3Splitz Farm, giving

Quilted Pieces

The spring plants on the farm have done their work. Now we are barreling full bore into summer. Veggies are coming along. Zinnias and sunnies are sprouting. It’s all very exciting.

One of the truly interesting things I’ve discovered this year as a new farmer is how generous plant people can be. I’ve learned so much from being involved in farming communities online. From instagram to facebook and beyond, plant people are always sharing their successes and shortfalls. How to pinch certain flowers and why. What kind of spacing and setup to use in a garden. Arranging irrigation. Protecting against pests. So many people just lay it all out there and it’s wonderful. I read. I learn. I bookmark. We’ve bought tubers and seeds and seedlings from so many of these farmers. We grow from them, in our minds and in our soil. In turn, we pour what we are doing back into the community, hoping someone else is inspired or aided by the ups and downs of our farm’s development.

Another unexpected surprise is, the more I talk about the farm to friends and colleagues, the more people share stories, tidbits, and even actual plants with me. So many people have life stories about farming – summer at grandma’s farm, shelling peas on the porch. Farms and gardens bring up so many memories. Then there are friends at work who walk up to me and just hand me a bag of bulbs. “Here’s some elephant ears from my garden.” “I divided my iris this weekend and thought of you.” All these beauties are now growing in our ground, from the gardens of friends, family, and other farms from all over the country.

In my foray into self-taught art as a teen, I fell in love with quilts. I wanted to learn to quilt for a while but never did. I still admire the beauty and artistry in a well-made hand woven quilt. And although I appreciate a symmetrical pattern, my eye and heart is always drawn to the crazy quilts. All kinds of colors, mismatched pieces, not at all perfect. Instead, perfectly imperfect and unique. Little pieces all stitched together to make a beautiful whole.

I think of our farm as a crazy quilt on land. Pieces from all over. A little here a little there. Colorful, a little wild. Interesting. Unexpected. We have several patches of sunnies that are measured and in straight lines, but I’ve also put in a patch where I kind of just put things every which way. No measuring. Mixing seeds together. Maybe it will look like a terrible wreck. Or maybe it will be the wild, textured abundance that we are hoping for. It’s all coming together in a place that is distinctly ours. Nowhere else in the world quite like it.

3Splitz Farm, nature

Spring’s Surprises

Hard to believe, but it’s our first Spring season as owners of 3Splitz Farm. We put some of our own plants in the ground, but what’s also been exciting is watching what blooms and emerges that we didn’t even know was there.

So far we’ve had sprinklings of daffodils, clusters of crocus, hills of violets and some beautiful bushes coming to life. But what made me smile most was looking out my bedroom window to see the familiar dapple of white flowers unfurling.

Dogwoods were my mother’s favorite. When I walked the property I counted at least 8 of them lining our drive and flanking the cabin. Each craggy, each unique. I was ready to plant a dogwood there last fall but it wasn’t time to put them in the ground. Every house my family has owned has had a dogwood in the yard. 3Splitz would be no different. Little did I know those beauties were already there. Another symbol that feels like I am on the right path, even if I am surrounded by distractions.

Spring is just beginning at the farm. Things are greening up. I wonder what will blossom next? Azaleas? Iris? Lilies? Who knows. Thanks to the previous owners for these delights. Excited to see what’s next.

fitness and nutrition

Burpees to Burpees

I finished a challenge a few weeks ago. 1-100 burpees. Starting with 1 on day 1, then adding a burpee to the pile every day for 100 days. It took me 102 days, to be exact. There were several times in the challenge when I missed a day for whatever reason. The workout had too many burpees already, my exercise time was already packed, and so on. (We decided workout burpees didn’t count for the challenge. Talk about some rough days!) Those challenge burpees would roll over to the next day. Once I got to the 70s it was too hard to make up days. So, I just decided it was going to take as long as it was going to take.

At the end, I learned that I am capable of enduring. In the 70s my body started to show wear and tear from all the extra movement. A sore left knee was the big challenge. At some point in there I gave up my pride and stopped jumping back and forward on the burpees. Just step back, chest to deck, step forward, and a hop with a clap on the top (often on one foot to protect my knee.)

At the gym, I would sprinkle them in a handful at a time before class, a few in a break between other movements, and so on. At home, the easiest path was just to set a timer and do them EMOM style…Every Minute on the Minute, until I reached the day’s total.

Did I dread them? Yes, especially as the numbers got relentlessly higher. Did I do them? Yes.

Have you ever had the experience of saying a word so many times it stopped making sense? Burpee was that word over this 100 day challenge. I know people were sick of me talking about them. They were as sick of seeing me do them as I was of doing them. Burpees burpees burpees. Who thought this crap up? What does it even mean? I muttered this hundreds of times while waiting for the next minute to begin.

At the same time, I’m planning our first acres of flowers and our second round of vegetables. Walking through a home improvement store to get some mulch, I see the display of little packets…Burpee seeds. It was a day when I hadn’t done my burpees yet. I felt attacked. Could this be? Burpees are everywhere. Relentless.

In the end, I completed it. A mental challenge as much as a physical one. Written in my book, first challenge of the year completed. What’s next is anyone’s guess, but at least one of the challenges will be the seeds! (Hopefully, that one is prettier!) Any ideas?