The last time I wrote in this blog, it was September 2018; today, it is the end of May, 2019. At that time, we were looking back at the wonderful season of putting together our Bigfoot Food Forest - cutting trees and branches; laying out the paths; taking the Applied Permaculture course with David Homa; working with Ruby, Dana, John, and Mik; putting in polycultures; bringing water to the back of the garden; building the sheds ...
It was exhilarating, but you know what: in all honesty, then the first frosts hit, I was really glad that the quiet season of Winter, when nothing grows above ground, had arrived. I photographed frost-bitten leaves and mind-wrote a blog post about the inward turning of Winter, which brings the farmer and gardener precious time for rest and for other interests (mind-writing is when you put all the words down in your head but they don't get on paper or in the computer). I was planning some some winter painting jobs inside the house.
The Grim Reaper visited and I moved up a generation. My mom passed away on December 16 - just like that - and I spent a lot of time in the Netherlands with family. She left an enormous hole, and into that hole we all sped to be closer together and in a desire to fill it. She departed as she wanted to, in the middle of life, without illness or pain or even knowing; it was just a bit sudden for the rest of us. Her spirit roams with us all. I miss you every day, mom! Wish you were here!
Mark and I became landowners. Having done such a bang-up job building a food forest on 1/3 acre, I felt confident to take on 36. Mark did recently point out that our new farm is 100x bigger than our yard here, hm..... The land is near Greenfield and Mark's mom and John. Hooray! We will now have a Bigfoot lab site in Needham, and the Bigfoot food forest farm in Montague. My mom would have loved it and I hope it's possible to read blogs in the Hereafter.
I retired from one career and started a new one. After 25 years as an economic demographer and consultant on global education issues, I completed my last gig in Australia in February. It was a great time, plus, I was able to visit some 30-year old permaculture sites, as the Australians started long before we did in the US. Part of the career-switch is working as workshop coordinator for the Boston Food Forest Coalition. In February, we started the PDC teacher training seminar, and the Applied Permaculture Series, inspired by David's in Maine. We also did a mini-workshop on chickens - aha, more on chickens later!
Our two daughters graduated from college. Having taken quite different paths, each fitting to the wonderful unfolding adults they are, Charlotte and Josephine both walked the stage on the same weekend (but different days, phew!). Mark and I were exhilarated and proud parents, and oma was riding on my shoulders (much simpler to join as a wee spirit than to fly over in an airplane). We wish both young women godspeed and the best of luck in their next adventures! Check out Charlotte's blog postgradtentsion and Josephine's circus instagram account.
As I said, a lot can happen in between seasons.