Last week, I went over to my in-laws* to pick some veggies. They have a ridiculous squash plant that takes over at least 40’x8′ in the back of their yard. I mean like, 3 squash a week at least. Who can eat that much squash?!
They also planted these beautiful purple string beans, and the richest tiny orange tomatoes (that plant is monstrous too!), green onions, beets, basil, mint, acorn squash, and a variety of carrots–the rainbow kind…be still my heart.
I went out to the back and put a pair of my brother-in-laws*-bonsai-maintaining gloves on. He decided he needed a creative outlet and now the other half of the back yard is adorned with tiny manicured trees. Back to the gloves: Those things make me feel invincible, and like conversing with the spiders instead of running and screaming.
Aforementioned squash have prickly stems to boot. I’ll pass on prickly fingers.
So I go out to the 6×6 planter box where there are just tufts of carrot tops (realizing this makes little to no sense that there’s a person with that name, because they are def green) and I reach down to the earth to find the sweet morsels below. Some beet greens are mixed in, and I make sure to set those aside to fry up later. I yank out some carrots, affirming that I’m in a good mood, as not to pick plants with a heavy heart (native american wisdom right there!). And they are beautiful in a range of white to orange to purple. Some great big foot longs come out, and then some micro carrots also–that gamut!
I took a picture and sent it to the lady of the house and she replied “A Feast!”
I went back the following Saturday and offered to work on the garden, while everyone was getting ready to have a lasagna party. I’m a busy body and wasn’t involved in any of the cooking so I volunteered myself. Plus being outside and working sounded like everything I wanted that day.
I ended up pulling all the veggies out of the box and picking all the ripe veggies and showing them off once the party got started.
Cut to this week. Talking about life changes with my partner, thinking about moving in different direction that allows a better quality of life and simplicity. I’ve always wanted a farm. First it was cows, because I’m lactose intolerant and can’t partake of my own product. Then goats, because they can mow the lawn for me—in an enclosed space because they eat everything including the dress you’ve got on. Then it was sustainable farming so we could grow our own food and control the (non)chemical use. And now, I want to be a carrot farmer. Just carrots. Maybe animals later.
I love working with the earth, and watching things grow. I want to be one with my planet by eating her sweet nourishment before I am dust. Brene Brown talks about plant foods being the breast milk of the earth for us children. I LOVE that concept. What a beautiful way of illustrating the necessity of plant foods. And even if humans aren’t farming and sweating, we already have working machine farms, with pH testing and balancing, and auto watering. We need plant food. This was my biggest health epiphany about 5 years ago. I wasn’t eating veggies. I didn’t know how to add them to my life, and I didn’t know how to enjoy them.
BACK TO THE CARROTS.
I took these babies home and washed the dirt off with some natural veggie cleaner and chopped them up to steam them. I wanted to reproduce some insane curry carrots I had at the schmansiest bachelorette party at Redbird in Downtown LA, but I was in the mood for the easiest dinner ever. I cut them open and they were even more intriguing on the inside. Rings of contrasting color from the skin, and they were so tasty. Heavenly. I just think back to how carrot juice saved me from heart burn after the longest affliction and so many OTC drugs. These are my wonder drug.
I guess I really just want to observe and share the beauty of life on this planet. My artwork has always reflected the random but synchronistic relationships of objects in space and time in an abstract or expressive sense. But I feel as though the planet creates it’s own art, and my interpretation is clogging up the message. That everything is beautiful in the way it lives and grows. The way it follows the sun, and all we have to do is provide water and light and it grows on it’s own. Life knows what to do, it grows. AND THAT’S INSANE AMAZING.
Moral of the story: I’m looking for simplicity. I’ve always been a maximalist in style, putting all the things on to feel safe and secure. I want to live the life I dream of, and I’m realizing it takes tiny steps, and many little pieces, and it never looks like what you imagine but that’s okay if you’re open to all the infinite possibilities. If I can’t have my own farm, I can work on someone else’s farm. But at the end of the day, I want to be a carrot farmer. My honey jokes, “Like, A carrot? One carrot? Do we call it The Farmer’s Carrot?”
I’m not minimizing the work it takes to be a farmer, I’m just saying that the most essential part of staying alive is nourishment. Nourishment of the body, the soul, and the mind. And I’m thinking that I would get great joy from cultivating my body nourishment. My grandmother and her parents had a great big farm in Amarillo, TX, and from what I understand that was the hardest/least fulfilling/rewarding work. Even when you own a farm, you can starve in the dust bowl.
*(we really need to come up with a better word for partner’s parents if not married but in a committed relationship, is this a paradigm shift? Am I more like Oprah than I thought? Even grandpa calls me “wife” of his grandson because he’s “old timey” and doesn’t see how two people could be living together for seven years and not be married- though he would never say it.)
How do you feel about growing your own food? Would you rather let someone else do it?
Lemme know in the comments below, I’d love to hear what you have to say.