Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy 2012!

The view from my office this afternoon.
Welcome, everyone, to 2012! The numbers alone feel futuristic. Life here on Three Persimmons Farm feels anything but futuristic. That's not to say we're not connected... we've got the internet. And cell phone service. And TV. But being here, life does seem to go at a somewhat slower pace. I notice that I'm more able to take in the silence of the world, the night skies. The changing of the seasons... And speaking of seasons: it seems that winter has arrived today. The wind is blowing steadily from the north and northwest, periods of snow, heavy at times, are pushed through the air, slowly turning the roads and roofs white. And it is cold. 22 degrees right now, with a windchill below 10.

Pile of carrots...
We just got back home after a quick seven-day trip to Denver. Parts of four of those days were spent driving, which made it seem even a quicker trip. I didn't get to see or do everything I had hoped, but what I did was fantastic. It was wonderful to see my family again. My niece and nephews are growing up so quickly. My sisters look fantastic, and I got to spend some long-missed time playing games with my parents, & staying up late drinking whiskey with my dad. I know I'm a lucky guy to have such a great family. And I got to see friends and the Tattered Cover again... not long enough... but what is enough? Going back to Denver for the first time since moving out to Illinois was both shocking and anti-climatic. Anti-climatic because it seemed as if it had just been a few days since we were last there. Shocking in that we had to deal with traffic. And the lights took forever to change over. And there were restaurants everywhere. I mean, it seemed to us that there were restaurants at every corner and two thick in between. And not just fast food. But food from around the world! It was almost too much to take in. And the movie choices... heavenly! But as we drove the smaller highways back home, pushed along by a wicked wind and a dust storm, we were both so glad to be back in East Central Illinois. As we approached Lake Shelbyville, things began once again to grow familiar, even in the dark... and by the time we stepped out into the bitter cold of our driveway, it was a relief to be back home.

Dirty carrots!
It's been a long while since I have posted, but the garden is still producing! On Christmas Eve, I picked parley from the herb garden for our mussels dinner. And on Christmas morning, we made an herb rub for our 22-pound pork roast with parsley and sage just picked outside. This morning, though, I noticed that the herb garden is done. The parsley lies wilted and darkening, collapsed on itself. And the sage and rosemary just look cold. On Christmas Day, I pulled up fresh carrots to take to my family. I got about five pounds of carrots out of the raised beds. My family was amazed at how sweet they tasted. Their flavor is so much more layered than the carrots you get from the store, which now taste like orange cardboard to me. Having a garden really ruins you on store-bought produce. I can't eat a tomato from the store: wet red cardboard. I won't go on...

There is still work to do in the garden: the stakes need to be pulled out, as do the large rocks I used to hold down newspaper mulch and the twine I used for peas and beans. The garden didn't get tilled in the fall because I didn't get these things done, since I've been working in town since September. It seemed that every weekend it either rained or I was too busy to get it done. And hopefully it won't delay my work in the spring.

As I write, the snow continues to fall. The sky is light and dark gray, moving and swirling around the farm. The fields and roads are white and the grass is beginning to turn white as well... It's a lovely beginning of year here, and I wish you all the best of luck in 2012!


  1. I'd be curious to taste those carrots. Of course, I do not have a garden, so you'd just spoil me on market carrots.

    1. I'm afraid you're right... these carrots tasted unlike any carrot I've bought at a store... far more carroty... as if the flavor had been amped up. And they were far juicier than store-bought carrots. It's definitely worth it to seek out some carrots at a farmers' market when they're available...