Holiday Sparkle!!

You didn’t shop on Black Friday, good for you!!  Skipped the annoying email temptations of Cyber Monday, well done!!  Hope you gave something for Giving Tuesday, even if it was just a smile to a stranger…..but you may still be wanting to get a heartfelt, handmade to gift your kin.  Well, this Saturday you can shop in good spirit at the Santa Fe Waldorf School Holiday Faire.  It is a wonderful family event with all kinds of seasonal celebrations, activities and food and yes, faire.  It is such a fun way to celebrate the season with your family and sneak off for some shopping knowing all are well.

Freshly made earrings

Freshly made earrings

For those of you that don’t know, I am a jewelry designer among gardener, mother, teacher, photographer and many other things.  That was how I made my living before family & baby, but now is really just one of many things I love & try to seek time for in the wee hours of the night.  However, I do Holiday shows every year that are well, tremendous.  With one show this year, my inventory is overflowing and truly exquisite, if I do say so myself.   Selling at  Santa Fe Waldorf School, also feels really good, as it benefits the school scholarships, making this amazing education accessible to a diverse community.

Crysoprase for the heart & Rainbow Moonstone for the divine femine,

Chrysoprase for the heart & Rainbow Moonstone for the divine feminine,

The Faire is this Saturday, December 7th from 10-3pm.  The Santa Fe Waldorf School is located at 26 Puesta del Sol, which is the first street to your left after crossing I-25 on Old Pecos Trail. The school is situated at the very end of Puesta del Sol, on your right.

Appetite to speak your truth, Aqua Marine to help you flow & Labradorite to connect you to inner magic

Apatite to speak your truth, Aqua Marine to help you flow & Labradorite to connect you to inner magic

I will have lots & lots of Jewelry with great gift wrap, as well as my 2014 ‘The Gardeners Year’ Calendars for sale and even Hand Saved Seeds from my garden.

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Come celebrate the season, visit me & support my little cottage industries.  If you can’t make it (or want to do a little pre-show shopping) visit my Esty Site.

‘Work is Love Made Visable’

“Work is love made visible” these words of Kahlil Gibran were carved by hand onto a wooden sign that hung on the main lodge of my beloved Vermont summer camp, Farm & Wilderness.  This was a place where teens from all walks of East coast life would come together for 2 months to work the land, swim in the waters and learn to create community together.  As my dad reminded me yesterday, not only have those words been carved into my soul & life purpose, but also the community spirit.  In the years since summer camp I have found myself surrounded with similar earth loving angels actively loving the world & each other through their hands

.IMG_0312 They came smiling and laughing, eager to spend the day in the sunshine with me and my tomatoes.

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Not only did they work, but they sang, told stories and charmed the baby & us all while doing so.IMG_0327

There were parents, neighbors, old friends and new, this incredible little hard-working crew just breezed in with great blessings and warmed our little home until it sang right along.  In return dad cooked the burgers & freshly picked ‘Lovely Day Farm’ (on our street!!) Asparagus on the grill and we feed them well.  When I sent out the invite I mentioned that I would feed them all but ‘if any one wanted to ‘WOW’ us with desert or beverages they were welcome’ and WOW us they did! Handmade Mojitos and Fresh Pear Pie and Raspberry Tart and homemade yogurt on top!! OH MY!!!

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And now the greenhouse is at maximum capacity with 250 tomatoes, all in brand new little pots, the only question now is, where will I put everything else?  Plant sale anyone?

I almost felt guilty having them do all that work for me on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, but then I remembered all the seeds I have sown, beds I have dug, weeds I have pulled out of other people’s gardens and like them, I sang too… so happy to have dirt to put my hands in and a hard task to put my strong body to real use.  As we were working Jaengy jumped in helping with sorting the pots after shying from the crowd for the first hour.

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I commented how he is happiest when he has a job to do.  Casey responded, “I think we all are!”  and I thought, ‘Well you are my kind of people!’  So Thank You garden angels with your kind and helpful hands, you have shown me that there should be no guilt in asking for help and that for many of us there is no greater gift than working together to complete the task at hand, to share the load and to enjoy being of use together.

To Be of Use

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

Marge Piercy

Bring on the Bounty & pass it along

The Tomato basket weighs as much as my baby!!  (well almost!)

Oh the bounty of these days is so divine & delicious!! This must the best fruit year as long as I have lived here in the high desert and I am buying stock in the Ball Jar company right now! No, Not really, but I am stocking up as well as co-planning a local harvest swap with my Radical friend Kyce.  This is not a new idea, people have been swapping their bounty, well forever, and the new wave of happy homesteaders are doing this in cities all over the country, like here and here, with great success and tons of great resources like here.  As far as I have heard, this will be Santa Fe’s First Harvest Swap.

Gathered from the garden, and that’s just today

It is open to all – though you must register here to save your spot – (the room is only so big).  It surely will be a good time, just think a room full of canners, gardeners, seed savers, wild crafters, milk maids, foragers, and even a few hunters and their stashes!  It is such a wonderful way to celebrate the bounty of our abundant desert, share the fruits of our labors, and experience a truly fair version of Fair Trade. To me this feels like a way to bring our work, our livelihoods and our hearts together to eat, swap and be merry.

Better make room in the pantry for more jars, oh my!!

So here is the official invitation, Come join us!!

Dear Fellow Preservers of the Harvest,

You are cordially invited to a Delectable Harvest Swap in which the bounty of our gardens, barnyards, orchards, and wild lands will be celebrated and shared.

Consider this your advance notice to put up extra of whatever putting up you do. Bring that extra bit you know you can’t use, and let it be your currency to barter your way to a dream pantry while spending a morning amidst fabulous folk.

Wondering what to bring? 

Whatever you’ve canned (according to Dept. of Ag regulation specs, please!)—chutneys, jams, fruit butters, sauces, salsas, whole fruits, pickles, but also vinegars, condiments, fermented fare, dried fruits, cider, chiles, and garlic.

Not a big canner? How about baked goods, salves, tinctures, honey, soap, seeds, dried culinary or medicinal herbs…or whatever your homemade, homegrown, or wild harvested specialty is. Oh, and don’t forget pumpkins, cabbages, and other fresh fall crops.

Register here: Santa Fe Harvest Swap

Learn more about food swaps here: Food Swap Network

As you can see I am very excited to swap, meet and eat the bounty of our harvests together, in the meantime, I’ll be out picking!!

Glistening Choke Cherries, one of New Mexico’s Finest Wild Offerings

Family Gathering

Oh summer is here, and the gathering has begun!  I feel so lucky to be a part of a family that loves gathering as much as I do (at least my husband does, baby is happy to be carried along wherever we are, especially if we are outside, such a great little guy!!)

Along for the ride

As the garden comes into it’s own and we wait patiently for it’s gifts, we look out into the wild for summer fare.

This little excursion was in search of Cota, a wild herb used traditionally in these parts forever for stomach ails and kidney support….a couple of years ago we found an amazing spot and harvested on the summer solstice.

Cota Harvest 2008

This year everything appears to be a little early, so we went in search…unfortunately the meadow got bulldozed and a horse was happily reigning over the spot…with not one Cota plant under foot….Luckily we still have some from that year!!

Summer gathering (pre station wagon)

This time we did come across an amazing Alfalfa stand

Alfalfa patch

And got to take a dunk in the old Rio Grande.

Sitting by the river

Just down the road we found Mulberries falling from the trees!!Mmmm.

Joel always prepared to pick!

Oh how beautiful

Mulberries in various stages of ripeness

And right across the street these ancient gifts..

Secret map to more mulberries?

And on the way home, we found the wild cherry stands, once I pick all ours, I will be back!! Grandpa is now our neighbor and makes a mean pie!!  Looking forward to that family gathering as well!!

Elm seeds and mallow leaves

I know you all have been muchin’ salad lately.  The fresh greens of spring are something we look forward to all year. Baby lettuce, spinach, arugula….and what of the wild greens?  My lettuce is there but often hidden under handfuls of french sorrel, dandelion greens, chervil, arugula (leaves and flowers), rocket, mint leaves…all of which I wrote about last spring here.

Arugula Flowers are Edible, a spicy delight

Arugula is in the Cruciferae family ( as in cross, see the flowers, they are all like that) though now the family is called Brassicaceae after it’s most popular member, broccoli. Arugula flowers, as well all the other Cruciferae cousins flowers are edible, just look here.  This season I have added Siberian Elm seeds and Mallow Leaves to the mix.

Young Siberian Elm Seeds

I know the Siberian Elm can seem a great nuance, and that it is when those seeds go flying and take root just about everywhere…but if you pick the seeds before they fly, when bright green and brand new, they are sweet and delicious.  I have heard they can be eaten later too, cooked with the papery seed hulls rubbed off according to eattheweeds.com

Mallow Leaves -Malva

My newest friend, ground cover, medicine, and munchy is Malva.  It has been used for everything from headaches, to poultices to post- partum cleanses.  The leaves can be eaten young and are medicinal.  This sweet little blog tells you even more.

So as your greens come up, don’t forget to eat those weeds!!