Rosy and I spent all day stacking logs in the heat. After the first hour Rosy was ready to change things up and do a different chore, but I wanted to keep going. After another hour we both needed a break. Rosy caught her second wind and we kept going. It became a mission to stack three cords of wood, and by the end of it we were a sweaty mess standing proudly next to our mighty tower of chopped wood. Wood stacking, I believe, should be an initiation for all new farmers. Another chore has been salvaging some planted trees from a swarm of blackberry bushes waging its slow war on everything that isn’t a blackberry bush. Rosy borrowed a machete from Johnny with great gusto and proceeded to gut the property of the vicious blackberries that have, in general, been taking over the Northwest for many many years. She’d cut and I’d rake everything up. Rosy, with a machete in her hand is a sight to behold! I try my best to get out of her way when she goes a-swinging. Then after a hard day of work, we’d find a comfy spot out on the patio and peel garlic that’s ready to be ground up and stored in mason jars. These are just little samples of some of the work we do here.
     Looking back prior to this, whenever we'd move back into the vegetable garden, I’m pleased to get back on track and focus on the agricultural side of things. Yesterday we dug up garlic, peeled them back a leaf or two and laid them out to dry. We then mounded potatoes in the evening, and that means as the potato plant grows, they’ll get partially covered with dirt so that the potatoes can form and be dug up later. Each plant has its own form of magic and it’s exciting to see how each plant functions. When we first arrived, we dug out some trenches in one of the green houses and piled them up with fresh compost. The mounds formed were to become new homes for tomato plants. Diana explained that there are two forms of tomato plants, determinate and indeterminate. Determinate means the plant will grow to a certain point and indeterminate means they grow and grow and grow. We then hung up some twine to the roof of the green house and this is used to keep the indeterminate tomato plants from falling over. Diana told us that the amount of tomatoes produced would be an absurd amount and that made our mouths water.

     I try to soak up as much information as I can, but I try not to worry too much about that but more so about the experience itself. I’m interested in the culture of farming, the lifestyle, and the rewards that come with it are self-evident in the food we eat. Tonight we had an excellent dinner. The meal was a final hoorah as we begin to wrap up our short time here at the farm. It was chance to chat with everyone because we all have our own lives and so conversations become short and spread out. Every once in a while you gotta herd us all together. We had salad with wonderful greens and edible flowers from the garden. Different kinds of meats and giant portobello mushrooms that got grilled. We drank beers and told jokes. We sat and watched these three baby ducks stumble around and gobble up slugs. They were here when we first arrived and are the main attraction for us every day as we’d sit down to take a break out on the patio. They’re here mainly for their duck eggs and just watching them grow is a powerful sight. It’s been a trip to see these beautiful beasts go from fluff to feather in such a short amount of time.

     Tomorrow is our last day and it will be a very busy one just like today. We’ve taken in a lot of Olympia. We enjoyed the company of Maya, the farm’s guard dog, and the way she’d follow us from chore to chore. I tried to savor the calm that would come to me in between the drops of sweat. I told Rosy it's crazy to think of how much this place has changed, two weeks ago we came in as strangers in a strange place, and on Friday we’ll leave as friends.

There is a contrast here at this farm in which I’m beginning to finally understand. When I asked Rosemary last week what was the one word she would use to inspire a new farmer, she said the word, “community.” This morning Rosy and I woke up to dancing and giggling in the kitchen, which felt a little unusual. There is a young man named Johnny who lives with his girlfriend in an apartment attached to the barn and his handshake is always replaced with a warm hug. There’s a quiet Nebraska man named Brad, he lives in a small house next to the hoop houses and will sit patiently and quietly wait for the conversation to come to him. Rosemary has a daughter who is smart and filled with positivity. With the last post I was feeling tired and perhaps a little too snarky towards all the people who coexist on this farm. It’s the type of lifestyle that I’ve met only a very few times in my life, but never enough to fully comprehend the inner workings of.
     I’d like to restart my words. Shed a different light on these people and hopefully explain better what we’re experiencing. This farm is much different from the last farm, and their attempt to organize things and command us volunteers, at first felt a little daunting. We wanted to fit in, we wanted to please and work as hard as we could to justify our stay here. It’s been a hard shell to crack, but I think we’re making progress.
     Dianna is a tough woman. She’s got the type of hands that could crush my delicate ones and still be able to hold a bunch of flowers properly. She guides the farm in the proper direction and balances it with the task of running this amazing market in the city of Olympia. There’s a lot of seriousness that I draw from her, but she also has a silly side that will pop its head out every once in a while. I like to draw information from her, and I even have a tendency to run her around in circles with all my questions, but she always manages to get to the point no matter how dizzy I’ve made things. Her mind is very thorough, and the farm, with all of it’s little projects scattered here and there, stays well maintained because of it.
     Rosemary has been a hard read for me. She is very talkative, but has a very introverted demeanor that makes her a little more sensitive towards people’s emotions. She’s like a mind-reader. A little easier to joke around with, and thus rounding out the personalities that run the farm. She is a nurse and eventually is going to be entering a full-time job. So she makes sure that workers who come to the farm are trustworthy and dependable. This feeling has forced me out of my shell a little more, taking the initiative to show her that we’re not here to fuck around.

     Today we spent our morning in the hoop house weeding the hell out of it. It was filled with weeds and rows of beautiful flowers, some of which I’ve never seen before and were a delight for the eyes. After a few hours of that we took a nice long pause for a delicious smoothie made of cucumber, cilantro, blueberries and limeade. We then tackled a big project that involved moving the chicken pen. The process was a little sloppy, but in the end the pen was fabulous and the chickens were dancing all over the new grass. Rosy and I are slowly entering this mindset of improving all the methods used by other farmers. We keep imagining this future farm and how efficient we can make it. We like to impart what little wisdom we gain from our previous experience to new farmers we meet and that’s a good feeling. Not only do I feel like we’re learning a lot, but we’re excited to experiment and try things out for ourselves.
     Whatever happens in the future, Rosy and I both agree that we want to embody the same feeling of community that exists here. It’s impossible to master everything, but with minds together you can accomplish so much. It’s also very easy to overwhelm yourself. Dianna and Rosemary won’t hesitate to sick us on a backbreaking chore, but that’s what I’m looking for, I want to sweat as hard as possible and drink the reward of a hard days work in the shade of a tall tree with a smoothie in hand and a pipe in the other! I think it’s time for a smoke. See ya soon!

J 28
I haven’t been able to find the words to describe this latest farm. I wrote a few posts prior that got scrapped. Last week was filled with a lot of hard work under a red hot blazing sun. It’s been a true test of my abilities. This farm is headed by two nice ladies, Dianna and Rosemary. It is a farm that tries to embody the essence of community. There are many people that come and go on this farm. It’s what you might call a “hippy farm” and in many ways it was a surprise and not at all what I expected. My perception has changed quite a bit and I guess that is why there’s been a lack of words lately. The farm is a homestead, meaning that it’s focus is primarily on sustaining itself. Down south, Dianna owns a small piece of property where she grows large crops of beautiful flowers, lilies and gladiolas to name a few. We went down there to help in the field and we found ourselves working alongside a friendly and very talkative Mexican woman named Nancy. She took pride in her ability to work fast, as I lay drenched in a pool of my own sweat. Bulb in hand, I could only plant a few at a time where Nancy could plant a 100 in that same amount of time. Diana gave us a tour of the surrounding area.
     There’s a tight nit culture of Ag farmers (as most farmers will call it) up near Olympia and Rochester. It’s the serious side to the cute farmer markets that dabble the random cracks and crevices of american suburbia. The romance of farming has quickly dispersed and I’m okay with that. It is replaced with a hard face, where the only beauty that remains can only be found in the folds and wrinkles. In the drops of sweat. And it’s taken me some time to find it. Rosy might say the opposite.
     On the homestead, it’s a great big garden with a lot of chores, but out in Rochester, it’s the booming industry of organic farming. Olympia has a farmers market that runs four days out of the week, which was kind of mind blowing in comparison to the markets in Oregon. Life moves very fast up here. Never Los Angeles fast, but too fast for a person like me. Seattle, the Chief’s city, is the mothership, the fast growing hive. Olympia is far enough away to move at the easy pace that it does and it reminds me of an earlier kind of Portland. I love the market culture of Portland, and if I ever had hopes of watching our great city of roses bloom, it would do it in a way that's sustainable and sane.
     I’m going off course a bit with this post. I love Oregon. I can’t help but echo the words of our friend Adam, who comes from Kansas and worked with us on the last farm. He wished, "the world would slow down.” I’m a little fish in a little pond, jumping into a big lake with big fish. I imagine myself wrestling with a gigantic motor that will not, cannot quit. On our way down from some beautiful lands up north, closer to the highest part of the cascades, we came crashing down the I-5 corridor, and never in my life have I felt the fast and terrifying machine that is our culture. I thought to myself, as I sat passenger side, we all want to get from point A to point B as fast as possible. We want all the joys and comforts in life and nothing in between.
     For the last five minutes I’ve been trying to think of a way to end this post, and I can only think of a book. I thought about it on our way back down to the farm yesterday evening, passing through Seattle, after a day of visiting the beautiful sights and sounds of the Olympic peninsula. The book is called The Stars My Destination (or Tiger! Tiger!) by Alfred Bester. My oldest sister recommended it years ago to me and at first glance you might think of it as a silly sic-fi book, but to me it really embodies the madness of our tech-hungry culture. In the book, the human race evolves and develops the ability to teleport itself, and the social/political/economical impacts are devastating. In the midst of this chaos, the main character, Gully, evolves from a dumb work grunt into a very intelligent man who is on the hunt for a spaceship named Vorga, that left him to die inside of a wreckage in the darkness of outer space. I won’t give away the end, but it’s a cool tale of man vs. machine that ends in a sort of meditation. Interpret that whichever way you want.
     The sun is about to rise and I’ve had zero sleep this night. A spider landed on my head as I was falling asleep last night and I lost the power to keep my mind still, which occasionally will happen. I will work this day, but slow if I have to, the last thing I need is to hurt myself while working. Good morning y'all.

J 20
Naked Acres is the name of this farm that Rosy and I have occupied for the last few weeks. Rosy is in Las Vegas while I'm spending my last night here on the farm. I know it seems like a quick visit, but that was the plan this summer, move around and get a sampler size of each farm. Naked Acres is run by a couple that go by the names Gus and Margo, and they’re a rockin’ duo who pump out tons of kale, chard, radishes (too many more to name) and their ever so popular goats milk soap. The name of the farm came from a childhood friend of Margo who said something along the lines of, “I want a part of my future farm to have a place where I can be naked whenever I want.” That cracked me up. I first met these gals last summer and really enjoyed the vibe of the farm. It’s a 3 acre piece of land tucked in the outskirts of Portland/Gresham. We’ve learned and gained a lot for our first few weeks of farming and enjoyed their company along with the men who live here alongside them.

     Gus is a logic-driven dirt scientist who I nicknamed “Gus-a-pedia”. Margo is the tough one, she’ll whip your ass into shape in a heartbeat. They’re both amazing cooks and will turn a piece of kale into a succulent mouth-watering delight after a hard days work. The guys who live and work here are an interesting combo, Adam is the quick talking Kansan with a knack for building things, John is an ex-soldier with an easy going demeanor, and Scott is a long beard wearing, banjo banging hero in the making. It’s been an eclectic mess for our first farm and it was a nice touch of madness to set things off.
     Naked Acres also consists of 3 little black pigs who’ve tortured me during feeding time. A lot of egg-laying hens and meat chickens that occupy every nook and cranny of the farm. They’ve got a handful of rowdy goats. Stella and Blanche are the current stars of the show, and the milk they give is the blood of the farm. I got a chance to milk Blanche once. I got the milk out with okay aim, it was that right tit that I couldn’t figure out for the life of me! Cabbage is the name of our favorite goat. She’s a brown colored, stubby old goat with a limp and a heart made of gold. These are the stars of the farm and the joy of our aims. Wanna hear a bad joke? When is it time to harvest cabbage? You can’t, silly! She’s a goat! Olive is a sweet little pup that Rosy and I will miss a lot. She wanders the farm looking for all kinds of shenanigans. Shoesies is one of a few cats on the farm, and the kind that will crawl onto your lap for an endless cuddle session.
     Weeding was an act of meditation. Harvest was a time to bring in the rewards of our sweat. We carved up the greens, plucked onions and garlic, made trellises to contain the wild bush beans, seeded the ground. It was an organized effort to bring the life-giving properties of the earth to the plate of a few.

     I can’t say for sure whether or not farming is something that I want to do full-time, but I want to combine a small aspect of it in my life. Commercial farming is a fast moving beast that takes a lot of muscle to move. I am in debt to my teachers, including Rosy, who have all taught me how to move and act. Farming culture is unique and requires a confident mind. It’s the ability to make connections between people that give this thing the momentum it needs to push through a box packaged preservative infested world. When the world feels like it’s moving too fast, organic farming is like an beautiful oasis in the desert. Adios Naked Acres!

J 19
The thing I love about camping is its ability to lure people out into the unknown. The freedom is a little more profound out there. We escape a lot of people to be with a few people. Do we connect with those people when we camp? Of course! Crater Lake was a nice place to go and explore. It was a little mind-blowing and filled with an obnoxious amount of mosquitos. Either way it was nice to see the Earth and its wonders. The Rogue river was amazing too. I was impressed to see such a fantastic sight, with its fast moving waters and mini-canyons. It was also a nice place to fish, I can’t say where but I can promise it’s a good place to fish. We chatted with a man named Mike who fished out 5 trout from a small pool and gave it to us. We sat around a fire, played the harmonica, told stories and acted silly. It was a nice release.

J 16
Just some random thoughts tonight. It’s late. I’m tucked inside my tent next to Rosy. The road outside buzzes and hums quietly. The light inside the house is out, this means that half the house is asleep, the other half is tinkering. A twig snaps outside. A little breeze pulls through the trees as they gently wave the sun goodbye. My nose is stuffy, breathable, but at the point of stuffy that would drive a person insane. The animals are all nestled in.
     I’m gathering in a lot of thoughts lately. There’s a tear in me about what I’m here to achieve, and if I’m even gaining anything from this that could propel me to a proper path in life. Today was a little off and I felt that I wasn’t able to perform my best. My head off in the clouds. I’m always trying to feel and absorb through invisible tentacles. On the grand scale of things I’m stunned by the intrinsic beauty of farming. The thought behind running a well oiled machine such as farming must take an insane amount of effort in the midst of such chaotic circumstances. What does it mean to be a farmer in the 21st century? I’ve spent a good portion of my life not giving a shit about the meaning of food. And yet here we are, iPhones and all, bowing to the roots that make that engine go forth.
     I realize too that there’s a whole other level when it comes to the economics of farming. At times I love the simplicity of farming, at other times I’m a piece of kale stuck in the teeth of this monster. I have to remember that farming is one way life and it is not the end-all. Farming does not have to be a money maker, it can also be a life supplier, and that is something I can be grateful for. Farming is something that allows us to thrive independently.
     Food, and good food at that, is something that I believe is worthwhile and beneficial to a person like me. Raised in the city with only one skill set and one path to follow. What is life to a person when what they do defines what they are? There’s deep note I’m trying to play here. When you choose to do something you are taking that form, and everything around you shifts and adjusts, formulated for this new center we call ourselves. It helps to think of farming as a new tunnel filled with doors, and with the powers of free will and a wave of the wand, poof! you’re through the door in a slightly altered suit and few more grey hairs.
     To work is to ultimately provide. Provide a service. Provide a product. Provide a smile! Provide good food. The sacrifice for this life at times will sound daunting. So where does the trade off begin? Ones work should be a combination of what it is they desire to discover. Being an astronaut is never going to happen, so why not this? Farming can be viewed by the masses as the most colorless thing ever, and yet it still manages to subdue me with it’s magic on the daily. All life should offer that, magic tricks... and cute little bunnies pouring out of a black hat.

J 11
Tonight I feel stretched thin. Tomorrow is a long adventure down to Crater Lake with friends and I should be in bed, but I felt the urge to write one last post before the weekend. Rosy and I have been working extra hard for this time off. Adapting to this new lifestyle hasn’t been easy. Waking up at 5am to work in the cool air is a blessing, and as soon as we’ve filled our quota and end the work day, our minds are still the busy little bee brains they were back in the city. Running errands, checking emails, never having a true restful moment. Don’t get me wrong I still love what I am doing, but for a body and mind not properly trained for this, it can be taxing. Rosy is pretty beat too, yet I am very impressed with her abilities. It’s been a learning lesson in energy conservation for us. What moves are the right ones? How can we do more and still spend less sweat? It’s a battle of logic for me.
     The other day I went to market, just one of the few places where all of our hard labour pays off. Adam is a fellow farmer here on the farm and he's the man in charge of our booth at the People’s Coop farmers market in Portland. I wanted to join him and get a feel for how the markets work. My take on it? A lot of friendly people surrounded by a very well-crafted sorta high-maintenance produce market with a lot of rules and a few grumpy farmers who seem tired to the bone. I felt a buzzing energy because it was all new to me. I enjoyed talking to people, heckling and barking, trying to sell our veggies and the goat milk soap produced by our current farm. Farmer Gus told me I couldn’t yell at people that walked by our tent, which kinda sucked the fun out of me, but I can understand why they had those rules in place. Keeps everyone honest I guess. I stood still and put on a friendly smile hoping I could talk to anyone who entered our tent to check out our small array of items. Some folks were friendly, some didn’t care, I found it very easy to interact with people because I realized there was only one purpose why all of us were there, we came to sell, they came to buy. You can’t please everyone, but you can at least offer a friendly smile and some small talk if possible.

     After about 3 hours at the market, it was time to wrap-up for the evening. We packed up everything into the truck and Adam and I headed to a BBQ joint just up the road on Division. We joined up with some fellow market farmers and had a beer. There was talk of farming, our histories and a touch of philosophy. A gal named Sue Ellen sitting next to me had pulled out the astrology section in the paper and I asked if I could read them out loud to everyone. We all got a little giggle out of it, and then it came down to one final farmer who didn’t want to hear his horoscope. I was a little excited by this astrologist that I begged him to let me read it to him. He’s a cancer. He figured his would be negative and I promised him that it wasn’t. When I read it to him, it ended with this great quote by Nietzsche that I think sums up a lot of my thoughts lately. It goes, “...throw roses into the abyss and say: 'here is my thanks to the monster who didn't succeed in swallowing me alive.”
     I’m very tired, but I’m still standing and begging for life to bring on a little more. I like this adventure. I know this because even at the end of the day, I’ve got a bit of energy to do what needs to get done. I could make up a million and one reasons why I’m here, but at the end of the day it really just comes down to one thing: the experience. Tomorrow we go to Crater Lake. I’m Hoping that I can rest and recharge for next week, and then after that, we’re off to farm #2 to see what new secrets it holds.

J 10
curtains open to a pool of twilight
gravity holds its tightest in the morning
dressed in dirt from the day before
march to the call and to the coffee poured
a lonely teacup sits in a row of chard
vegetables waiting for hands to clean
with each weed pulled a crater is made
full of bugs for a little chick to eat
hands are worn from every tug
green turns to brown and then into gold
harvest comes, it’s time to feast
feed the chickens a waterfall of grains
the goats the basics, the pigs a medley
coffee cups as black as mud
back to the field to watch the sun climb
climb high and beat upon the leaves
little drums that rattle and shake
leaves will burst from the dust
sweat is the substance, the secret ingredient
wander the rows like ghosts in a maze
the thistles are rebels of their own cause
pricked be the hand that pulls without thought
sit like a pawn in command of the kings and queens
of all different colors but especially green
the sun too hot to continue this dance
put down your blankets
in grass soaked in shade
the pipe is hot with smoke
that flails up and out like majestic wings
tobacco burned in the summer heat
chickens on the prowl to fill up their bellies
guardians of the blanket and of quiet contemplation
sit on the machine until a poem blooms
dodging a chick that types with its feet
sleep sleep little thing make not a peep
ride this blanket out of sight
and out of mind

J 6
Today is a day of mourning. We got up early this morning and did our rounds of feeding the wildlife. I fixed up a little breakfast for Rosy and I. Rosy held BBJ (short for Basketball Jones) as we sat down to eat. BBJ is the baby chick I mentioned in the last post. Rosy has been taking care of it for the last few days, bringing it out to the fields to eat the grubs in the wake of our weed-pulling. It didn’t take long for Rosy to get attached. It even got to the point that Rosy brought the chick into our tent, which at first I was firmly against, but eventually cracked.
     Today we went out to town and had ourselves a nice lunch and did a walk around a small farmers market that was happening. When we returned to the farm, we came up to farmer Gus who was trying to resuscitate little BBJ. The little fuzzy ball that sat in Rosy’s hand this morning, now lay limp in Gus’s hand. Apparently, in the attempt to practice its fluttering, it landed in a large water trough that was around for the bigger chickens and couldn’t escape. At first it didn’t strike me, but I could sense that Rosy, hard face and all, was a little hit by it. We both nodded to each other and knew that this was what happened to life on the farm. Things come and things go, faster and more noticeable than usual. Whether it be a tiny insect, or a pig or chicken being sent off to slaughter.
     Life is a funny thing. It never hit me until now how life can go out as fast as it comes in. It’s amazing the kind of meaning, the kind of personalities we give to all these little things that move around us. When it’s time for death to knock upon it’s door, it’s hard as hell to watch the things we learn to love pass through that dark archway, forgetting that that is the place we came from.
     Life feeds on life. A little motto I always like to remind myself of. Even if it comes down to a small little insect, I cannot commit myself to be its destroyer. I realize that’s an ass-backwards philosophy to have on a farm, but the occasional dissipating spirit is always prayed for, be it bug/plant/animal. We are here to raise life to feed life. Basketball Jones, you lived fast and died young, may you find peace beneath the great hen in the sky.

Update: Just an hour after this post, farmer Gus walks into the kitchen and introduces us to a new chick. Dumped by its mama and pecked in the head by another hen, give a warm hello to "Sasha Fierce" (Rosy's got a creative arsenal of names under her belt.) We both got up and jumped for joy at our new friend, and then Rosy grabbed Miss Fierce and proceeded to place the chick down her shirt to keep it warm. There's life, doing that funny thing again.

Update Update: Well it turns out Rosy didn't like the name Sasha Fierce, so I decided to take the initiative on our little new chick's name. Its name is now crater, because of the giant hole on the side of its head that was hit by a beak asteroid, or in the words of Rosy, "just an ass is more like it."

J 4
I am starting to love the phrase “tomorrow we go to harvest.” It feels like a grand event that we all have to prepare for, push our hardest for. The sun finally popped it’s little head out today. The morning started with a tasty meal of eggs and a blend of kale/potato/chard that prompted me to clean the entire bowl. We all knew the sun was going to be out, and although there was a small bit of dread of working in the heat, there was an energy that boiled in all of us. It was a day of mixed duties. We made our rounds and fed all the chickens/goats/pigs, drank our coffee and then moved out to the fields. Of course it started with some fun weed pulling, what else? Then we finished off planting some eggplants on a row we had started the day before.
     Randomly, I decide that I’m heading out to work on a small project with my Mambo (my nickname for my mom.) It’s a photography project that’s taking place down in Tigard. I hate to cut out on everyone, but for some reason feel obligated to go and help. I jump into my nice clothes and jump into my car with the promise that I’ll return with a growler full of beer. On my drive down I’m a little excited to take a break from the farm, but when I’m moving around the room trying to take shots of a product, I quickly realize how desperately I want to be back on the farm. I take the shots and give my ol Mambo a kiss and head off to get a quick bite and fill up the growler. I bring back a nice Pilsner to everyone on the farm, put on my shorts, boots and unnecessarily bright day glow orange shirt, and get back to the dirt.

     We pluck some more weeds and then it’s time to plant a few things. We head down a long row and start dropping seed for turnip and more eggplant. My ass is on the dirt, my boots are off and I’m taking in all the sun as it makes its way down. Adam, one of the fellas that works on the farm, is building a small house. Rosy and I jump all over the chance to help him build it. He tells us if we can get it built in the few weeks that we’re here, he’ll let us have a night in it. We grab a few beers and start doing what we can. Adam climbs on the roof as we hand him big pieces of pressboard. He’s pounding away on the roof while we’re pounding away on the brew. John, another roommate, comes out and we drag him over to help us push materials up to Adam. From the window of the house, Rosy and Adam hear a strange noise, what sounds like a banjo and ask me if I hear it, and I reply, “Yea! Scotts playing!” Scotts another fella who lives here. He’s been playing only a few weeks, but his slow and steady picks fill the air with some sweet country.
     The mood of the evening is buzzing. The sun is getting lazy from being out all day and slowly the day winds itself down. We grub on some hot potatoes after feeding all the animals and one by one we start heading off in our own directions. Every once in a while we hit each other like asteroids, make a little small talk and then disperse. I’m outside in the field, fiddling with my telescope, while Rosy plays with a little chick that apparently had been abandoned by its mother. There’s a little sadness in the air with that bit of truth. That chick is very lucky to be here in a good home that’ll take care of it. I’m reminded suddenly of my own mom. Today, everyone it seems, was talking about their parents, and not once did I mention anything about mine. What can I say? My Mambo is a powerful hen, she took good care of us chicks, and I’m lucky to have landed on such a good farm. This place is a radical change from the life I’ve lived for the past 29 years, and one day, I hope my mom can see the wonderful beauty that I see here. I’m certain she will.

     Tomorrow is harvest. We’ll find the best of the best of the flora just outside our tent door and take it to the market for any tasty eyes to snatch em up. We’ll have the opportunity to go to market one of these days, but for now, Rosy and I are just taking everything in, like flowers taking in the sun. Learning and growing.