I had hoped to sit down today to write a long post about our greenhouse life– the things we’re planting, the rearranging and bettering of farm spaces we’ve done, the tables we’ve built, and the excitement surrounding the start of our eighth growing season. But suddenly that all feels a little frivolous, a little less important, a little silly.
Offices all over the country are scrambling to prepare their employees to work remotely. With schools and day cares shutting down, parents are struggling to figure out how to balance working while parenting. Vacations are being canceled. Study abroad students are traveling home. The world, in a lot of ways, feels like it is shutting down. Events have been canceled. National sports leagues have decided to postpone their play indefinitely. Flipping Disney World just announced it was closing its doors temporarily. Every day life around the globe has been severely disrupted.
And here we are, heading to the farm just as we do on any other sunny March day. We seed, we water, we watch things grow, we prepare for another season. It’s inspiring and confusing. It’s comforting and disorienting.
In my hours away from the greenhouse I’m finding it especially hard to concentrate. It’s hard to be present for anything other than the current moment and situation we’re all in. I don’t feel panicked or scared, but I do feel distracted and a little confused. My farm work away from the farm involves a lot of outreach, sales, marketing and other kinds of work with other people and I can’t seem to figure out what feels most important, or important at all. I can’t figure out which tasks are necessary, or even appropriate. So in the last couple of days I’ve just kind of stalled.
I call friends and we talk about fear, facts, and uncertainty. We hold space for one another and I clean my cupboards. I take care of myself. I make myself a few mason jars of long infusions and a batch of Golden Milk: the kind of small daily nourishments I never normally take the time to do. I do what feels right. I don’t do what doesn’t. It feels comforting and safe. It feels vastly different than the pace I usually operate at, but also kind of nice.
My Carrot has been much better at focusing on work in these strange, uncertain times– a skill I am sure he has developed after seven years of diligently working through a climate changing environment where every day feels like a new and different kind of crisis.
He deconstructs our germination chamber and moves it out of the greenhouse. He heads to the store to stock up on the few essentials we don’t have (mainly coffee and milk). He plods along on our organic certification paperwork. He heads to our friend’s farm to help her take down the hoophouse we just bought from her to turn into a storage facility for boxes, fertilizer, equipment, and so many other odds and ends. He cleans up the farm. He organizes. He finishes our new greenhouse tables: a well-thought out project he made look effortless, putting together PVC pipes, cedar lumber and pieces of screen wire until our whole greenhouse was transformed into a beautiful, organized space for baby plants.
Of course, my Carrot has got his own worries too. He wonders what our restaurants’ sales might look like in a deflated economy. He fears that companies might shut down temporarily and we won’t be able to get the necessary supplies we need to grow our crops. If this lasts a while, he wonders how it will affect working with a team.
But all being said and done, we’re doing well: healthy and happy with friends, family and a warm sunny greenhouse all nearby in a state that feels like it has things largely under control. I’m incredibly grateful because I know this isn’t the case for so many. And the one thing that feels certain to me through all of this, is that I am supposed to keep spending time in my kitchen preparing nourishing food and beverages, and sharing it all with you. As a society, I know a lot of us don’t actually know how to nourish ourselves well. I certainly didn’t before becoming a farmer. And I know the idea of being stuck at home with only the things in your fridges, freezers and pantries can seem daunting and difficult not to mention maybe a little sad and uninspiring.
In times like these that are a little heavy and stressful, I find it incredibly important to not only eat well but also to eat in ways that make us feel joyful. Golden Milk is one of my favorite simple, healthy indulgences. It always makes me happy. It’s a warm mug of sweet, slightly spicy goodness that leaves my whole body feeling comforted. Turmeric also happens to have loads of health benefits (none of which relate to immunity or mediating the coronavirus but a healthy body is a good thing nonetheless) and gives the drink a lovely golden hue.
I hope you enjoy and I hope this post and drink give you some degree of comfort.
P.S. I also just want everyone who is reading this blog to know I’m holding space for them. Whatever you are feeling is valid and if there is ANYTHING I can help with, please don’t hesitate to ask.
HOMEMADE GOLDEN MILK
3 tablespoons of maple syrup will make a subtly sweet, subtly spicy beverage. 6 tablespoons will be pretty darn sweet. Honestly, I love both on different days. If you aren’t sure what you will be feeling, I suggest just going with 3 tablespoons, tasting and then adjusting to your preference.
Takes 10 minutes
14-ounce can coconut milk
1-1/4 cup cashew (or almond or soy or whatever alt milk option you enjoy) milk
3-6 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil
4 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 twists of freshly ground black pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until smooth and cook for 3-5 minutes until warm. Serve yourself (and whoever else is in your home) a cup and store the rest in your fridge for 3-4 days.
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Encouraging words. Just plod ahead, realizing that adaptations may be required. Instead of selling to restaurants, you may find that local groceries will need your produce, or churches who do free meals for your community, or your neighbors….there may be a whole realm of new options. That said, we all pray things return to “normal” with maybe some practical and enlightened adjustments from situations that have made us look at things with “new eyes!”