Slippin’ out between Storms

First came the ice storm.  4 days without electricity. Dreariness.

DSCF2693 DSCF2694 DSCF2695The poor river birch tree was heavy laden.  I thought it might never recover.  Greg and I went out that first morning at 6am to clear the driveway so I could go to work. No way! Another huge branch had fallen from that old willow and completely blocked my way. It was still dark and we could hear cracking sounds and thuds of falling branches in several directions.  Without light we had no way to tell if we were in line to be struck down, so we went inside and waited for daybreak. Fortunately, Greg had a new chain saw. He made light work of that limb once he could see what he was doing.

When the electricity came back, we were packed and ready. We got on the road and went to New Orleans to celebrate the marriage of our daughter Esther Rose to Luke Winslow King.  Queen Esther found her King.  I had too much fun to take many photos, but here are a few favorites:DSCF2700I took this one after we parked downtown and before we all got dirty.  I should have taken it in front of the restored historic mansion which Luke and Esther are renting. You’ll have to pretend.  Can you imagine all 14 of us under one roof? Not in this little house.  But I could not have photographed all of us and their mansion and gotten it in 1 picture. It’s that big.

DSCF2697Sophia and her beau.  Although they are both gainfully employed, I think they could earn well as models if need be.

DSCF2726Sophia with her father.  Now there’s a good-looking gentleman! What? He’s 63?  63 never looked so good!

DSCF2719Luke and Esther treated us to Sunday brunch at one of the fanciest restaurants in New Orleans: Antoine’s.  Established in 1840.  Rumored to be the birthplace of the Baked Alaska, as seen in this photo.  Cake on the outside, ice cream inside.  The waiters came around to drizzle chocolate sauce on our pieces.  Musicians serenaded us.

DSCF2734Look at the color! This is not only a food co-op.  It contains a healing arts center, a middle eastern restaurant, hip clothing store, and more.

DSCF2728The rug I made as a wedding gift from the wool of our Shetland sheep.

Esther and LukeInexplicably, I took no photos of Luke and Esther.  Probably because there are so many great ones already in cyberspace. I love this one.

Parting was sweet sorrow, but we knew another storm was coming so left while the weather was good, taking 2 nights at the home of friends along the way as we had on our way down.

Near Lansing the snow began.  We made it home safely. Snow fell all night, the next day, and the next day for a total of 15 inches.

DSCF2740DSCF2746DSCF2738DSCF2743DSCF2745That’s Michigan for ya.  Love it or leave it.  I choose to love it. For now.

 

A Poem

Their farm grows ideas

even now

when they are settled in

tied down to the plants

like a mortgage or a bill.

 

It still feeds minds

tends spirits that come in

 interrupting sentences of their

lives, paragraphs of gardens.

 

And now, decisions must be

made, like weeds to be pulled.

The grass grows tall,

flowers will grow.

The grass grows tall,

flowers will grow.

– by Iris Fuchs

 

Opening to Newness

dried fruitsAccording to the Jewish calendar, the New Year 5774 has just begun. In the USA school starts at this time of year, so most of us have a sense of new beginnings when September comes. As I open to new beginnings, I give thanks for all that has brought me to this time and place.

banana peppersMuch was said last year about selling the farm.  That is no longer being considered.  Rather we intend to keep doing what we’ve been doing and adding more community service events to our calendar. Our main raison d’être is our organic farm homestead through which we offer CSA shares. CSA member Larry Weber enjoys coming to the farm.

happy face

Our love of community service and cultural exchange brought us in contact with the WWOOF network.  We’ve hosted over 100 volunteers from as far away as Korea and Japan, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Israel, Australia and New Zealand. This year we had 3 from exotic Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

DSCF2420

Women gather in the Tent on the New Moon to sing and share deeply, observing the cycles of the moon and the changes in our lives. We study Kabbalah and related teachings. A calendar wheel garden and a woodshed round out the area.  Potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes are planted nearby.

Deborah outside the Tent of Meeting

The Time Our Fiber Guild was started at 3RF about 8 years ago.  Women bring their fiber projects such as spinning wool, weaving, knitting or felting.  We meet informally, sharing ideas, laughter and a potluck lunch. We’ve grown so large, we now meet 4th Fridays at the Marathon Township Hall..

Digital Camera

Starting this year, Three Roods Farm will host non-denominational spiritual gatherings called Oneness Congregations. The purpose is to bring us into awareness of our Unity and join us in Love. The teachings of the Nirankari Baba will be shared. All are welcome. Bring a song, a story, a prayer, or simply share from the heart. Meetings are on 2nd and 4th Sundays at 11am.  The first Oneness Congregation is September 22nd. The Nirankari Baba and his wife Pujya Mataji visited our farm in 1996. Since then, the blessings have been flowing for all who come.

babaji and pujamataji

The top 3 photos are courtesy of newest intern, Penelope Crawford-Cottrell. She arrived recently from Portland, Oregon where she completed her undergraduate degree at  Lewis and Clark U. She is visiting family and friends in Michigan and doing a month-long stay at 3RF. We’re glad she’s here.  She seems happy, too.

happy intern

 

Julie Boy, it’s July!

DSCF2482Which means it’s your birthday month. Don’t we know it? Leonard is your middle name, Leo your sun sign, and your temperament is lion-hearted!

Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1923 – so long ago! As a little boy, you rode a wagon with your Zeidy Max behind a horse named Dick, a horse so smart he knew where to stop along the route, despite being blind.  Your Zeidy delivered ice to his customers in those days before homes had refrigerators.  They had ‘ice boxes’ to keep food cold.  Oh those were the days!

You arrived in Michigan on July 3rd this year, in time to celebrate my 40th marriage anniversary the very next day.  The Luke Winslow King band played under the tent after lunch and you danced with me, just like we did long ago.  Dancing with Zaidy July 4th 2013 #2 Dancing with Zaidy July 4th 2013 #3

You were my first dance partner.  Mom didn’t enjoy dancing, so you danced with me at all the weddings and bar mitzvahs.  I took classes in ballroom dancing in 6th grade and that helped me follow you around the dance floor. 

Daddio, you take such pleasure in life! Drink, gezunte haid! 

Farm interns who are lucky to be here when you come visit me, always learn a few Yiddish phrases.  D’rehdle raitzakh – the wheel turns! Now it is time for you to share the wisdom of your experiences. 

I love the way you talk to yourself  ‘so someone will listen’.  I rarely need to admonish you, because you eventually tell yourself to sheket, to sha, to be quiet, Julie boy. 

 

You make people smile wherever we go.  You disarm them with your  ‘Hable Espaniole, Baby?’  Or by asking the young girl at the ice cream parlor, ‘Do you sell ice cream here?’  Out of respect, people don’t ignore you.  They think you’re confused, but soon they realize that you’re just having fun with them.  They laugh.  Whatever they’re doing becomes a pleasure.  Because of you. DSCF2514

Midsummer’s Superhero Deluge

August began with intern Sarah Boehm leaving after her two-week stay on the farm. As she left, two new interns filtered in to take her place.  Peyton Ginakes (coming from Minnesota) and Emily Hines (traveling from Colorado Springs) came at an unusually hot and dry time. The long drought that has been plaguing the US has certainly been felt here at Three Roods. Luckily, rain came just in time. Here they are weeding the Saskatoons.

018

The excitement of the precipitation was paralleled by the arrival of our visitors: a rowdy, affectionate, and colorful group of 21 Superheroes. Organized by Laughing Moon and Stardust, the Michigan Superhero Bike Ride began with the intention to bike through SE Michigan performing random acts of goodness and allowing their collective consciences to lead the way. After several days of synergizing energy, they broke camp this morning with words of gratitude and inspiration – along with singing and dancing. All was right with the world.

Super Heroes say grace before lunch.

P1010113 Sarah’s last day at Three Roods Farm.

P1010125A preview of the glorious tomato harvest. We tried a small variety called Indigo. It is a deep purple and green while ripening. When the green becomes red and the purple becomes black, its ready.  It’s visible in the foreground of the photo. Despite the excitement of a purple tomato, the taste is dull.

045Dr Greg, later dubbed Mulching Peacock, talking with Superhero Training  Director, Laughing Moon.

033The Superhero stance.

031Bike ride organizers Laughing Moon and Stardust with Dancing Breath.

058

The Superheroes, capes flying in the wind, depart on heavily laden bikes. Bon voyage! Adieu!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Lapeer and the Lapeer Land Conservancy

 

Ever heard of Wild Lapeer?  It’s a county wide event started about 10 years ago by North Branch resident Marian Listwak.  Not to be confused with Lapeer Days which is a weekend in downtown Lapeer every summer.  No, Wild Lapeer is a spring event which previously took place around the Lapeer court house, using the Farmers Market area and court house lawn for activities.

For the 3rd year, Wild Lapeer will be held at Chatfield School, home of The Willows Environmental Education Center.  Peter McCreedy, visionary and lead teacher at Chatfield, heads up the planning committee for Wild Lapeer. The Lapeer Land Conservancy is now the major sponsoring group with much help from Lapeer County Parks, Lapeer Conservation District, the Farm Bureau, Backtrack to Nature and others.  The purpose of Wild Lapeer is to bring people together around their love of the natural world.  Families will find much for children to do, such as canoe rides, buidling bluebird houses and enjoying a petting zoo.

Special guests this year include Barb Barton from the Great Lakes Wild Rice initiative.  This singer songwriter is an enviromental activist extraordinaire. She will explain the requirements for growing rice in our area and why this is nutritionally and environmentally a sound idea.  A falconry expert will bring live birds and teach about them.  This should perk up the ears of our Lakeville Falcons.  Another special guest is Michael Mallon, also known as Laughing Moon.  He is the founder of the Superhero Training Academy.  He will tell stories and show how you can discover your superhero name and powers!

So reserve the date: Saturday May 5th.  10am-4pm.  Check the local paper for more information as the day comes closer.

Elin spins yarn at Wild Lapeer 2009

My Daddio

I love my Daddio.
  Oh how I love my Daddio.
He’s so cool.
He’s so bad.
  He’s the best Daddio I ever had.
 – – – – – – – – – – – – –
My teeth hurt
  for my Daddio
For all the wrong I’ve done.
 – – – – – – – – – – – – –
How I’ve mocked him
   Disregarded him
Forgotten him
   For my impatience with him
My lack of understanding of his needs
   I feel remorse.
 – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Oh my dear Daddio
   Be happy!  Be well!
I will enjoy our time together.
   I will not over plan.
I will find things you like to do.
   We’ll go to Frankenmuth for lunch.
 – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Oh Daddio
   I’m make you coffee
And we’ll sit outside.
   We’ll work on the photo album.
We’ll visit Clark
   or Vivian and Dorothy.
We’ll visit Rosalie and Kris.
   I’ll take you to Bloomington
      to see your brother Sam
So you can annoy him in person.
 – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Oh Daddio
    I sound more like you every day.
Rich or poor its good to have money.
   Der reydala dreytzik
Its a veshaydana veld.
   Singing snippets of songs
I feel happy and big hearted
   Like you Julio Leonardo
Lion hearted one talking, joking
   I talk to myself so someone will listen.
He’s a riot.  He’s one of kind.
   He’s Julius what-did-you-say Mallor.

Winter 2012

Friends and former interns often ask me “How’s the farm?’ Winter is very quiet on the farm.  The familiar green shed

The rooster still crows in the morning, but with all the windows shut, I don’t usually hear him until I wake up on my own. The ringing in my ears grows louder in the silence.

Instead of walking once around the land, I walk 2 and 3 times using different pathways to stay warm and give Schnitzle time and variety to explore.  He is more active in the cold weather.  His warm coat of fur keeps him snug.

If it has snowed, I’ll go to the tipi and use a broom to sweep the snow off the canvas.  On dry, sunny days, I’ll gather kindling wood in the forest. If the weather is mild enough, I’ll start a fire inside the tipi and play tambourine, read psalms, take a nap.

Reading lots of books: Jack London’s Call of the Wild which I’m borrowing from Jeff Morrison, Dr Clarissa Pinkola-Estes Women Who Run with the Wolves for the 2nd time, and Judaism, A Wild Faith, by Rabbi Mike Comins to name a few. Am I feeling wolfish and wild? You decide.

Mumtaz
Her coloring is more vivid against the snowy backdrop.

Rosh Chodesh

   For over a year, I've been holding gatherings to celebrate the new moon of the Hebrew months. It's called Rosh Chodesh.  Chodesh means moon or month, chadash means new. Rosh means the head or start of the month.
    My friend Deanne Bednar holdsFull Moon celebrations at her place. It's usually a large crowd, often delicious food, and always exciting to walk around and see the new projects developing.
    Deanne and tribal mother/sister Tina Kahn were the 2 friends who supported me at the start of the Rosh Chodesh project.  I made a commitment to myself to light the tipi fire and celbrated the New Moon whether anyone joined me or not.  But I am such a one for others, I must constantly shake myself and remind myself – hey! – this tipi is here for me every day! If I want to commune with Shekinah in the Makom, the Holy Place, it is open to me! I placed a cot inside and thickened it with blankets and foam so I can rest there.
    I wanted to dedicate it on Rosh Chodesh Kislev, celebrated Sunday, but the rain came straight down on that windless, almost balmy late November afternoon.  The smoke was intense.  "This is too much with my asthma", said Miriam, "I'm going to bail." Sara Rus was holding the scarf over her nose and mouth, indicating her difficulty with the situation.  "Alright", I said, although I'd hoped we could overcome it.  So we went into the basement of the house, in my meditation/yoga room and convened there.  It was good.
    The 1st commandment given to the Israelites after being delivered out of Egypt, was to sanctify the new moon (Exodus 12:1-2). The Egyptians worshipped the sun-god Ra.  It seemed that the Israelites listened to the beat of a different drummer. They looked to the moon for a new means of reckoning time and seasons.  Jewish days start at sundown, as it is written "and it was evening and it was morning, the 1st (2nd, etc) day" in Genesis.
     Imagine a time when the month didn't begin until 2 people staring west into the dusk in Jerusalem, observed the waxing sliver of a moon. The followind day was a festival marked with music, speeches and sacrifices. In the time of Hillel II (360 C.E.), the pattern became so clear they fixed the calendar. Thanks to Chabad House of Flint, I have a calendar with all the important dates and times.
    My house shall be a house of prayer for all people.  I am nothing if not inclusive.  God is not a respecter of persons.  All are equal in that each one is here to fulfill their purpose, so they must discover what that is.  B'ruch HaShem.
 
 

Womens Writing Workshop

Title: Womens Writing Workshop
Location: House at Three Roods Farm
Link out: Click here
Description: The one and only Rae Bird leads us into Sacred Space where our Inner Muses arise and amaze us all. Bring a journal, a pen and a dish to share if you’d like to stay for lunch. Snacks and tea/coffee provided.


Start Time: 10:00
End Time: 14:00

Next Class: Wednesday, March 21st

Cost: $25

Schnitzle, always nearby.