A Discomfiting Upward Movement   21 comments

For a time there, I had it figured out.

Okay, that’s only half true. For a time there, I felt comfortable. There have been moments during the last year when I felt at peace, in a good place, comfortable and happy with my life. I found a good place to live with roommates I understood and who understood me; I had good work; I had somehow slipped a bit ahead of the game financially, mostly through simple living; and I felt more at peace, calmer, my life less distracted.

I don’t know if such times ever can last. My life has been thrown at least partly back into chaos as I have taken on new opportunities, met new people, rediscovered the internet, developed new relationships, and am once again on the verge of making major life (and living situation) changes.

I guess this is just what I do this time of year.

— ∞ —

It’s interesting how much strife and happiness can correlate within my mind. I am happy right now. I’m very happy. I’m also stressed, worried, partly confused, and at least vaguely terrified. Some of that may be exaggeration. Probably not, though.

In early January, I’m moving. I’m continuing my trend of moving yet farther south, except that I do it in much smaller increments than I suspect most people do when they move. In March 2012—when I lived at my first home here on the North Coast of Oregon, R-evolution Gardens—I moved about a half mile south along the highway to live at one of the farms I currently work for. Then this last January, I moved another mile south along the same highway to come to my current situation, living with two fantastic roommates who got on this simple living boat long before me, back in the 70s. Living with them works. It works well. I like them a lot, and we understand each other.

Despite that—and this is at least part of my strife—I’m about to move yet again, and in keeping with tradition, it’s going to be about two miles farther south along the same highway. (I suppose I should scope out the property four miles south of there so I know what my future holds.) But why do this, if I’m in such a good living situation? Well, that’s a question I’ve asked myself, and while I’m comfortable with the answer, my uncertainty about whether or not I’m making the right choice has admittedly stressed me.

I’m moving because this is the sort of opportunity I’ve been thinking of for the last few years, and I want to seize it. I’m moving to an old, 1917 farm house on eight acres of property, with a large barn, a garage, and a couple other outbuildings (which are, admittedly, in disrepair.) In other words, this is an opportunity for me to experiment with homesteading or even micro farming. It’s also an opportunity for me to build a home for myself from scratch. It’s a blank slate, and I’m fascinated to find out what I might do with it.

I should note, I’m not going to own this property. One of the couples I farm for are buying it and I’ll have to pay them rent. This also means I’m going to have to find a roommate to help pay rent. (Know anyone good, who’s into simple living and homesteading?) But, there’s at least the potential for me to be there long term, if I should want, and I don’t know that I’ll have another opportunity as right as this to set up my own home. I’ll be comfortable with the owners, I trust them, and they’ll be happy to rent to me for many years if I should so desire. I don’t have money to buy property; this feels like the right alternate option.

Of course, all of this is little more than a vague outline in the fog. I don’t know how long I’ll be there. I don’t know where my life will go. I don’t know how well I’ll be able to set up the property or if I’ll be able to make the time to properly tend to it. I will continue to work, as I’ll have to pay rent. But I do want to grow food, perhaps get a small flock of ducks, continue a variety of homesteading activities, and hopefully begin to establish some kind of business of my own. I’d like to sell excess produce and eggs in the community and hopefully do something a bit more ambitious on the level of education and providing a community resource. I might attempt to produce local seed, I might do small amounts of value-added food processing, I might teach classes, I might attempt to become some kind of local gardening resource. I don’t know for sure yet, but these possibilities are all open.

I’ll need to narrow my vision at some point, and probably soon. But I also believe I need to get on the land, walk it, listen to it, and see what it wants before I do. This decision isn’t mine alone. And I don’t believe the work can be mine alone. So I’m going to have to ease into it and see what opportunities arise, who shows up to help, and what ways I can benefit my community.

It’s an incredible, overwhelming opportunity. I’m very excited about it. And I’m terrified, as well. It’s a commitment, even if the commitment doesn’t come with bright, bold lines. I don’t yet know the exact form of it, but it’s a commitment of my time and energy and efforts, of my life, for however long I’m there. It’s also a financial commitment, and one that makes me nervous. Not because I think I can’t meet it, but because it’s more of a commitment than I have now. It’s also going to demand an unknown community: at least one person to live with and the help and involvement of plenty more, in some capacity or another. That’s unnerving to me. Not because I dislike community, but because I hate getting into something I don’t know the outcome of.

Unfortunately for me, that’s one definition of a life: something you can’t know the outcome of. So I suppose I should get over it.

— ∞ —

The new property looms large in my life. But there’s more. Earlier this year, I joined the Board of a local non-profit organization, Food Roots. It’s a great organization, working to build the local food system. Obviously, that’s an interest of mine, and I joined the Board hoping I could help with the goal in a more systemic manner than just being a direct part of the local farming scene, as I am now.

As the months have whiled away, I’ve taken on more and more responsibility. I’ve been elected Board Treasurer, have helped with business plan editing and plenty of other tasks, and now I find myself running a crowd funding campaign for a major new project we’re about to embark on. This is easily my biggest commitment yet.

Let me talk about this campaign for a moment. There’s a box over on the left hand side of this page, up near the top, that links to the campaign on Indiegogo. I want to address that. I haven’t asked for money at any point while writing this blog. I haven’t wanted to, I haven’t needed to, and I don’t think too many of my readers are chomping at the bit to give me any, anyway. I did, however, decide to put up a link to this campaign—after some hesitation—and I want to explain why.

One reason, to be blunt, is that I want it to be successful because I’m more or less running it. The whole organization is contributing to this campaign, publicizing it, and working to make it successful, of course, but I’m the one who wrote it, put it together, put it up, and am doing a good bit of the publicity for it. And so, just for personal reasons of ego, I want it to succeed. I don’t want to be the guy who ran an unsuccessful campaign. It’s not altruistic, granted, but it is true.

A more important reason is that I think this project could do a lot to help the local food system out here on the North Coast of Oregon. I suspect the majority of my readers understand that small-scale, sustainable farming is not typically a lucrative business venture. It’s really hard financially. I’ve worked for five farms at this point in my life, volunteered for others, and talked with a heck of a lot of other farmers. A very common theme is the economic challenge of farming. Land isn’t priced for it. Supermarket groceries aren’t priced for it. The economy doesn’t support it. Our models are not built around small-scale and sustainable farming that utilizes hand labor; our models are built for tractors and vast monocultures. Small-scale farming is a challenge to the dominant economic system, yet it still has to exist within that system. That’s a brutal combination.

There are a lot of people out there who want to farm, and a lot of them are relatively young—which we need. We need that new generation of farmers. Not just to replace the older generation, but to build upon the number of farmers we have now. That’s a necessity if we really are going to continue to grow the local food system. But a heck of a lot of those young people who want to start farming are staring at a grim financial picture, very tight margins, too expensive land, and an economic system fighting tooth and nail against them.

And so we want to start this program to help them with that. It’s going to build three 30′ x 96′ hoop houses to provide training space for new and existing farmers; create an outdoor demonstration site to go along with that; lease hoop house space to farmers who need it; create a database to match local buyers with local farmers; provide a matched savings program to create start-up and ongoing capital for new farmers; create a database of local land that people want to see farmed; and establish a tool bank to provide local farmers with tools without having to purchase them. None of this is a silver bullet; longtime readers will know what I think of those. But it very well may help establish new farmers around here, help relieve some of the financial stress on current small farmers, improve market connections to make this local food system work financially for the various players involved, and help lessen the learning curve on how to grow all this local food, in our local conditions. Done right, it’s going to create a lot of new connections amongst all the people playing some role in local food and, hopefully, we’re going to turn it into a full-fledged farm incubator program within a couple of years.

It’s a nearly quarter million dollar project, which is a crazy amount of money to me. We have a lot of it already committed through grants and local businesses. We need to raise another $7,000—and a bit more would be fantastic—to provide the final bit of matching funds.

I’m only going to say this once here, because this blog doesn’t exist to try to raise money and I don’t much like trying to do that anyway. It makes me anxious. (A Steinbeck quote comes to mind: “And all their love was thinned with money.”) But here it is: if you have a few spare bucks and you’ve enjoyed this blog enough to want to show your appreciation with it, then donate it to the campaign. That would be awesome. I won’t get any of that money. I’m not an employee of the organization or employed by this project. However, I will eventually benefit from it as either a local farmer or just a local citizen, or both. It’s going to help the community, and that’s really what I most want to see.

And if not a cent comes from this post, I have no problem with that. I just wanted to explain to you all where that box came from and why it’s there.

— ∞ —

But I also bring it up because it pertains to this post, which is that in running this campaign and being an active Board member for Food Roots, I’m starting to feel a touch more professional. I’m establishing more connections within the community and starting to feel more is expected of me. I like this. I want to be an important part of this community. But it’s also strange and unnerving, because it doesn’t quite fit the image of myself I had crafted.

Part of my comfort from earlier in this year stemmed from the fact that my life felt so simple and bare bones. I farmed a few days a week and loved the work. I came home and ate some good food and read. I talked to my roommates. I drank coffee and sat and stared out the back window and delighted at observing the birds. I saw friends, drank beer with them, laughed and ate. I fostered connections here and there—in small and subtle but important ways—and felt like someone who benefited the community, but mostly in the background. I was off the radar. I liked that.

Now the radar’s blipping. I keep showing up on it. I’m more official, I have responsibilities, I’m taking on roles and probably becoming defined by them in the minds of others. I’m a Board Treasurer; it’s not a big deal, but it’s still a title. I’m running this campaign. I’m writing press releases and perhaps next week I’ll be interviewed on the radio. That’s strange.

On top of that, I’m moving to this new place and taking on the responsibility of it. I’m not just going to be a roommate—I’m going to be The Head of the Household. It’s not a big deal. It’s just one more small thing. And yet, here I am, feeling so damn official. I had come to the point of not believing I ever would find these roles, and I was perfectly happy with that. But then people started asking me for help, and I started saying yes. Then opportunities came my way, and I decided to take them on.

At Thanksgiving, telling my family about being a member of the Food Roots Board, a family member joked, “Wait, so now we start having to take you seriously?” Yes. Shit. That’s what’s happening—I feel like I’m starting to be taken seriously. Which means people are going to expect things of me. Which means I’ll want and need to live up to those expectations.

Damn it. It was so much easier before.

— ∞ —

There’s more, too. An amazing new relationship, complete with nonsensical happiness. Tentative first steps toward establishing a religious practice. It feels sometimes like it’s cascading down upon me, like I’m being thrust forward into a level of responsibility I’m not prepared for.

It’s not that I don’t think I can handle it. It’s that I don’t understand where it’s going. I don’t understand what will be demanded of me. I don’t know the shape of it yet, and so I can’t properly plan, and sometimes that feels like ice. At my core, I always fear letting people down. Now there are so many more people I’m at risk of letting down. How do I navigate this minefield? And how the hell did I get here? When did I become so fracking legitimate?

How did I go from farming, reading, and writing slightly-too-revealing-posts on a blog to this? And what do I do with it?

I wish I knew.

— ∞ —

And yet, I’m happy. Major change tends to unnerve me, because I always want to plan and I hate risk. However, I also want to do good things, and that’s always going to take precedence. I can be uncomfortable if I think it might make my community better, improve my life, be good to the people I care about. I want to do good work. That’s always what this blog has been about and it’s always in my mind, the importance of this core goal.

I’ve unnerved myself, but it’s all in that pursuit. The hell of it is that sometimes good work is uncomfortable. And so here I am, moving onward and upward (he writes wryly, thinking “myth of progress”) and trying to make sense of these changes, to come to terms with this discomfort, and to understand that this is the precursor to a future figuring out—a future comfort that will simply be the precursor to the next cycle of discomfort and uncertainty, that unending cycle of a life’s learning and experience.

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Posted December 14, 2013 by Joel Caris in Farm Life, Farming, Homesteading, Meta, Work

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21 responses to “A Discomfiting Upward Movement

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  1. I have the same gravity pulling me into a position of engagement with the world lately. Different from you, but at the heart it’s the same thing. The truth is that the world needs people like us desperately. People whom have examined our civilizations predicaments and their own lives to arrive at a position of strength via certainty in righteousness. I know “righteousness” has a religious (Christian) ring to it, and I don’t have a problem with using it lately. Because there is right and wrong, and right living is righteous, and that’s exactly what you are doing. And it should be called by that name.

    I’m on the other side of the country, but it still feels good knowing that you are increasing your engagement with the wider world. Food production and water are the most important aspects that are failing in our current clustercuss paradigm of progress and profit. BAU marches on all the while continually increasing the damage to our future generations welfare and health. Gargantuan Agribusiness monocroped moonscapes devoid of all but poison spreading into our water tables as we draw them down, running off into the ocean to kill the life therein. I don’t need to preach to the choir. I just want to say that what you are doing is what needs most done.

    At the end of your life, the health you have restored to our biosphere will still be there, doing what it’s supposed to do…allowing nature to reign in it’s fertility. The more Druids that are in positions of power the better in my opinion. It seems to me that we mostly step aside, and deal only with those whom have exited the Matrix. Now we have to do more. We have to begin building an alternative to it, and we have to do that regardless of being forced to swim against the current of a destructive paradigm. We have to do that by being willing to lead. I think most people, in this world, are scared and certain of only what they are told is correct.

    I’m working for a non-profit myself, it’s called the SUN Foundation. You can check it out at http://www.sun4living.com We’ve already been sabotaged via stolen snail mail and phishing attempts on our new bank account and my personal email account. Nothing too damaging as of yet, but still, it’s obvious that something, or somebody, does not want us to succeed.

    • Thanks, Aaron. I’m happy with the engagement in the wider world—I think it’s definitely a good thing, though I do sometimes wonder how much of a difference it will make. It will be interesting to see how I juggle all this come summer. The usual winter slow down hasn’t been a slow down this year so much as a shift of focus, to less gardening, markets, and farm work in favor of this non-profit work and other, personal concerns. Depending on how all this shakes out, I may have to take this first year on the new property slow.

      I’m absolutely with you on the need to build alternatives. I think that’s the key. While there’s still money and resources floating around, I think it’s worthwhile to try to divert as much of it as possible away from destructive purposes and toward building alternative infrastructure that will help support proper, sustainable, smaller-scale modes of living. The more of that we can do, the less hard it will be to scrape by as the main economic and societal supports continue to fall apart.

      I’m glad to see you’re working on similar efforts. That’s good. I’ll look more into SUN—and I hope the attacks cease soon. Funny tidbit, though: I checked out the page and saw this video linked to on SUN’s Facebook feed. That’s the farm I mentioned in this post, that I originally moved out here to the coast to work on and lived at for a year (and still go hang out on fairly regularly.) Small world. I see that video’s getting a bit viral. Not surprising, I suppose—it’s a pretty amazing place and Brian’s an impressive man. So’s Ginger, the co-owner who does all the food growing, along with interns and WWOOFers.

  2. Welcome to full-blown adulthood Joel.

    • Thanks, Martin. It’s an adventure.

    • Oh, and as for roosters—from your comment on the previous post—I have to say that I’ve been lucky enough to have so far only worked with mellow roosters. They’ve never given me any real trouble. I do recall a story from Brian, at one of the previous farms I worked for. He told of a mean rooster they once had who really liked to go at Brian with his claws when he would go into the chicken run to do whatever. So one day the rooster attacks him. Brian gives him a stern warning that if he tries it again, he’s going to the chopping block. Sure enough, the rooster tries it again, and Brian grabs him, walks him over, takes off the head.

      Not much of an I-Thou moment, I suppose, but sometimes you have to be careful about attacking someone who’s bigger than you, in a grumpy mood, and has access to a hatchet.

  3. Reblogged this on There Are So Many Things Wrong With This and commented:
    Lots of major stuff there, Joel who needs a farmer roommate in Oregon. Reblogging with hopes you find the right person.

  4. that’s interesting about that video.

    And on the chicken slaughtering end of things…I recently slaughtered two of my hens for several reasons. Ended up boiling two whole chickens minus the gallbladder, oil sack, and gizzard, it was pretty good chicken stock. Anyways, the way I picked one of them was because she would peck at my legs sometimes cause she was cranky. I was sure to tell her why she’d been selected, and in the presence of the rest of my birds. I haven’t been pecked at since.

    • Ha. Maybe the chickens understand, after all. Always good to make your intentions known.

      Did you roast the chickens before you made stock out of them? I always find that makes a much richer stock, which I certainly appreciate.

  5. Oh, yes. The whole rental boondoggle. There are horror stories galore, out there. Some may have been following the odyssey of Tripp and his family over at Small Batch Garden. I rent and have the added problem of being pretty old. 65, next birthday. I moved out here two years ago, this spring. My first experience with country living. In Western Washington. So far, so good. Learning all the time. And, yes, that cold snap was something. It was a grind. Taking care of the animals (cat, old dog, chickens), keeping the pipes open and staying warm.

    But, back to rentals. I rent from an old friend of mine (20 years). I often agonize over “how much to put into the place.” My landlord is older than me and in poor health. His brother, also owner of the land, is even older. Things could change very rapidly and I’d have to “hit the road.” Maybe. But, maybe not. So, I find myself agonizing over things like, do I plant four blueberry bushes this year? I’d like to try a couple of tea plants. I know I should stop trying to second guess life. Take it a day at a time. Sometimes I loose sight of what I believe. That you make choices and then live and deal with the consequences, good or bad.

    As far as rental etiquette goes, I’m always careful when talking to my landlord with the … possessive language I use. The things that belong to me are “my cat, my chickens, my truck, etc.”. The stuff that belongs to him is “the house, the yard, the apple trees, etc.”. Courtesy and clarity.

    Speaking of chickens, my 6 Barnevelders and 1 Brahma (Mama Brahma) hens made it through the freeze. Even the one that disappeared on the coldest night and reappeared a day later. I think she was hungry. Didn’t even poop on me when I carried her back to the pen :-).
    The chickens molted in the fall and the short days caught up with me before I got a light in the chicken house. So, the ladies took a 2+ month break. I got the light in the house before the freeze. Helped keep them warm and I slowly brought the light up to 16 hours a day. After about two weeks, they kicked into gear, again. I’m getting an egg or two a day, now. Enough for me and some to spread around for “social capital.” Next year I’ll know better.

    I found a local place where I can order 12 unsexed Barnevelders in the spring. The plan is I’ll get at least one rooster out of the batch. I want to get a system rolling. Compost, a few replacement hens every year for a bit of meat, the eggs. Big dreams.

    I’ve thought about a room mate. Help around the place, a bit of financial gain. But then, I haven’t lived with anyone since 1983. And, in my old age I think I’ve discovered that I have a bit of Social Anxiety Disorder. Always there but tamped down. Now that I’m retired and don’t have to deal much with people or society, it’s (if I’m not vigilant) coming into full bloom.

    Sounds like you have a lot on your plate. But, you’re young and energetic. I found last year that I could barely keep the lawn mowed as I was so caught up in helping my friends move to Idaho. The farm sitting that kept me on the road 2+ hours a day. Helping prepare for the big farm auction. The packing. Well, no excuses this year :-). And, if I read your post right, it seems you’ve found romance. Good for you! The only advice I have in that department is, take up with a girl from and old local family. It removes some of the taint of being from “away.” :-). But, the heart has it’s reasons so such advice is, at best, useless. :-).

    • Yeah, that was quite the cold snap, wasn’t it, Lew? Then again, the rest of the winter’s been pretty mild. We’re finally getting some stormy weather out here. I have to work in it, which isn’t the most fun, but I don’t mind it too much—and I’m glad for the rain and wind, to be honest. I’ve kind of missed it. Plus, I figure it’s never too good when things are too out of balance from the norm. Always seems good to me to have the water tables full, even out here where we get nearly 100 inches a year.

      I suspect I’ll be dealing with the question of “How much do I do?” this year with the new place. But I feel pretty comfortable with the idea that I could be there for a long period of time if I want to stay there. That said, I don’t plan to sink major amounts of money into long term infrastructure (not that I have major amounts of money to sink, anyway, though I have managed to scrape up a bit of savings the last couple years.) On the other hand, I want to improve the place. Even if I don’t end up staying there long term, I figure there’s nothing wrong with improving a bit of land. It makes the world better some way or another, right? If I plant berry bushes or fruit trees, someone likely will eventually appreciate and benefit from them, regardless of if that’s me. Good either way.

      I like your bit about language. Smart and considerate.

      One of the hens spent one of the cold nights outside, huh? Glad she made it through. But chickens seem to figure out good places to roost when they’re out and about, if they have access to good places. I spent a few minutes the other day watching a half dozen chickens jump their way up into the rafters of a barn at one of the farms I work for. It was impressive. They got themselves a good fifteen feet off the ground, had a roof over their head, and no doubt got some extra heat coming up from the cows. They may on occasion get their heads chopped off, but chickens ain’t stupid.

      As for the 2 month break, I’m sure the hens appreciated it even if your stomach didn’t. So there’s that.

      Keep me updated on the chicken system. Sounds like a good one.

      I do have a lot on my plate, and I am young and energetic. Hopefully that will all work together for the good, but we’ll see. I’m a touch nervous about the roommate situation, finding one who fits right. I like living with people—so long as they’re the right people. If they’re not, I can get grumpy about it. But that was awhile in the past and I think I’m better at all this now. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

      Sorry for the late reply!

  6. Enjoyed your post, as always. All this talk of roosters made me laugh. I can remember as a kid on the farm in western WA we had the MEANEST little bantam roosters, who ran free through the barnyard. I don’t know how many roosters lost their head on my Dad’s chopping block, where he chopped the firewood. We would all (my sisters and I) gather around and watch because we liked watching the rooster run around without his head! I guess that’s pretty unPC, but we sure enjoyed it.
    And you know, Joel, there are never any garuntees in this life. As much as we may wish to plan our lives, we never really know from one day to the next how it will all turn out. Glad you’re finally finding that out. We sure all seem to want to plan every little thing. All your new plans sound exciting! I wish you well in all of them.
    Many Blessings and a Happy Winter Solstice to you and yours!
    Aloha, Heather

    Heather E. Caparoso
    • Heh. I’ll tell you what, bantams are kind of a pain in the ass from my experience. I remember a bantam at the first farm I worked at who got broody. Man, she was a pain to get out of it. And how she could protest when we took her off the nest! Amazing how much sound can come out of such a tiny creature. Good lord. I can imagine bantam roosters being quite obnoxious, though I’m sure there are some good ones out there.

      Anyway, no, we really can’t plan lives. Maybe a little, but never nearly as much as we think. Or, that’s my experience, anyway. I’m slowly learning. I’ll probably have it down right about the time I die. What can I say? I’m a Virgo.

  7. Hi Joel. Sorry, I haven’t had a chance to drop by for a while. Glad to hear that you are involved in two local growers groups. The moons have aligned as I also am involved in a local seed savers group and food producers group. I opened the farm before Christmas for an open night on behalf of the two groups and had a big turn out. It was a lot of fun.

    Hope you are cool with the politics of the groups as that always is an interesting learning experience. Also remember you don’t have to follow every idea and don’t take any poo from anyone.

    Sorry I can’t chip in to your poly tunnels even though it sounds like a worthwhile cause.

    Mean roosters are dead roosters. I had one here nicknamed Brian (after the Dexter TV show’s dead brother). Boy did he live up to his name too. The chopping stump is the only place for such creatures.

    Keep well. It looks as if I’m going to cop another hot dry January this year. Records are being smashed across the continent.

    I hope everyone over in the US was OK in the extreme cold temperatures this week?

    • No worries, Chris. You have pretty good time, actually—I got so busy and distracted with the holidays that I wasn’t responding to comments anyway. So now it’s catch up time, now that I’ve got the new post up.

      Good to hear of your groups, too! I would have loved to attend the gathering at your place—still would love to visit some day, though I’m skeptical of it ever happening. Glad to hear it went well and that you had a large turnout. That’s always nice.

      The politics of the group is working out okay so far. I like the people I work with, and I think we’re all pretty dedicated to doing good work. It is quite interesting figuring out this position, though. Being my first time on a Board, there’s been a definite learning curve in terms of figuring out the actual mechanics of being a Board member but also how to go about interacting with the other members and the organizational staff, how to provide input, and how to do it all in a way that doesn’t piss people off. Luckily, I’m generally pretty easy going and personable, so I don’t usually piss people off. But I do have opinions, as I imagine everyone here has figured out. As I’ve become more comfortable, I’ve been more vocal about voicing those opinions. It’s all gone okay so far.

      No worries on the poly tunnels. But yes, I think it’ll be a good project. I’m excited for it.

      Ha! Lots of dead roosters in the comment section here. Certainly, any rooster who lives up to that namesake probably needs to go to the chopping block. I hope he made a fine stew!

      Good luck with the weather down there. We’ve had quite a dry winter here, at least for us. The last couple days have been stormy, so that’s helping, but we’re way down on our usual rainfall for the rain year. Granted, it could easily be made up for over the next couple months, but we’ll see what happens. 2013 was unusually dry. Nice in some ways, but I never like seeing things too out of whack. That leads to trouble. As for the extreme cold temperatures, those didn’t hit us here in the NW, so we didn’t have to worry about it. Pretty nice weather here, actually. Glad I didn’t have to deal with the extreme cold, to tell you the truth. We had a brief stretch about a month ago with temperatures in the low teens and that was plenty cold enough for me.

  8. Pingback: A New Year’s Plan: Looking Inward | Of The Hands

  9. Well Joel, that video is pretty synchronistic it seems. My wife helps run the Diner FB page, and she ran across that video and posted it. So seems my other half found a link to you as well!!! Now we’re both doing doing non-profit work (you and I). Funny, I’m the “Chief Design Officer,” and my first task was setting up the bank account.

    Seems we are aligning. I wonder if we’ll ever meet in this life?

    I don’t turn away from synchronicity. Maybe your non-profit and the SUN have some work to do together? Definitely worth exploring don’t you think?

    Also, about the chickens. No, I didn’t roast them first. I followed the advice of Sally Fallon of “Nurturing Traditions” fame. She didn’t recommend roasting first. I can see where that would make a richer stock. But I wonder if it would be as nutritionally rich? I guess when you boil something for 24 hours, what’s the difference. Next time I make stock I’ll try it out.

    • An alignment does indeed seem to be happening. Who knows if we’ll ever meet? It would be fun. Certainly let me know if you find yourself heading out to the Oregon coast.

      As for a pairing of non-profits, I’ll certainly keep it in mind. I have to say at the moment that we have a ridiculous amount on our plate, though. I think if I tried to bring something new right now, the rest of the Board might throttle me. Heh. But you never know when future opportunities might arise.

      Ah yes, Nourishing Traditions. Fallon’s always got good, if very specific, advice. I love that book. Probably there is something nutritionally that’s better with not roasting it, as that always seems to be the aim with her. I’m sure if you boiled that thing for 24 hours, you probably had some pretty fine stock, anyway, roasting or no.

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