Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ask me in 15 years

Just over a year ago I was starting out on my Master's thesis and was also in the final phase of my move home to Canada (the phase that involved moving back to Canada).  During this process I met some wonderful gardeners and farmers who have inspired me and impacted the choices I am making in terms of the kind of work I do and life I am living.  One of the patterns that kept coming up was the timeframe of 15 years.

At our Organic Gardening course at CAT (in Wales) when the instructor was showing us what he's done in his own backyard.  Looking at the photos and listening to the story, I thought it would have been a 3-4 year project (especially since they don't have the winters like we do).   I was floored when he said it had bee 15 years.

Back in Canada, I met with and learned beside a wonderful farmer, Don Ruzicka, who has become a dear friend and mentor.  Talking to Don and walking his land, you would think he's been farming like this since he began.  But it has been 'only' 15 years since they took their first Holistic Management course and began to restore the health of the land, their finances and their family through ecological agriculture.  

And neither of these gentlemen are done or complete.  They are still learning, experimenting, building and breaking down.  

So... back to me and to now - June 2011.  Being done my thesis for over 8 months, getting married in around 4, working on contracts related to rural community, food and agriculture as well as doing some writing for our local paper, planting gardens and learning about raising chickens, pigs, cows... people around me (family, friends - old and new, neighbours, strangers) still seem to be trying to 'place' me in a job or career that is easy to explain.

 "So, what do you do? What are planning to do? Do you want to be a farmer? Will you open a restaurant or local food shop?  Are you going to write more? I always knew you writer.  Are you still training and facilitating? You're going to be making sausages?"

These questions and statements are all asked with honest inquiry and no judgement.  I feel that they want to support and help but perhaps can't grasp the picture I am painting so don't know where to place their own brush on the canvas.

But the fact is - I don't know either.  I am painting as I go and living my way into whatever I will be or become.  It's worked pretty well thus far (33-15=18... I could have never planned all I have experienced since I was 18, especially not when I was 18).

So I am finding peace in the prospect of a horizon of 15 years.  When the plans we have for a house, a farm, a life seem overwhelming... I try to remember to smile at V. and remind us (me) that we have 15 years or more to let it happen.  I might like it to be up and together overnight but I would miss a lot if it did.

Thus - when asked about what I do or want to be doing, I am learning to smile and be okay with answering "Can I get back to you on that?  Maybe in about 15 years?"

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Twitter-feed update

Whew! Where did April and May go?  We're into June and I guess the testament to my activity is that I haven't had time to sit and blog.   Something I want to change and need to build into my practice.  I thought I would use my 'tweets' from the last months as a way to play catch up:

30 Mar - Off to check out milk cows under a BLUE sky
2 Apr - Sitting down to write article on agroecology and missing my view over Schumacher College garden
12 Apr - wondering if others get to the point where they wish the words would jump from their brain to the paper without going through fingers
18 Apr - Back on the porch with a book and the sun... Oh how I missed this in the winter
21 Apr - PC candidate says election is about leadership & talks of "steady hand of Harper"... Oh that's what it's called.
21 Apr - PC candidate doesn't think questions from Sask. farmers valid bc they aren't in his consisutency. That's leadership...
21 Apr - PC candidate says this is "Kevin in haha"... doesn't make me laugh.
26 Apr - Currently reading 40 Gardening Tips to Maximize Your Harvest
27 Apr - Used to follow StanleyCup by wesbites and texts from friends.  Back in Canada and its still twitter that's my playoff source.
28 Apr - Chairs & tables all set & ready 4 Viking Sustainability Fair TOMORROW!
28 Apr - The first solar panel just arrived at the Viking Sustainability Fair
30 Apr - Viking Sustainability Fair comes a close.. Bring on the Power of the Land dinner and concert with the Dandylionesses!
30 Apr - Just saw the northern lights for the first since moving home, lovely end to a great weekend.
2 May - If you will take 10 minutes to go through the Tim Horton's drive-thru, why not take 10 minutes to go through democracy?
2 May - Planned the 'intown' garden (mom and dad's) and arrange seeds in order of earliest planting.
2 May - Getting ready to garden... Although some would argue that I've been gardening since March!
9 May - Been playing in the garden all day - with my shoes off and feet in the dirt!
10 May - planted (most) of my parents garden today and now dreaming of the first salad that comes out to go with our BBQ
11 May - Registration for the Alberta Permaculture Convergence is now open!
11 May - Just made my first batch of homemade mayo and now pondering the possibilities for innovation...
11 May - First ticket for the Alberta permaculture convergence paid for... And registration only started today!
13 May - Getting ready to plant potatoes and looking forward to seeing the gems these grow!
14 May - After a week of planting (gardens & trees) nice to have fresh greens & we didn't even plant them: nettles, lambs quarters, wild chive.
15 May - With 6200trees to plant, it's treeaplalooza around here.  Sitting in the calm shelter of trees in the middle of this wind, it's worth the effort.
18 May - Just heard that my Jerusalem artichoke order is on it's way! More planting to do!
18 May - I htink I can say mom & dad's garden is 'in.' Only potatoes 2 plant @ community plot & I'm on to V's place.
18 May - hello rain, welcome!
20 May - My Jimmy Nardello is blooming!
21 May - Another day, another garden to plant.
24 May - Favorite magazines these days? SmallFarmCanada and MotherEarthNews
30 May - seem to have motivation for anything BUT sitting inside and doing computer based work
31 May - trying alightheart's trick: going to start writing before I notice
31 May - Spent the morning interviewing a local rabbit farmer... So guess what I had for supper? :)
1 Jun - wicked answer to common question 'where to you live?' - 'in a prairie ecosystem'
6 Jun - Moments to remember forever: being the backyard with Mom as a flock of 10-15 waxwings land in our apple tree.
6 Jun - rhubarb chutney simmering and spruce-tip vodka infusing... time for a nice bath.
TODAY - All the plants have been moved outside and the shuffleboard is once again a shuffleboard... the basement looks so much bigger!