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

image

Mother Nature will take care of us both.



Who needs sleep, we have babies!
February 12, 2012, 6:23 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Paul spent the day at market yesterday while I scrounged up every laughable silly face and noise I could muster for Little too far from where we/I wanted to be.  We talked Paul’s whole drive home as we usually do, Little putting in his own two cents to daddy through the headphones that, I’m pretty sure, he uses as a security blanket.

I’m pretty sure I fell asleep more than once but, like the lovesick teenagers we resemble, we both find comfort in the sounds of the other – awake or asleep – so the cell line stayed open.  I heard him talk of new lambs at some point – “I hear a new one”.  Yes, he’s like the lamb whisperer.  That big, intimidating looking guy with the long hair, dark glasses and funny accent?  Yeah, him.  He’s the guy who can recognize a new voice amongst the 75 or so baaaa-ing away when he walks in the door.  He is the guy who can sit bolt upright in bed in the middle of the night and know there is a ewe giving birth.  And if you’ve never seen a ewe give birth, they make no sound.  Their instincts know sound brings predators, so they are quiet. 

He checked on new baby, I heard bits in my sleepiness.  “Doing ok. .. Where’s mama?… Twins!”  I think I may have responded somehow but almost 5 months of playing the role of Bessie to Little has left me partially delirious.  Then I slept.  As much as a mother to a hungry, huge almost 5 month old does. 

A late morning text from Paul confirms my questionable recount of his arrival home – a singleton and a set of twins. And, in true sheep fashion, on the worst night the winter has offered thus far. He was up til 4:30, setting up new ‘jugs’ for the mamas and babies, heat lamps and pads, feeders and hayracks, make sure everyone is nursing and up on their feet.  And he, I’m sure, fell into bed – hopefully he got his boots off. 

And, as I check in on our sleepy human, he has put his boots back on (I hope) and headed back out to check on our new little wool babies.  Considering the cold, and the snow, he may be busy today.  Sleep will have to wait.

Lamb Count 2012: 6



Hello world!
February 4, 2012, 2:58 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Market tomorrow.  I have missed market for the last several weeks, stuck in the waiting pattern of Maine.  I am anxious and excited to go back to the buzz of Union Square on an unseasonably warm February day with little Trev. 

I have spent the last couple of days with Paul on the farm, getting ready for the new lambs that are bound to all decide to come on a Friday night during a snowstorm – as they often do.  The new place is amazing.  I still can’t fathom 200 acres, even when looking at it.  We often ‘forget’ about the 20 acres across the street that belong to the farm as well.  The animals have settled in.  The pigs are grazing intensely out behind their own barn.  The chickens have decided to overtake their entire barn, including hay storage.  This overtaking amounts to what Ava calls, “The best. Easter. Egg. Hunt. EVER!”.   The ducks have found every puddle and bathe happily.  The sheep are snug inside for baby season, eating hay cut fresh from the field. 

And Paul and I dream.  Of where and what we’ll expand to next.  Of the logistics of all that expansion brings.  But we want to get better.  We listen.  To what we read, what we hear, what people may want or need, of our kids and their options with what we are building.  Paul is my dreamer, my inventor – I am the nuts and bolts, the marketing, the nerd.  We collided through a wild set of circumstances and two very long years to get to where we are now – on the verge of growth in so many ways.  He is my partner, my friend, my love and together we will do great things.  We hope you take the ride with us…

LAMB COUNT 2012:  2