Inspiration Through Vacation

It’s that time of year again–the time of year when we yearn for a vacation! These wanderlusting times seem to pop up, at least for me, at the end of the busiest parts of spring, and the end of the busiest parts of summer. Just like spring cleaning and fall cleaning, our bodies and minds are ready for some nice decluttering action! While I won’t be able to go on an extended vacation soon, we have put our last few weekends to GREAT use!
Alex and Evan go backpacking!

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  1. Diana Henretty says:

    Sometimes in this busy life we take "mini vacations" on the weekends.
    We pack up our little homemade camper, and head only 5 miles from our house to a consservation park where it is isolated and serene. For $5 a night, we camp, cook over the fire, take long walks down the banks of the creek,
    lay down in the shallow rapids on the over 100 degree days, play card games by the fire, and enjoy. Life slows way down and then we head on home to face
    everyday life once again!
    Your pictures and story are fascinating, thanks so much for sharing with this farmgirl in the Ozarks of Missouri……..~hugs~

  2. sounds heavenly, and I think i would have loved Fannie, reminds me of my aunt who is 90 this year and still works everyday in the yard and bldg things. she was a true pioneer woman as well, hunting and fishing and living in a tent by the river.
    thanks for sharing and be Blessed. Neta

  3. marci says:

    We went backpacking in end of August to the Olypmia National Forest. Beautiful! We take time every year to go camping and hiking. Some years it is only a weekend, but this year is was full week! It is a spiritual renewal for me. Like a sweat lodge, but sweat while hiking. It just puts everything in perspective when I return home. I realize I have much to be grateful and much I take for granted. The problems and issues don’t seem so large.

    We have taken vacation in early September, but it seemed it was colder. This year it would have worked great!

    I think we all need more down time. I take as vacation as I can get. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Sharon says:

    Great post as always Alex. I love to take vacation in the Spetember/October time frame. I was born and raised in Maine and I am a New England girl through and through! I love having time at the beach, on the trails and at historic sites to myself once all the families have packed up and gone home. While I have never been camping, it’s fun to have that down time to just walk and play outdoors in the sunshine, read a book and nap in the fresh air. It’s very restorative. In the years when I can’t take a whole week off at this time I always manage to give myself at least 1 day when I can go to my favorite haunts and walking paths along the coastline. I love to get a real lobster roll in a local dive to bring along for a picnic lunch and make a whole event out of it.

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The Organics Debate

***disclaimer: My camera is having technical difficulties! Sorry for the lack of pictures…I will continue to try to upload!***

Summer is over in Alaska and the winter is quickly approaching. We have seen frosts four of the last five nights–even row cover isn’t saving some of the very “precious” (as Farmer Amanda calls them) plants! The termination dust is creeping down the mountains. Termination dust is the first glimpse of snow on a mountain, signifying the termination of summer. Alas, summer in Alaska is fast and furious and now we’re heading, prematurely, into the long haul of winter. I see my friends and family in the lower 48 are still out enjoying boat rides and morning tea on the porch.

Even if winter is coming on fast–I LOVE the fall! The air is crisp, the too thick foliage (in some places) is dying back and cleaning itself out, and our brains are ready to learn. What is it about the fall that encourages us to learn, discuss and debate? Perhaps it has been conditioned in us from years of going back to school every fall. Perhaps this is some research to be explored in those forementioned long months of winter!

Well, school is back in session, harvest season is winding down, and the internet has been abuzz with debates about the costs and benefits of organic food consumption and production. What is all the fuss about?

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  1. Lisa Heinzmann says:

    Just as a farmgirl can be a condition of the heart, choosing to live as close to an organic lifestyle as possible can be as well. Unless we choose to live in a plastic sphere or bubble, we can not completely stay away from chemicals. I think finding the place that fits our lives is all we can do. I think conventional foods can be nutritious, depending on the ingredients, but continuous exposure to toxins, genetically modified, pesticide-filled so-called food can’t be good. It’s a personal choice and I personally participate in Bountiful Baskets Cooperative and raise livestock. But not everyone is able to do that; hence, we all do what we can.

  2. Nella Spencer says:

    I’m with you, Alexandra. It seems like this debate is getting hotter as there becomes more organic food available. Had a conversation with someone the other day who said that there was only a slight difference, a few more pesticides! Well, isn’t that enough? Who wants to injest ANY pesticides, and maybe this is all happening because people are getting smarter about their food and companies like Mansanto feel the need to brainwash the public.

  3. Laura says:

    I am with you all the way here, farmgirl. I don’t need studies and debates to know what feels good and right for our bodies, our health, our earth.
    enjoy your early fall!

  4. cynthia says:

    I think the organic stuff tastes way better. I grew organic Sugar Snap peas the year they first came on the market. My neighbor, a crusty old farmer who sprayed everything but Napalm on his veg bed, raved about them when I gave him some to try. The next year he demanded to know why his weren’t sweet like mine…I gave him a carrot to try…the following year he went organic.

  5. Adrienne says:

    I have a dear friend suffering from pesticide poisoning and her story had me examining my own lifestyle. Now I am a kosher lacto-ovo vegetarian locavore (someone who eats local) and organic as much as possible. I’m lucky to live in northern California so I have access to fruits and veggies year round, most of them transported less than 100 miles. There are farmers markets nearly every day of the week and once you know the farmers, it’s easy to support them as well as compliment their hard work in growing and bringing their wholesome products to you. My eggs come from chickens that are free range (not just cage free). My dairy products come from a dairy that has their cows in the fields nine months of the year. They have individual stalls and are milked three times a day to avoid stress. Their "deposits" are used to power the electricity at the dairy and it’s cleaner than my apartment.
    I saw the Stanford study and it’s one study. Remember when coffee was good for you, then bad, then good? I treat this study the same way. Like the old song "Big Yellow Taxi": "…give me spots on my apples but leave me the birds and the bees." Go organic!

  6. Cindy says:

    By now I guess most people know the true story about the Stanford study which was pretty much bought and paid for by Big Ag. if not, however, here are a couple of links that outline how that study came together and how the statistics were manipulated so the press could present its outrageous headlines saying ‘organics are no better for you than chemical-laden crops.’ Please read:

  7. Nicole says:

    Hi Alexandra! Saw that article too…and had a few negative Nellys call me with "I told you so". I am not swayed. I continue to eat organic. Here on the East coast, the difference in price between organic and non is not that much, and sometimes I’ve found organics to be cheaper. Eating organic also means we are skipping GMO’s, preservatives, and chemicals. Several years ago, my family and I went organic, thanks to MaryJane, and have not been sick hardly at all since. We used to be a family that was on antibiotics all the time! Even my pediatrician had thought we switched doctors (because she never saw us anymore), and said she wished more of her patients ate organic. That personal proof keeps me from ever going back. By the way, have you tried the "Late July" brand version of "Oreos"? They have green tea in them, and are a very tasty organic substitution. 😉 Hugs from your bloggin’ farmgirl sis, Nicole (Suburban Farmgirl)

  8. Alex,

    As someone who worked for 20 years as a scientist and engineer, I find the Stanford study to be of poor quality. They basically set up a strawman hypothesis that "organic food is healthier because it has more nutrients" which is not the key benefit of organics. The key benefit is that we are not ingesting pesticides, genetically modified substances and other unnastural chemicals into our bodies. The strawman was easy to knock down with their data, because as you state, nutrient levels are dependent on what is done to prepare the soil.

    By the way, I cooked up some Spring Creek new potatoes and leeks with some elk/cheese/jalapeno sausage for dinner tonight. Yum!

    "Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God, if ever he had a chosen people…" Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781.

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