farming

My Best Life

Shooting on farm with sunflowers and toddlers...this is my best life.

Shooting on farm with sunflowers and toddlers...this is my best life.

Right now, I am living my best life.

Wait...I take that back.

I am living my 95% life.

The reason for the 95%...because I always hope there is room for improvement. I hope there is always space in my life for the phrase, "I can do better." If I think about it, that IS my best life. Always striving for something greater. Otherwise we become complacent, right? We become comfortable. And that is where we stop growing.

I have had an amazing year this past year. I have worked in situations I only thought would exist in my dreams. I have worked with clients who share my vision and style. I have worked with missions that I truly and whole-heartedly believe in. I have photographed things I only fantasized over. I have told stories and taken photos of people, places, and things that make me pinch myself in hopes that I really won't wake up from this incredible dream.

I never thought the possibility was real for me to live my best life. Somewhere along the line, I stopped believing. I believed I wasn't enough - good enough, strong enough, thoughtful enough, skinny enough, pretty enough. But somewhere deep in my soul, I believed there was more waiting for me. There was a little ember of hope burning on my belly, not put out by the wet blanket of self criticism. I believed those dreams could actually happen. I stopped hearing the voice that said "give up...you can't do this." I leaned in to trust. I leaned into the fear. I pushed through. I gave it one more try.

Every day I wake up and am happy to do what I do. Don't get me wrong, this is still a job. It has it's moments. And it has come with it's own set of massive sacrifices (ohhhhh...the sacrifices). But I am happy...at least 95% happy.

It has taken a long time to get here. I have made mistakes. I have lived with crippling anxiety and depression. I have failed miserably...wow, have I failed. But all of that has brought me to this place where I can appreciate the complexity of what makes life feel good.

Will I screw up again? Most definitely. Will I be afraid and paralyzed? Absolutely! Will I know how to get up and dust myself off again? You can count on it!

Today, I am opening myself up to possibility. The possibility of hope, failure, success, despair, highs, lows. All of it. Because without all of that, I am not growing or challenging myself. I am not changing. I am not moving forward, knocking off that last 5%.

But if I have to be honest, I will be happy to settle in where I am... Always pushing. Always dreaming. Never settling.

 

 

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.

The Farmer and the Chef

farmer and chef

The Farmer and the Chef - aka Jim & David - are 2 of my favorite people on this earth. Not only are they some of the best humans, but they deal with 2 of my most favorite things on this earth: farming and food. They are at both amazing at what they do - no detail is ever overlooked. The care and artistry of their individual crafts always yields some incredible magic.

I can't wait to see the next part of this duo unfold - right before my very eyes! In the meantime, I will just keep yielding the fruits of their labor. Literally.

 

#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.

Planting seeds

seeds

I am pretty sure that planting seeds is the most important part of gardening. Without the seed, there is no life. Sure, there is water and sunshine and nourishment and love that come into play, but nothing happens without that little seed. It's amazing how much power one of those little babies holds in it's tiny, dried up shell.

Every seed has potential. They just need special care to flourish as they were meant to. Sort of like ideas, thoughts, dreams. They need a place to grow. Someone to tend them. Nourishing those seeds is a full-time gig though. It takes hard work and perseverance. But it also takes love and light. Gentle care. With that, the seed sprouts and grows into something.

With the right care, all seeds become what they were destined to be.