food, farming, friends and family: a meditation on chosen simplicity and (in)voluntary complications – life.

At A Crossroads

It’s a crossroads kind of day.  A day where winter squash, last season’s gentle giants, met the early risers – spring-green nettles – at my breakfast table.  A day where the temperature inside our yurt at 9:30 this morning was a cool 35 degrees (we don’t live in an ice chest, I swear; it’s just well-shaded in the morning … it now reads a balmy 43) and where the sun is shining brightly enough now that I’ve put our [covered] tomato starts outside for some warmth.  A day that hints at two layers, not three.  I’m ready to get out in it – to plant some fava beans, go for a run, bask in the vitamin d glory of it all (I was always that kid who started wearing shorts just as the slush of melted snow vanished … it’s genetic, alright?). 
But before I do, some ideas and questions I’ve been tossing about in my brain lately (hazy outlines only – the crossroads might seem like a time for swift decision making and clarity, but we’ll just have to save that for spring): 
* HOME: Where to find it, how to make it – and who with?   Looking to curb my tendency towards long-distance relationships (friends, family, hell – Neil, too), and finding myself confounded by geography time and time again.  
* HEALTHCARE: I have one fewer tooth in my head this week than I did last.  It wasn’t a surprising – or even an upsetting – development really, but it has my mind buzzing around what I feel like I should expect from – and give towards – my own healthcare, insurance, etc.  My experience with low-income clinics is growing – and has been largely positive – but many of these places are not accepting long-term patients (they’re at capacity already) and only take emergency cases as walk-ins.  Meanwhile, my skepticism with the national debate is growing; what are my options? What are yours?
* HOMEGROWN/LOCAL GRAINS: There’s a growing interest in knowing where our brussel sprouts, peas and tomatoes are grown, but what about our barley, oats and wheat?  I went to a small-scale grains workshop this week at a great local resource/working farm called Inspiration Farm that was really inspiring.  Most of Whatcom County’s wheat comes from Canada and the Midwest, but there are several movements towards becoming grain independent in this area.  And that can begin as a simple 10×10 plot of rye.  I’m going to give it a try this season, experimenting with oats and quinoa.  We’ll see what happens!
Onward and outward!  Here comes Spring!


If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.  ~Nadine Stair
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One response

  1. Oh Erin! Just found your blog. I love it! Love your musings. I'll be back again.Love, Jen

    March 26, 2010 at 5:20 am

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