Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I am sad today...

Origin: bef. 900; (n.) ME wid(e)we, OE widuwe, wydewe; c. G Witwe, Gothwiduwo, L vidua (fem. of viduus bereaved), Skt vidhavā widow; (v.) ME, deriv. of the n.;
def. A women whose husband has died and who has not yet remarried.

What a narrow definition for something so consuming. It is interesting to me to note that this definition says who has "not yet" remarried. Somehow thinking about having another person in my life is the farthest thing from my mind and it seems strange to me that it should be part of the definition of what I have now become. I do not like my new status as a widow. It is lonely and everything seems to be going by me in slow motion. Little things make me well up like a fountain and they are usually the silliest things imaginable. Like walking through the aisle at the market and seeing Dave's favorite cereal on the shelf or finding a pair of his dirty socks in the laundry hamper. Part of me wishes that he wasn't every place I look but mostly I am terrified that I will stop seeing him everywhere.

I thought that the nights would be the hardest but strangely that has not been the case. At night, in our bed, I am comforted with thoughts of all the nights he lay beside me there and sleep comes easily to me. He became so fragile near the end that it was impossible to give him more than a cursory hug or to just stroke his arm and I think I miss not having one of his hugs most of all. He used to enfold me in those impossibly long arms of his and he could encircle me almost completely. I never felt safer or more secure than when he did that. I take my comfort in knowing that in the years Dave and I were together we shared enough hugs, pats, squeezes, touches and more than most people have in their entire lifetime. Once Dave said that we had shared enough love that if we stopped right at that moment and never touched again, what we had already had would last the rest of our lifetime and into the next. How could he have known those words would be true?

Writing on this blog about my life with Dave is how I am getting by right now and I thank those of you who follow it for indulging me. The title says that it is about my life on an organic farm and this is the part of life that has to be dealt with. Dave and I believed strongly in the natural order of things, in the circle of life. How can I profess to have believed if I do not accept that death is a necessary part of that circle. Nobody lives forever, as much as you might want them to. Dave just completed his circle ahead of me and I hope he is waiting for me on the other side.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Last week was the "week that was".

Farmer Dave

After 16 incredible, amazing years with the man that I loved almost beyond reason, my sweet, organic life changed last week, in the blink of an eye. Dave left this world behind last Tuesday and now I miss him more than I imagined possible. When we finally resigned ourselves to the fact that he wasn't ever going to get better and that his time was growing short, I tried to imagine how it was going to be without him, simply to prepare myself for the inevitable. When the time actually came, it was 1000 times harder than anything I was capable of conceiving.

While you try to prepare yourself for the eventuality of a death, especially when someone is fighting a disease as sinister as cancer, nothing, and I mean N-O-T-H-I-N-G, prepares you for that moment when you realize that this person you knew and loved is really and truly gone. It is like something grabs your chest and squeezes the life out of you, too. It is like a wave of unimaginable agony that strikes you powerless and paralyzed. You can't breathe, you can't move, you can't even think. All you can do is be held in the grasp of that moment while the world stops around just you and everything else keeps moving. When that grip suddenly is let go, it feels like the entire bottom of the universe has dropped away and left you suspended, beyond space and time. And then, the shockwave of reality hits you and you are forever changed.

I have thought long, hard and much about my life with Dave and I keep coming back to the same thing. We loved each other without reserve, without boundaries, without most of the trappings that come with a marriage sometimes. We never focused on careers, we had both done that in the lives we lived before we met. Instead, we decided to forgo the pursuit of happiness through things as artificial and man created as money, position and power because those things are worthless in the end. We vowed to focus all of our energies on the power of love, both between each other and for Mother Earth and her children.

In all our years together, we never quarreled (of course, we differed in opinion sometimes but how could we use our individual strengths if we didn't express them?), spent less that 2 dozen nights apart, expressed our love for one another at every opportunity and left absolutely nothing left unsaid between us. We worked side beside for most of those 16 years, first in our store at the beach and then at the Farm for the last decade. Every effort was made to insure that we remained able to spend our time and be together as much as possible.

We tried to guide and support each other in everything we did but Dave was always the better teacher. The lessons he taught me have shaped the person I am today. I never felt like I gave as much as he did in that regard, but he always said that I taught him what you could accomplish through the power of love. He taught me that it is okay to just be who you are, that growing as a person is necessary for one to move forward on their path toward enlightenment and that fear is the mind killer. I no longer fear many things because of Dave's lessons and that has given me great peace and serenity on many levels. His most important lesson was that I was worthy of being loved by someone like him - intelligent, wise, spiritual, amazing, kind, gentle and the most beautiful soul I have encountered in my 50+ years. That was a lesson he never tried to teach because he was too humble to think he was any of those things I mentioned.

We both truly believed that we were soul twins, joined for eternity and that comforts me greatly. I will miss him in ways I can't yet imagine. But there is so much of Dave, and who and what he was, in me now that he is with me still, in every fiber of my being and always will be there.

Namaste, my love, good journey.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Something about Dave, the Farmer

A little more somber topic here today. Dave, my husband and co-founder of the Farm is gravely ill. He has had kidney cancer since 2005 and has finally reached that stage where quality of life is paramount. He is home and in hospice care. Alert some days, others completely "gone somewhere else", he is still guiding my hand when he can but mostly he just gazes out the window from his hospital bed and looks out across the fields.

So blessed that he can watch deer and wild turkey cross from the pine woods, across the pasture and into our backyard. From his perspective in the hospital bed, he can see birds in the sky and the trees and he never misses when the local Coopers hawk flies over when he is looking out.

Some of the friends here at this page know Dave and some don't. Those of you who do know him, know him as a dedicated organic farmer. For the last decade, we have carved our little 30 acres into something that we are very proud of, with good reason. From an original tiny plot of 100 square feet to 17 of the 30 acres being under organic cultivation, we have pushed forward each year to make the Farm a success. And I don't mean a monetary success, that has never been all that important to us (if you took a look at our bank account, you would concur with that statement). Of course, we have been so very, very lucky to have had the blessing and support of both of our families, even though in the beginning they were a little skeptical of what we were trying to do.

Originally, we didn't intend for the Farm to make our living. It was a labor of love for both of us and a part of a spiritual journey we embarked on a long time ago. Being able to dedicate so much of our lives to this labor is the culmination of our belief in something greater than ourselves and the manifestation of that belief into something tangible. There is no greater faith that to put a tiny seed in the ground and believe that it will eventually be fruitful and that it will feed the soul as well as the body. We experience that manifestation of our faith every single day and gives our lives tremendous meaning. How can you not believe in something greater than yourself when you see the miracles of Nature happen before your eyes every single day?

Setting an example for others to follow has always been something that we strove for at the Farm. Passing along the knowledge and experiences that we gained, too, has been something equally important. If one lives their life dedicated to their principles, that example can be an inspiration for others to follow. We have tried to make that the main tenet of our philosophies about organics, sustainability, living a life of voluntary simplicity.

From the day we met, we have done what we could to make sure that we spent as much time together as possible. Dave is truly my soulmate and when we are apart it feels like something is missing in myself. Not longing, like when you miss someone when they are gone, but just a little feeling in the background that something is not quite as it should be. Since establishing this farm, every day, we have worked together, side by side, toe to toe, on nearly everything we have done. It has made our relationship strong and unbreakable.

Love is too small a word to describe what Dave and I share. His illness has given me pause to reflect on many of the things I have expressed here in this writing. My heartache at the possibility of losing him was overwhelming me recently, until I decided to stop focusing on what is to come and reflect on what has been and how we came to be at this place where we are now. It has made me realize that there will be no regrets for things undone between us. We have never failed to express everything we felt about each other, with both our words and deeds, left nothing unsaid. I know that when he is gone, I will feel the weight of the world on my shoulders but I also know I will be lifted to the Heavens knowing that someone like Dave so loved someone like me and never, ever failed to make me feel completely safe and loved for as long as I have known him.

Learning how to bend with the wind, instead of fighting to make it do what we chose to have it do is something that every true organic farmer learns quickly. That bending leads one to find balance and harmony. Harmony leads to peace. And peace and love are what matter in the end.

I will continue to operate New Moon Farm Organics, no matter what happens in the future. It is Dave's legacy, what he leaves behind as a testament to his dedication and love of what we do here. I intend to continue our dreams and follow the path. He may not continue to walk with me in this realm, but he will always walk at my side, no matter where the path takes me.

Namaste my friends.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


It is that time of the year. Things are bursting at the seams with life! You can smell it on the air. The trees are covered with tiny leaf buds, the hens are laying again, the weeds are coming up faster than the planted seeds and the weather can't decide whether to be warm, windy, cold or wet. I LOVE Spring in the South!!!

Right now, I have so many irons in the fire, I need another arm or two to juggle them. I am working the farm alone right now but getting ready to put out the call for volunteers via my "VOLUNTEER WISH LIST". This is a page I put up on my website that lists all the things I need help with and then anyone with a couple of hours to spare can pick something they are comfortable helping with and take it from there. We start our formal "Hands Across the Table" crop-share/ intern program in May and I am working on the details of that to send out to the interested participants.

Another thing I am very excited about is my summer "Farmin-istas" seminar series starting in June. Every other weekend this summer, I plan on offering an educational seminar directed at female farmers (or "farm femmes" as I have christened them). Farming has always had the connotation of being a bastion of the "good ole' boy" network and that is quite true in some areas of agriculture, even though women have long worked beside of husbands, fathers, brothers doing just about any farm chore as the men. The number of women who own, operate or manage farms has grown significantly since the last census and I expect the numbers will have grown considerably after this one. I want and need to confer and conflab with other women who do what I do. We have our own ways of doing things, we think differently that our male counterparts and we can have a very different set of obstacles in the way of our progress. It is time for FARMIN-ISTAS to UNITE! I am making it my personal mission to get this ball rolling in my area this year. Watch for more info as it unfolds.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Getting back to the blog

Wow! It has been another one of those week, months, years. Hubby has been in the hospital for the last week and just got him home. I pray that nobody has to go through what we are going through, but I know that as long as there is no cure for cancer, that won't happen. Taking each day as it comes is all you can do. My sweet Farmer is beyond being cured and now we are in palliative care. Thanks to all the people who have been so kind to us in the past and the present and to those I know will be kind in the future. While we are still looking at a relatively long road, it is just so hard to come to terms with your whole life changing in ways you never imagined it would. But I have learned that the fears I had about my ability to care and comfort for someone this intensely have been assuaged and I now know that the depth of love truly does conquer all.

Now that we are past this latest hurdle, we are ready to get cranking on the gardens. Already have tons of stuff coming up in the greenhouse, so we are still on track...just a couple of weeks behind but that is due to the wet, cold weather. Now that it is warming up some, things will change quickly. I am pretty much able to man the helm here at the Farm and with the help of our volunteers, it all goes very well. The Farmer is still the General, he is just confined to quarters at the present.

Thanks to everyone who has expressed their willingness and desire to be involved with our farm this year. I am looking forward to passing the torch of organic knowledge onto anyone who wants to roll up their sleeves and get down and dirty with me. I will be posting some new information about volunteer/apprentice/internship opportunities here very soon, so watch for that.

If you missed the new slide show at the website check it out! www.newmoonfarmorganic.com
and look for the link. I have about 320+ pictures that will take you on a journey through our last 10 years. We are very proud of what we do and want to share it with anyone and everyone!!!!