinestone studded Money keychain for the new shop’s keys.

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“I got my mind on my money and my money on my mind!”

This brings us to Kickstarter’s genius mode of organizing crowd sourced funding and the incredible opportunity they offer to people like me. Using their platform, I’ve created a project and now I’m asking my friends, family, peers and fellow citizens of the world to back it.  Collectively we are making this thing real. Follow this link to learn more and get involved.  I sure hope it inspires you to!

A successfully funded campaign builds this kitchen and storefront.  Then I’ll take this potent lil’ brick and mortar and ROCK it like a hurricane.

Bling diddy Bling! 

While Kickstarter makes designing the campaign very easy, still it is one of the most challenging and deeply personal experiences of my life. To communicate my intentions clearly, to take a very public, very flying leap out of hibernation and to ask for help from friends and strangers are all uber humbling endeavours.  I am doing my best to muster sustained trust.  Yet,  I’m feeling a bit like these two turkeys…. one moving toward the goal with focus while the other meandering back the way she came.

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As I step out and create this brand new thing, I am mining the gems from my previous life.  Some are physical tools and stuff.  But most are rememberings distilled into clear hindsight and rich life lessons.

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Lessons that empower the launch of the new and stuff that enhances our now.  Like this plastic toy that entertained BE on our way outta J’ville today.

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And the five jugs of Mate Fire that I found in a box today!   A most thirst quentching reunion ensued!  Just. Yum.  (Don’t be jealous.)

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My longing for Mate Fire, for Habanero Honey Brew and for Heartsong Chai is the ultimate fire of this gigantic project I’ve created.  It was a true joy to down a good portion of this jug today (6 years in a bottle yet so revitalizing and delicious)!

And so today the kitchen moved from J’ville to GP and our trusty bicycle grinder is one step closer to her next spice grinding mission! And this week the plumber and the electrician will work their magic and bring us even closer.

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YOU can help us too! By liking this blog, sharing it with friends, visiting the Kickstarter campaign, becoming a backer, telling all your friends to back it too and by taking a moment to picture it all coming together with grace and ease!

There’s more painting to do too, if’n you are needing some zen in your life. As always, thanks for reading and witnessing the words of my world.

The Depth of Winter and A Year on This Farm

11 Jan

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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.

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