violethillfarm


All things wild

The best therapy I can get puts money in my pocket.  I discovered foraging a few years ago when my nerd was aroused by a trip with a friend through the forest with my kids.  I take that back. I discovered foraging when I was moved, as a kid, to the top of a mountain in Maine.  No neighbors and no friends left me wandering the fields and forests that were my backyard.  I found blueberries, apples, blackberries, raspberries and even a few cranberries nestled in something a little more than a puddle. I thrived on those outings, gathering edibles to share for breakfast or a boredom snack that, I’m sure, entailed some fantastical tale in my lonely head.
Fast forward… I RE discovered foraging on that walk with the kids on a mushroom hunt. Mushrooms? Crazy talk. They’re poison! Don’t eat wild mushrooms, DANGER, DANGER, DANGER! Mushroom collecting was for hippies or those with a death wish. Then I encountered the science. Family, species, spore prints… my geek salivated. And I sucked it up like a sponge. 

I am lucky enough to have an outlet to share, as I did my childhood blueberry pancakes, in Manhattan each Saturday with our customers and to many NYC restaurants. It feeds me. The quiet of nature while I search; mushrooms, berries, wild edibles happily weigh me down physically and I shed the tonage of stress, worry, sadness. A good trade, I believe. 

So I’ll get my therapy and some of you will get to taste the love that is renewed in each berry, each sprig of chamomile, every bunch of pungent mint or funky fungus we find. And

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Mother Nature will take care of us both.



I Love Ewe(s)…

We are nearing the end of Valentine’s Day 2012…  it is the day of lambs.  Yesterday there was a singleton born. Today? Three sets of twins and, just a few moments ago, another singleton that Paul walked in the barn to the birthing of.  Yesterday we had 7 babies, today we are doubled.  Why? Because Paul wasn’t around the farm and, as I’ve mentioned, they’re sheep – that’s how they roll. 

I imagined them yesterday in one of those Youtube videos “sh*t sheep say when the farmer’s not around”.  Like a video version of a Farside cartoon, the fat bellied ewes sitting and knitting sweaters from yarn coming from their own backs…  “When he opens the gate to feed us, all run past him and scatter.”  “Even if there is lush, green grass, DON’T STOP – go straight for the screaming neighbor’s lawn.”  “The next ram to run straight into the fencing and get stuck for no reason whatsoever is guaranteed 7 eternally virginal ewes in the afterlife.”  “Ladies, it’s raining ice, the temperature is dropping and the farmer is gone… Quick! Stand over a puddle and PUSH!!”  Seriously. WTH.

But I love them.  And I talk to them at feeding time and sing to them when I’m collecting displaced chicken eggs and we commiserate when they are fat and waddling or when their udders are huge and hanging low. 

And I like to sit quietly in their pen and laugh loudly at their many voices – the low and gurgly, the high and machine-gunned, the one ewe that sounds like she’s constantly drowning and the one with the giant BLAAAAAAAT, no baaah-ing for her. She opens up her mouth, sticks out her black tongue and BLAAAAAATS!  And it cracks me up. Every. Single. Time.  So I let the stupid slide and I just enjoy the hilarity they bring to my life. 

Lamb Count 2012:  14!