Sunday Afternoon Banana Bread

Sunday Afternoon Banana Bread

This is how Sunday afternoons should be: reading a fascinating story about Alaska from American Nature Writing, 2001, during a light lunch after church, critters asleep on the living room floor, my husband asleep on the couch, me clacking away on the WordPress editor.

I just put a couple of loaves of banana bread into the oven. Soon, the house will fill with the smell of bananas rescued and resurrected, and we’ll enjoy tea (the drink) and bread in a midday snack the Scots and Kiwis sometimes call “tea.”

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The Story Behind the Mic Drop

The Story Behind the Mic Drop

I dropped a mic a couple of blog posts ago when I announced at the end that I was marrying the guy in the picture. Haven’t said much since then. So here is our story, as written for our wedding website:

The Beginning

Jeff and Elise met for the first time in July 2018 at a local Purdue Extension meeting on agritourism. Elise was part of the speaker panel and talked about New Zealand. Jeff was looking for ideas for the Christmas tree farm on which he was working. The two bumped into each other a couple of weeks later at the county fair. Then, in October, before the melodrama at the local theater began, they ran into each other at the concession stand. He was buying a drink and attempted to strike up a conversation about her tour guiding experiences during the Covered Bridge Festival, but she had to tell the workers that her mother had spilled her Coke and it had surged all the way from the back row to the front row and ice was everywhere and could someone please bring a mop?

Christmas Time

A few days before Thanksgiving, Elise’s brother asked her if she wanted to use his extra artificial Christmas tree. However, she had resolved to always have a real Christmas tree and declined the offer. After Thanksgiving, she drove to the local Christmas tree farm to scout out the possibilities.

My first Christmas tree in my own house.

She picked out the perfect Charlie Brown tree, a tiny Eastern White Pine. Jeff handed her the saw to cut it down, and she proudly carried it away.

When she loaded it in her dad’s diesel F-350 truck, she heard someone yell, “Is that truck big enough for that tree?”

She turned around to see Jeff with an amused smile. He had just insulted her tree.

But he was carrying a Christmas tree on his shoulder.

It was a Hallmark movie moment, really.

Or a Christmas play, which is where they saw each other next. Continue reading “The Story Behind the Mic Drop”

Thoughts on Letters to a Young Farmer: Addressing Common Assumptions About Agriculture and Farming

Thoughts on Letters to a Young Farmer: Addressing Common Assumptions About Agriculture and Farming

I recently finished the book Letters to a Young Farmer: On Food, Farming, and Our Future, a birthday gift. It’s a collection of essays from the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, located near New York City. The essays were written by people who are connected (or loosely connected) to agriculture in some way, most of them located on the Coasts. Surprisingly, the first several essays actually discouraged me, a strange beginning for a book professing to inspire people to become farmers.

The essays made several assumptions:

  1. Farmers are victims of everything around them, including weather, businesses, government agencies, universities, and agricultural media.
  2. Farmers must know everything about everything.
  3. Farmers will be poverty-stricken their entire lives, but it’s worth it because they work with the soil.
  4. All young farmers will farm organically.

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