Hello Farmgirls! Whew—what a busy time of the year with gardens going in, kids finishing up school, and “dewinterizing” and “re-summerizing” our homes. I had a couple weeks there where I was juggling three jobs between teaching, nannying and farming (all part time, but still a lot for this “stay at home” mama). With my mind and body set in overdrive I’ve found it hard to find one thing to write about well. I could write about this! or how about that? Or there’s that other thing that I’ve been keeping in my back pocket in case of writer’s block!
Luckily, we just started our two week summer vacation in the lovely midwest. I’m sitting in my in-law’s living room eating delicious homemade treats, and I just woke up from a mid-morning nap. Life is good.
However, I still can’t focus on one thing. So I have a list of fifty-three things for you all. These are lingering writing ideas, miniscule musings and incomplete thoughts that could manifest into some bigger form of the written word some day… but probably not. Perhaps they will inspire the writer in you?
- A series of interviews with local female farmers. This one has been on my mind for a long time. I just have to do it!
- The bazillion and one things to do with rhubarb. There might actually be a bazillion and two.
- The intricacies of vacation with little one(s) in tow. Many of you are well practiced in this area, but it is new to us!
- The home grown spa experience. What kind of skin treats, foot scrubs and massage oils can we make from things grown in our gardens?
- Meditation and mindfulness.
- Tiny tots make pretty good farm helpers! While kids can make the easiest task take three times longer to complete, if we embrace their curiosity and willingness to learn, the results can be fun and effective!
- Life Lessons from children’s stories. Think The Lorax, Frederick, or Charlotte’s Web.
- How to start a market farm when you don’t have much land. I actually don’t have experience doing this, but I know people who do. Perhaps this would tie in with #1.
- Favorite movies for rainy days. We haven’t had many rainy days yet this year, but they will come, they will come.
- How to stop worrying what others think of you. I bet a lot of you figured this out a long time ago. It’s kind of new to me, but incredibly liberating.
- School gardens.
- Persistent pesticides in our bodies—scary stuff!
- A nursing mother’s 3 a.m. epiphanies. I’ve had too many of these.
- Community gardens.
- Jokes, jokes, jokes.
- Yurt update 2.0: We’ve lived in the yurt for nearly two years. How has it been during that time? It’s getting time to move on to bigger and more permanent dwellings, what will we miss and what will we gladly leave behind?
- The pros of social media (since we are often reminded of the cons).
- Yoga for farmers. Physical labor takes a toll on even the fittest of bodies. Many farmers who have been in the business for more than a few years have bad backs, neck spasms, tight hamstrings and wonky hips. What are some yoga sequences that can help with these maladies?
- The primal sexiness of perma-dirt on a farmer’s hands. I love seeing dirty, hard-working hands!
- Photographs of farmer’s hands accompanied by quotes from the farmer. It is a long running dream of mine to make this into a coffee table book.
- A peek into the (long) history of females in agriculture: from Africa to the New World, women have kept the farming world afloat for eons.
- North Dakota frost. Does ND know it’s almost June? It has experienced hard frosts for the last three nights. Brrrrr.
- Amazing husbands and partners.
- The elusive morel mushroom.
- Monsanto and GMOs. The conflict, the lack of transparency, and the piles and piles of money.
- Resources for environmentally conscious consumers.
- Water, water, everywhere. It makes the world go ‘round.
- “She sheds”: These seem like lovely creations that are right in line with glamping!
- The struggle between off-grid living and societal expectations. (The struggle is real!)
- Facing life as a millennial and accepting the confines of my generation. Why must I be a millennial?!?
- Challenging generational stereotypes.
- The importance of travel and how it influences our impressions of and interactions with our home communities.
- Ethical foraging: How can we hunt for what we want and leave enough for the plant to come back in plenty? Are there other people who will be foraging in the same area? What about surrounding flora and fauna?
- Sleep deprivation and mommyhood: Sometimes it’s easier than it sounds… but, in general, I’m pretty sure I lose a bunch of brain cells every day.
- The magic of technology in making family seem closer. This makes me think of historical immigrants (and many immigrants today) who never saw their family again after leaving their home countries.
- A pictorial documentation of Alaskan barns in the winter. The mountains. The snow. The blue skies. The red barns. Beauty.
- Chocolate. Enough said.
- Chickens! I miss owning these friendly little cluckers, but luckily I have a few feathered friends to take care of once in awhile.
- Amazing things. Every night our family shares something “amazing” that happened that day. it is a really nice dinnertime activity.
- (Wo)man’s best friend: The roles and history of dogs in farming and companionship.
- The best documentaries about food, agriculture and the environment.
- Baby swing sewing tutorial.
- The ever-changing rural landscape. With technology and communication, are any places truly rural anymore?
- Poetry. It’s about time I write some more poems for the blogosphere.
- Upcycled projects. I just have to actually do some of these so that I can write about them.
- My favorite freezer meals for busy times.
- Potato varieties and taste testing. Taters have long gotten a bad rap, but they are actually quite healthy (and delicious).
- The best root cellars.
- Thrifting—good finds and great items for repurposing.
- Dream homes.
- Bird flu and the end of factory farmed eggs? This harps on the importance of supporting local, ethical farmers.
- Soil conservation and soil science.
- Ayurveda: What is your dominant dosha? What can you do to tame the parts of it that can derail your goals and how does it help you succeed?
There you go. Fifty-three partial thoughts. What is your spring looking like? I’m excited for the next week and a half of vacation with friends and family. I foresee more naps in my future. Who could ask for anything more?
Until next time,
Sending Peace and Love from North Dakota!
Alex, the Rural Farmgirl