Friday, August 9, 2013

what started as a city post became a farm post, sorry.

One nice thing about trying and failing at flower farming - and sure I'm being a bit dramatic - is that it's made me appreciate buying other peoples flowers so much more. And the city. Good God I love fleeing to the city, revisiting our dusty paint peeling apartment and sinking into old routines...I have a chair by my window where I sit in the morning and in the night. I put my feet up on the wall and watch the sliver of new york harbor I can see beyond the row houses. The light coming up; I am drinking coffee. It's quiet except for the Russian construction workers across the street mangling a civil war era row house into some architects magnum opus. The light going down, I'm drinking a glass of wine listening to records trying on all my city clothes alone. Occasionally padding barefoot into the kitchen to graze on some cheese and arugula. Oh how I long now for a box of arugula, in the face of another night of purslane here at the farm. With a squeeze of lemon and drizzle of oil. Sweet sophisticated liberal arugula! Expertly cut with lasers, probably packaged in a factory with underpaid workers, a hint of danger - is it contaminated with e colli? I don't care. I skip washing it. 

Lately I've been listening to Anna Von Hausswolff. I think many of you would like her.

I've been practicing my singing because I want to perform one day. I want to make the big barn at the farm into a flower studio and performance space and invite others to perform in my talent shows. Hmm I'm going to need lighting. I've been practicing 1. Rhiannon Stay and 2. Sophie B Hawkins Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover. It's going pretty well. I sound really good in the car, speeding on the thruway one hand plugging my ear so I can better hear my intonation. 

We must dream. 

I've found a little rhythm at the farm finally. Living here this past year is teaching me many mystifying lessons which I did not anticipate. I said to Eric once a few weeks ago, this was a mistake. Then I googled "identity crisis." 

My relationship to Nature is complicated. I'm not starry eyed about it. I don't want to run into the field of wildflowers and spin around Sound of Music style. Most of the time I am just making lists against Nature, taking her to task... 
If it's not going to rain, then I'm going to crank on the irrigation system. 
If the soil is too thick with clay to drain then I'm going to order 20 tons of sand to mix into my iris beds...
If I suspect beetles are eating the dahlias then I'm going to...








One thing that I seem to feel lately is not myself working on the farm. And I figured out why that is! The old me knew everything. Or else I pretended to. You can do that pretty well in business I think, and one of my key rules in building Saipua was always fake it till you make it. But there is no forgiveness on the farm. There is no faking it. No matter how much I resist it...the farm is making me learn true humility. I hate every minute of it. But it's about time.

I turned 33 last week.

75 comments:

Molly said...

Sign me up for the talent show. Sad you got to Sophie B. Hawkins before I did, but as a second choice, I will do AC/DC's Back in Black. xx

Zoe Field said...

Thank you for your honesty! It's so refreshing to read you blogs. I'm a flower growing florist in New Zealand, 2 years ago I planted a field of garden roses, as well as what seems to be a growing varity of other flowers, and that last bit about the the land teaching you humility..ahhh poetry, so true!

Belinda @ Wild Acre said...

So true, nature is so unsparing. No favourites, no mercy. But such magnificence.

Mairead said...

You're my hero. Seriously, I feel like an absolute basket case this week.. This made me feel better. None of us are infallible.

Casa Mariposa said...

I don't grow flowers for a living but I do garden and routinely get my butt whupped by Mother Nature. Don't mix sand into your clay. You'll just make concrete, which only grows bitterness. I only sing when my dogs howl because then no one can tell how bad I am. But I sing anyway. Sign me up for your talent show. I'll bring cookies and clap for everyone.

Kay said...

feeling every damn word...

LPC said...

You are quite simply one of the most talented people I've ever encountered.

Mother Nature is who ages us, so at some point, dirt or no, if we have any soul we come to understand what you see already at 33.

edi gardner said...

It would be no fun to pick up and start on new land without experiencing some difficulties. Without mistakes there would be nothing hearty achieved. Beside if there was no hardship you'd be bored and crave it :-)) Have Eric take you on a spinning ride around the farm. That will shake of the anxieties. Just when you feel you are drowning in mud, it is there and then that you are perfecting. Give it time!! You don't know how to fail so get your nose and fingers in those beds.

Miz.November said...

This reminds me of what I have been reading about in a new book I got (Yoga for Emotional Balance). It talks about transitional periods that we all go through. How we have to be broken down and sort of thrown out of our element in order to reconstruct and grow. That's what the farm is doing for you. Making you grow. (there's a pun in there somewhere.)
BTW...sign me up to sing Fuel's Hemorrhage.

cara said...

Learning humility is a bitch.

tara said...

Maybe you are being too ambitious with your farm all at once...don't burn yourself out. I know life is short but take some time to just do nothing. Or maybe let a caretaker family live free on your farm in exchange for labour? I don't know...but don't despair, what you're doing is pretty amazing. At the very least you'll be prepared better than most when the world ends.

gamine said...

Ha! You sound like a gardener. Welcome to the club.

Bare Mtn Farm said...

We have been flower farming for 10 years and trying to play well with Mother Nature but she is the bully of the playground. You can't fight her, she wins every time, kicks your butt and makes you cry. Been there every year. So we are learning to play with her, clay soil, deer eating everything, bugs chewing on flowers and the weather. Don't add sand to your clay soil, have the soil tested in different spots and see what minerals are deficient. Lots of good books to read this winter to help. Contact my husband if you would like, he can go on for hours on the things we are trying to work with nature. Best wishes.

HSmith said...

A farm is a perfect example of an environment in which it's nearly impossible to maintain any control or mastery. If you can... let go of trying to control it, and focus on correctly reacting and adapting to its unpredictable nature. Just then, if you're lucky, the madness may begin to feel a little like progress. :)

monica said...

Dear Sarah,

I love you! You are exactly perfect!!!

Peaches and Basil always remind me of your birthday, and here's the fun thing, once you get used to it, not knowing everything becomes fun, there's quite a bit of freedom in it. Trust me, I used to know EVERYTHING, and I was RIGHT too, but now, I know that I know almost nothing, it's much better that way, for all concerned!

You are doing great work, even when you don't know, maybe especially then. And drinking wine, and trying on clothes are essential to the process, they make you you, and that's how you create.

I also love a wayward chocolate cosmo!
xo Monica

Silvie Susardjo said...

Happy Birthday for last week Sarah!
I hope you had an amazing day!

Sara said...

So true, nature is so unsparing...
www.discoveringisland.wordpress.com/

Erin said...

you are making it. you are ONLY 33. big things going on in your life. keep at it.

Erin said...

ps i'm all over 'betty davis eyes' and anything linda ronstadt - so whatchit!

adyana said...

Hello saipua girls! 33 is beautiful so happy anniversary to you :)

I want to thank you for the wonderful inspiration your blog has provided for my wedding flowers. The wedding took place last sathurday, in Romania (Europe). I found your blog a year ago and was amased by the beauties you are creating, so I showed some pictures to the florist girl we had the contract with and she gave us some delicate and simple-but-not-so-simple-at-all arrangements that made my heart blossom each time i looked at them. Guests also loved them !
I can send pictures, if you like.

Thank you again! You are great!

Andriana,
Romania

Angela Humphrey said...

Don't be so hard on yourself--or Mother Nature--she's just doing her job. Consider yourself lucky you have land to farm. Most importantly, I hope you are finding some sort of happiness and having a little bit of fun--because that's what it's all about. And quite honestly
any ounce of joy you can find in working the land is the only thing that will keep you coming back. My 2 cents for what it's worth...

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