Yes, yes, I'll get around to Easter and Gareth's birthday eventually. But I have to get pictures onto the computer for that and I haven't done it yet.
In the meantime, I'm reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. If it weren't for the amazing book group I attend, I would never have read this book. I've got to have it finished by Thursday, and for the first time ever I'm having difficulty with that. Not that the book isn't good. It is. But there are recurring portions of it in which the author rants about conventional farming methods and how they're horrible in various ways. Some of these are more interesting than others. Some I know have factual basis, but others seem exaggerated. They also start feeling repetitive. These portions of the book leave me desiring footnotes or parenthetical documentation, not only to back up her claims but also because they start to sound like a research paper. So, while I enjoy reading about her family's experience growing food and turkeys and hens and buying locally whatever they don't grow, I keep having to slog through the rant portions and it's slowing me down.
I'm having difficulty relating to some of her assertions, even when she gives anecdotes from her or her husband's own experience. Do the vast majority of kids these days, and even from my generation really have issues thinking of food and dirt together? Do they truly not understand that those peas and melons start as seeds or that a carrot grows underneath the ground? Really?? As far as I know I don't think I've come across anyone like this. And for me personally, I grew up helping plant all those fruits and vegetables in our small garden. I loved planting time. And I loved perusing the seed catalogs, choosing flowers and vegetables. When I moved away to college I actually missed weeding (the lack of landscaping at my parents' new home left very little weeding to do when I got home for summers). I certainly don't claim to be all-knowing about when to put various seeds in the ground or how to care for them, but I (and I like to think the majority of those around me) know that fruits and vegetables start as seeds!
What I'm enjoying most about the book is that it's giving me the gardening bug. I'm suddenly eager to grow tomatoes in a pot and some herbs and possibly, as the likelihood of our staying here for the summer increases, some chard, peppers and other vegetables. Even if all of those don't happen this year, I'm excited for the farmer's market to open again in a few weeks so that we can return to buying fresh produce from the local farmers. Because it really does taste better. Perhaps one day I'll even start canning a little here and there so that we can have some good fruit to use during the winter months when little of that is to be found at the store.
Now, I'm not going to order my own turkeys and raise and kill them (let alone try to get them to mate), but I am interested in one day trying out cheese making. The chance of that happening before all our kids are in middle or high school is very slight. But it sounds like it'd be fun (and is supposedly easy). I can picture me and my sisters and Kate (our honorary sister) pulling mozzarella (apparently you have to pull it like taffy). And I wonder how much better it'd taste than what I get at the store. Maybe I'd decide it's not worth the effort, but I still want to try it someday, just because. Until then, I'll plan for the day when we own a house with a large yard with plenty of room for tomatoes, peas, lettuce, strawberries, raspberries, and whatever else suits our mood. We'd better end up in a place that's good for gardening!