Good grief, the animals are making a racket. I thought that I would go for a walk by the stream but it was too hot and sticky earlier this evening. Maybe in a few minutes it will cool off. I think the goats and sheep are annoyed by this hot weather as well. Babies and mamas are fussing, hollering, trying to get everyone settled in for the evening.
We survived first day of market.
It was hard. Seeing faces share our grief. Share our tears.
It was hard when old customers came up and asked how our winter went.
"Bad," I would answer. "My husband died."
It is good to know that others feel our pain and offer their comfort.
After we got over the firsts, shed a few tears, we got to work selling bread and pizza crusts and lamb and pork. We passed out lots of samples. Extolled the benefits of freshly milled whole wheat. By end of morning the mountain of bread and pizza crusts and brownie mixes and more were all gone. I was grateful for my dear friend, Lynne, who acted as my backup, making change, adding and subtracting, covering me when I needed to receive a hug. Really grateful for the great Indian food we shared for lunch.
As we worked, the girls were reunited with their pals who live in the market neighborhood. They roamed and played and thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the boys, with the help of Rachel, set up our wares at another local food event. They sold out as well.
Even though it was hard to go back to work, it seems like the right thing to do. It gives me a sense of security and relief to know that we have a way to generate income here on the farm. I sure wish I knew how to run all my new equipment, however. One customer (thank goodness) emailed me and told me that her loaf (of very expensive spelt milk and honey bread) had a big hole in the middle. I wonder how many other loaves were flawed. The new oven is convection and operated very differently that my regular one. I hate learning curves. Oh well. Thank goodness for grace and patient customers who are willing to let me replace their holey loaves with good ones. I will keep working out the kinks. Even if I would prefer to go to bed for about a month or two or three.
Going to market is such a great experience. We enjoy true community out there. Neighbors eager to eat healthy foods and support local farmers are very nice people and I enjoy the opportunity to get to know people whose paths would never cross mine in other circumstances. The variety is rich, diverse and just as good as the wonderful foods and arts that are for sale. Maybe I could get another job. A job that would provide steady income. A job that wouldn't put me in a vulnerable spot, where I would never make mistakes and give people holey bread. But, oh how sad to miss out on the richness that comes to me in this life. I love sharing recipes and tips on how to cook our yummy lamb. How nice it is to top our pizza crusts with so and so's goat cheese and the other guys' spinach. Talking with Lynne or Rachel afterwards about how dead this introvert feels after interfacing with so many people I love all in one morning!
I guess what I am rambling on about is that in the middle of the hard times, I do feel hopeful and encouraged. The vision Philip and I shared didn't die with him.
Well, maybe things have cooled off enough for a little walk through the pastures. A storm is moving this way. Maybe it will rain tomorrow. But now I have the desire to hear the stream and get away from built things for a few minutes. I read a poem by Wendell Berry that inspired me the other day. Maybe when I get back I will type it out for you.