Compost in my Shoe

Cultivating faith

A shot from the newly cultivated crops out at  Compost In My Shoe .

A shot from the newly cultivated crops out at Compost In My Shoe.

Cultivating a crop takes patience. It takes time and repetition. It takes weeding, observing, watering, and watching. And sometimes it doesn't go as your careful plan. Pests get in. Frosts hit. Rain washes away your hard work. It's a precarious game making you anticipate Mother Nature's next move.

This can be said for a lot of things, too. Raising children, starting a new job, or even creating something new... like art. It's a balance of patience and grit, of testing and trials. You await for the outside influences to come and hope that you have some semblance of a plan when it all hits. 

But after the battles and the hardships, you are left with new soil and a fresh, new place for seeds take root. New growth come. And the crops that were taken out during the heavy rains, pest invasion and frigid temperatures have made way for fertile ground to sprout new ideas. 

And along the way, you realize that ultimately it is all a test to cultivate a crop of faith in yourself to handle it all.

 

Trust the outcome

Jim Martin. Compost in my Shoe. Farm shoot, Fall 2016.

Jim Martin. Compost in my Shoe. Farm shoot, Fall 2016.

You have to do the work...

Work the land. Plant the seeds. Till the soil. Weed. Water. Mulch. And watch with patience as things develop.

The good stuff takes time and love and reckoning with things you might not be prepared for. But the rewards are great.

Take your time. Do the work. Trust the outcome.

Organic Farming

dirt
seed packets

You wouldn't think farming would be one of those careers that would require the tender care and patience of a mom with a newborn, but it does. The sleepless nights. The worry. The patience. The uncertainty. They all come with the territory. And decision making for times of crisis come along when you least expect it.

When unknowns come along like cold snaps, flooded fields and bugs feasting happily on your delicate plants, you are left as heartbroken as a parent watching their child struggle through an illness they picked up at that birthday party over at the Chuckie Cheese's. Helpless and frustrated, you do what you can. And you ride the wave in hopes that it's not a total loss.

Then there is the blood, sweat and tears that go into it. The reading. The research. The uncertainty. But you keep pressing on, like a weary soldier. You do the work because it's your passion and joy. For the organic farmer, there is no easy answer. There is no shortcut.

Just like parenting, it's all just trial and error. And hard, hard work paired with a whole lotta love and care.

For more information on Jim, his farm share and his awesome ingredients, visit his website.

#knowyourfarmer

veggies

I am lucky enough to get a farm share from one of the best farmers I have ever known - Jim Martin of Compost in my Shoe. His food is grown with love and heart that you can certainly taste  in every juicy tomato and in every spicy leaf of basil. It's magical food.

I wish every farmer - big and small - could provide this for the world. Maybe when we get back to the smaller farms, the quality instead of the quantity, we can all have a chance at eating good food that is good for us.

Good food - grown with sunshine, water, and love.

#knowyourfarmer

Mr. Lettuce - getting his bath.

Mr. Lettuce - getting his bath.

Today, I got to spend a little time on my friend Jim's farm. We are working on a project together and it makes my soul sing for many reasons that I won't go into here. I have always loved a bit of gardening. But the fantasy of having my very own small scale farm is something I have dreamed about ever since I transplanted various seedlings in the forest behind my house growing up.

I have spent some time with Jim before. Documenting him, his plantings, and parts of his life in his new venture. But, today I really got it. I mean - it clicked on a level I can't express in words. The care he has for his plants and the love he has for this craft is no joke. I can assure you that every single seed is planted with care. Every crop harvested is done meticulously by hand. Every plant is processed with love. There are no pesticides. There are no chemicals in site. Just a few guinea fowl and a lot of mushroom compost and mulch.

To give you and example, each of the farm shares he has are harvested by hand. They are then INDIVIDUALLY bathed in a gentle water bath and precariously placed in coolers until delivery - which is typically the next day. This is not done for just the lettuce, but the bok choy, the carrots, the early garlic, the herbs, the potatoes, the kale, the onions, the spinach and the rest of the share. Each share is packaged immaculately and delivered TO YOUR DOORSTEP each week.

Not only is it remarkable that they grow delicious, fresh, wholesome produce from seed and deliver it to your doorstep each week. But the process of harvesting and packaging each item is done with such care you actually can tell the difference. I promise - you can taste it in the butter lettuce and the Russian River Kale. Each bite is a unique experience that takes you beyond the refrigerated aisles of your local Publix.

So next time you reach for that bag of packaged spinach - think again. Where did it come from? Who has handled it? Was it loved? Was it treated with gentle care? Who grew it? Do they really love this food? Do they actually care about what is going into this?

Get to know that farmer. I promise, it'll be the best thing you ever did.