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Fall garlic in our western fields
It's hard to believe it's almost June.  I've been a farm hand for a month now, and it's already changed my life.

What to say about my first month farming?  There's so much - things I didn't expect, new skills I've learned, parts of myself I feel growing as I work with the soil.

You've already seen a typical "day in the life" from my Farm Girl Diaries: Week 1 and Week 2 - so I'll give you a deeper insight into life as a farm hand on an organic veggie farm


 
I'm a 23 year old feminist, am unmarried, don't have kids, live in rental housing, and have no plans to 'settle down' any time soon.  Yet, I identify as a homemaker.

Call it urban homesteading, simple frugality, traditional skills... I like to call it radical homemakingI am creating home, wherever it may be, with conscious intention.

My version of homemaking often doesn't look like others' - mine is a bit more ragged, opportunistic, and environmentally focused.  My homestead is less fleshed out than others' - my home is rented and shared, and my gardening and fermentation projects are tucked away into corners and windowsills.  My motivations are my own, too - though I'm sure many of you share them:

 
Call me over-analytical, but I'm pretty conflicted over St. Patty's Day.  I can't bring myself to just shoot Irish Carbombs and call it an excuse to party... there's so much more to St. Patrick's Day's history than that.
My St. Patty's Day conflict:
I find it hard to celebrate a day based on systematic oppression of an Earth-based religion.

St. Patrick drove the 'snakes' out from Ireland... no, not real snakes.  Pagans.  Druids.  Earth worshippers.  Well, as you may know, I'm a tree hugging dirt worshipper and I identify with them.
But I'm Irish!  So incredibly Irish!  And I'm proud of the long line of Irish women for whom I'm named.

My fond memories of St. Patrick's day:  corned beef, soda bread, Whiskey, and my Catholic grandmother's pinches if we wore orange (Protestant colors, you know).

 
It's time you knew:  I'm a tree hugging dirt worshipper.

To me, Nature is divinity, and I'm in love with the Earth.  But I don't spend as much time in nature as I'd like.  Sometimes, I go on technology overdose, and I start to feel really spaced out and irritable, or just plain depressed.  Too much time indoors can really make a person nuts.

Nature Deficit Disorder isn't just for kids - adults need nature too.  It's in our blood.  Nature-based religions honor this through connection to the elements.  No, not the periodic table!  Many paths recognize the natural elements as Air, Fire, Water, and Earth

When we're tweaked out on silicon, electric lighting, and too much caffeine, we can reconnect with Nature and the elements to find balance.  Get ready for some 'woo-hoo' theory that actually works!
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"The Designers Elements" - Larkin Jean Van Horn

 
I recently watched "Radically Simple", a short documentary about a man Jim Merkel & his quest towards sustainable living.  Merkel teaches and exemplifies a simple lifestyle, one that will allow all Earth's billions of beings the space and resources to live
Ever seen the bumper sticker, "Live Simply So Others May Simply Live"?  That's his whole point. 

Merkel leads workshop participants through a painstakingly detailed assessment of their Ecological Footprints, an estimate of how many resources you use, versus how many we each can afford to use.

Essentially, your ecological footprint is how many pieces of chocolate mousse pie you're taking at the party.  Turns out, I'm a little glutton and I'm eating three pieces of pie... but there's only enough for everyone to have one!

 
Dear Earth,

Happy Valentine's Day. 
I want you to know how much you mean to me, and how blessed I am that you are in my life. 

Without you, I could not breathe.  You fill me with inspiration - with every breath, I am renewed. 
Without you, I would starve.  You nourish me with your endless generosity and abundant love.
Without you, I would stumble and fall.  You support me, and allow me to go wherever my feet and heart may wander.

Your beauty stirs my heart again and again - I've never seen anything so beautiful as you, and you show it in a million ways. 
Your presence awes and humbles me. 
You are my home and love and mother and guide.

I cannot express how grateful I am for your love.  Thank you.  Thank you a million times, it will still not be enough. 

Love.  Love, forever,
Me 


 
_"...keep our shape soft and our plans mobile..." 
~We'Moon 2012 Astro-Overview

Life has a tricky way of shifting shape, so we must stay ever fluid and change our shapes to suit.  Sudden changes in plan have led me to seek a live-in internship on an organic farm across the country.

My heart is pulled towards the land, and the I'm filled by the possibility of my own growth alongside young tender shoots.  Here are excerpts from my personal statement - I hope it inspires you to move towards your dreams.

"... Several years ago, I was a long-term guest at {an organic, off-grid farm}.  My time there was transformative.  {There}, I learned to move to the rhythms of nature, the cadence of the sun, the smell of wind across freshly turned soil.  I crave this immersion, the connection to the land that farming creates.  I’m called to simplify my focus and lifestyle - I want to sweat and get my hands dirty, to build a stronger community through shared work, and to learn the skills needed to better serve my planet. 

... I want to actively build a network of wonderful people, and I am drawn to those who are drawn to the Earth... I dream of building a homestead based in permaculture, where my family can grow in symbiosis with the Earth... Earth is the basis of all my future goals, as I believe that the health of our planet is of fundamental importance - all human acts of goodness and inspiration rely on a thriving home planet."

 
My diet doesn't fit into any easy label. 

When I say I'm vegetarian, friends raise their eyebrows over my occasional hamburger and call me a fake.  When I say I'm a flexitarian, it's dismissed as lazy vegetarianism.  When I say I'm a locavore, well, people are just confused.

The truth is, none of these dietary labels are accurate in the first place.  For me, food is highly personal, and my needs and intuitions change over time - daily, sometimes.

Currently, my diet could be described as a semi-locavore lacto-ovo-pesce-pollo-flexitarian.  But who really understands or wants to hear that?

If anything, I'm an intuitive eater.  (An intuitian?  Intuivore?  Hmm.)

 
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_Happy Martin Luther  King Jr. Day, everybody.

And by 'Happy' I mean let's take a minute (or more) to honor what the man did, and what we can do in turn.

We all know the history lesson, mentally at least - but I invite you to tune in to video footage of one of his many speeches.  Listen to the raw passion in his voice, the sheer power of his convictions and his hope... and let that resonate within the deeper parts of you.

In one address, King famously said, "the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice." 

We live in a time of great injustice, in many ways.  Just look at the environmental state we're in:  We live in a time where money is valued over the health of our shorelines.  We live in a time where speed and convenience is valued over air that is safe to breathe.  We live in a time where our very home, our planet, is continually damaged by our cultural habits.

But look at where we've come from, look at what other injustices we have emerged from.   A mere 50 years ago - not even a lifetime - we had massive institutionalized segregation and racial mistreatment.  Through the passionate, hopeful efforts of civil rights activists, we as a culture bent the arc of justice towards equality, compassion, and inclusiveness.   

And we can do it again.  We are doing it.  But we need more hands and hearts to push.  The 'moral arc' does not bend on its own, but only through our actions.

Today, please, take action.

Take action in whatever way rings true to your heart, small or large, quiet or loud - it all matters.  The world needs help in many arenas, and they're all interconnected - progress in any area helps to heal our world as a whole.

If you need inspiration, you can look to King's speeches, the 'Solutions' section of my manifesto, or any source of compassionate, proactive inspiration you can think of, whether social, economic, environmental, or spiritual.

So go.  Bend the arc of justice with your hands, heart, and mind.  Help to make the change today.


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