Wednesday, August 25, 2010

400 of my closest friends...

The Dahlia Festival started this past weekend and as my fabulous co-worker said after our first successful weekend, "It was like having 400 of my closest friends over."  And it was!  We all had a great time catching up with old customers, meeting new friends and mostly just sharing the beauty of this great farm.  10,000 dahlias is a great excuse for a party!  Here are a few highlights from the first weekend.

A couple dahlias in the "racetrack."

The artisans.

Developing unique planting styles in The Children's Garden.

Hand-blown glass in the Artisan's Market.

The delight's of Karen's Kitchen.

Y'all come see us now ya'hear!  August 28, 29, 10am-4pm.  Free Admission!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Beautiful Beautiful...Plastic?

We walk a lot here.  Between the rows of flowers, between the grasses and trees.  We are surrounded by the good and natural.  Having always been drawn to the natural world it is not surprising to me that this is my life but I have to laugh at my fascination with the beauty of some of life's not-so-pretty things.  I love, for instance, plastic bags.  Not the mass of them, not the pollution they create, not the careless way people toss them about.  I love the way they look when they blow in the wind.  

I first discovered this love when I spent six months living in Nepal.  I was trekking in the Himalayas, in the most beautiful natural setting when I came across a young boy carrying a stick with a plastic bag on the end.  The boy was holding the stick in the air and watching the wind catch the bag.  A fine, sweet crinkle sound came from the bag and it puffed and swayed gracefully with every new tilt of wind.  The boy smiled at me briefly but mostly gazed at his bag.  It was beautiful.

That image usually brings up a bit of commentary from folks.  Mostly people are dismayed at the bag itself.  The knowledge of how much trash is cluttered in the world's beautiful places is heartbreaking.   But what resonates to me is that sometimes we need to see past the good and bad of things and just remember that when you're young, things - even the ugly things - can be wondrous.  

Not long ago, I went wondering through the fields again with my two babes.  As I said, we walk a lot here.  Running up ahead, my daughter found a stick and disappeared behind a bed of ornamental grasses.  When she emerged she had a plastic bag perched at the top of the stick and was standing with an enormous grin on her face as she watched the wind catch it.  "It's dancing mom!"   

And of course it was. 

Monday, August 16, 2010


I am having lunch with my kids.  My two year old son is smashing peanut butter and jelly onto his face when his eyes widen, he looks out the window and says, "whacker!"  He wears his sisters dresses, sparkly shoes and pink tights but this guy can hone in on an engine and label it without ever laying eyes on it.  His ears are tuned to some primal engine language that I swear is as obtuse as the seventh color in the rainbow.   We live on a farm, so his attraction to tractors and the like has been fed like a kid growing up in a candy shop.   The candy at the moment takes precedence over peanut butter as he cranes his neck out the window and says, "Daddy whacking mommy?!"

"No," I say, "Daddy's at work."

"Jim whacking Mommy?!"

"Yes," I say, "but he's not whacking Mommy, Jim's whacking weeds."

"Ok Mommy,"  he says settling back down and crossing his arms over his chest.  He gazes off across the fields and says, "Lots of weeds out there Mommy."

There are lots of weeds out there, it's true.  We have a big festival coming up this weekend and how on earth does it all get done?  The old farmall has stopped moving again and perched itself beautifully up on the hill above the wild ammi and the sunflowers.  Despite all the work to be done, I see this machine's greatest purpose to be perching and posing.  My son discerns its sounds like a musician tuning his instrument.  "Stopped again, Mommy?"

"Yes," I say as I reach to cuddle him, "old'red has stopped again."