so seemingly small,
to the whole universe
as tiny whispers
like the sounds
of butterfly wings,
and the clear voice
of the living truth.
Because of our special edition in The Little Story, our recipe is short and sweet: a super nutritional, full spectrum, blended seed milk made from pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, hemp, and chia seeds that combine to create a protein rich, filling, and soothing drink. The first time we made it in a berry-banana smoothie, we could feel its strength and power!
Ingredients and directions:
2 to 3 cups pure water
3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 Medjool dates
Optional Ingredient: 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Soak pumpkin and sunflower seeds in 1 cup pure water for 6-8 hours, or overnight.
Rinse and drain. Put into Vitamix or blender with hemp seeds, dates, and water.
Grind chia and sesame seeds in coffee mill. Add to Vitamix.
Blend on highest speed for 60 seconds. Strain (if desired) and enjoy!
A Little Story: Visionary Farmers
We have a treat for you this week: eight amazing people (six of whom live on the island), have shared their vision, written in their own words, about why they love to work the land, and the importance of farming and gardening.
We also wish to thank Christian and Gaella Elwell, founders of the South River Miso company (whose miso we've enjoyed for years), for permission to include his inspired and enlightened text here. Rex and I are filled with a deep admiration and respect for those who work the soil, doing labor intensive, back-breaking work so that we may be nourished.
We wish to honor their work, and their vision. We hope you will be as inspired by their stories as we are.
Christian & Gaella Elwell; South River Farm Christian Elwell: "We are beginning to see that we are woven into a fabric of life and goodness in a way that reaches far beyond our material understandings, which are too often mis-understandings. We think food plants are to be manipulated according to our short-sighted designs. In truth, we are all woven out of the light of cosmic being and intelligence. We need the nourishment and support of a healthy plant kingdom for our daily sustenance, and the plants need us: not only for our wise stewardship and caretaking. They need the feedback of our being, in order to give to us the precise qualities we need for our ongoing evolution and healing.
In this country there are millions of acres of cereal grain and food plants that no longer "know" who they serve. They have never been touched with the human hand, nor do they hear the solemn prayers our ancestors once sang. Plants and human beings for millennia have been co-creating together."
To read the whole article from the South River Currents newsletter, click here.
Top: Eliza in her garden; Her island home
Bottom: Amazing fall bounty; Beautiful eggs Eliza Buck: "Crimson chard, amber straw, blood red amaranth, Cambridge blue squash, sunburst orange calendula, jewel nasturtium, spring green wheat grass, lavender, lilac, rose, apricot, peach, raspberry, eggplant, and pea green—begins an abbreviated palette of my garden. Each season the palette changes. Each season offers lessons.
Growing food is my art and my craft. Art in that it is a creative, personal expression that is spontaneous and appeals to my sense of aesthetics. Some years a riot of sunflowers, nasturtiums and borage march through my vegetable beds. Some years I hopscotch brassicas and lettuces over the bed for contrast of color and form. Craft in that, gardening always incorporates wisdom passed along from a family of gardeners and years of experience. Companion planting, lunar cycles, mulching, soil amending, and harvest lore all assist in a successful gardening experience.
Growing food is my political action. I grow food to support my family, my community, and myself. I believe that growing food using organic, best management practices is the most responsible thing I can do in creating the kind of world that I want to live in. For me, growing vibrant, healthy food enriches body and soul. I believe that it can be a healing practice. This is something I want to share with others."
Top: Peter & Susan at their farm; Workers tending the row covers
Bottom: Greenhouses at work; Susan at the Farmer's Market Peter and Susan Corning: "We founded Synergy Farm with the conviction that our vast, complex system of industrial agriculture is unsustainable over the long term, in its present form, and that a resurgence of small family farms producing food directly for their local communities represents the future in American agriculture. We were motivated by the challenge of producing healthful food for our family and local community while preserving and enhancing the natural environment and achieving economic sustainability.
Synergy Farm is distinctive in using the biointensive method, which was developed mainly for household gardens and small subsistence farms as a way to increase food production while conserving water, soil vitality and fossil fuels. The biointensive method does not require much in the way of capital, or acreage, or technology; it can be done with simple tools. It can also be done in many different sizes and in a variety of locations, from urban rooftops to suburban back yards (and front yards), as well as on reborn family farms like our own. Also, it is a method that is accessible to people who have no prior farming experience.
As we have scaled up the bio-intensive method to a market farm, and adapted it to the Pacific Northwest climate, we have been motivated to share what we have learned. With a goal of helping others to start their own gardens or even their own farms, we have developed farm training (internship) programs that emphasize a structured educational agenda along with work experience in all aspects of our unique farm system."
Top: View from their place; Ellie tending veggies
Bottom: Ellie in the garden; Eric in the apple orchard Ellie and Eric Geiger: "After years of living in and around large cities, in 2005 my husband Eric and I purchased several acres of land in a rural area of San Juan Island in Washington state, for the purpose of building a small subsistence farm on which we could live simply, healthfully, and in harmony with the cycles and rhythms of nature. We wanted to create a way of life which reflected our growing awareness of peak oil, climate change, soil depletion, habitat destruction, loss of biodiversity, and many other problems facing the living Earth today, for which sustainable practices seem the only possible solution.
On our little homestead our primary focus, and greatest joy, has been to create and nurture fertile soil, which is the foundation of our organic garden, orchard, hedgerows, meadow and woodlot. Everything good and life-sustaining that could ever happen on our farm starts with the fertility of our soil.
In order to become more self-sufficient and to decrease our consumption of Earth's non-renewable resources, we have taught ourselves a variety of back-to-basics skills such as beekeeping and seed-saving, and we are learning how to grow, raise, and preserve much of our own food. We are also growing animal forage and some of the raw materials for our homestead needs, such as willow for basket-making, and black locust trees for fence posts.
There is still much left to learn and practice before we can attain mastery of our new life's work, but we are deeply committed to living lightly on the Earth, and ultimately to enriching this small piece of land for which we are temporary stewards."
Top: Heather at Sweet Earth Farm; Rosehips in a willow basket she made
Bottom: Heather at the Farmer's Market; Working at Synergy Farm Heather Borkowski: "Bare feet step from hardwood floor onto damp earth. Morning greets me with the scent of wild roses, fresh mint, salt from the sea-droplets of dew still clinging to leaves as the sun's rays stretch above the trees and begin to wrap the day in warmth. I breathe deeply and am Home. Alive. Opened.
Joining once again with the rhythms of life, the seasons of change. I farm because I cannot imagine my day beginning any other way. To work, each day, with my hands in the soil, skin bronzed by the sun—constantly opened and challenged by change, awed by the smallest details in life's ever evolving processes, nourished by the beauty and nutrients of the earth.
I am inspired by those who have been on the land for decades; who have become one with the ecosystem that surrounds them. Those whose eyes sparkle with a deep knowing that comes from an extended partnership with nature—whose worn hands are led by intuition rather than thought alone. Those who are able to mark the passage of time by the subtle change in a fig's flavor, the yield of an apple harvest, color of an egg yolk, number of spring lambs. I am on a journey to become as in tune and in touch as they are.
I find Joy in food. Joy not only in the growing and cooking, but also in the sharing. Whether it is teaching interns to plant their first seeds, joining friends for a meal of freshly baked bread and colorful veggies, or watching a customer walk away smiling—beet greens and lettuce popping out of their overflowing bag...food connects us...to each other, to ourselves, to the land.
I believe that in growing food we are opened to the essence of life—and that the energy flowing through the garden is that of interdependence, of balance, of beauty, and in the power these all hold for change. I watch myself grow in the garden—next to the maturing lettuces and ripening tomatoes. I watch lives transformed, new truths learned, new directions realized by those who join me there—through the simple routines of planting carrots, harvesting spinach. I believe that growing food can be a root to social change...that we can bring a sense of wholeness to our neighbors and communities by connecting them back to the land...that these seemingly small actions will create a more beautiful world."
To these wise souls leading the way, we sing your praises, and say thank you!