Farm Notes (August 14, 2022)

I love August! Flowers, festivals, farmer’s markets, food, and lots of fun.

Rick and I had to step back a little break after Anne’s Celebration of Life to contemplate our path forward. Many would expect that we would have been prepared to let Anne go. After all, she was 97 years old. But no. Not really. I think both Rick and I thought she would live well past 100 because she wanted to. When she wanted to do something, she just did.

We jumped into fulfilling all of her obligations, cleaning and organizing, fixing up and maintaining the house, probate, taking stock of and managing the rose collection, planning Anne’s Celebration, and taking on projects to help us promote her legacy. We were working really hard without a plan, without reflection, and without consideration of our own path.

The ramblers had their peak two weeks later than normal, just after July 4th, and summer arrived. Rick was working in the vegetable garden and I across from him in what we call rose garden #2 and we noticed it at the same time. Kiftsgate, a wild species rambler, and Sir Cedric Morris, discovered by Morris in the UK before 1979, were in full bloom. Kiftsgate scrambling up the tree to at least 70 feet and Sir Cedric Morris covering every inch of the open air roof of the pavilion and billowing over its sides. The magnificence of this display is truly a, “you have to see it…,” moment. Here we were in one of the most beautiful places on Earth and not looking up from the work. It was then we decided we had to step back.

We needed a plan. The physical labor is still important but it will never be completely done and that’s OK. Plans begin with established goals and then well laid out steps to achieve them. In my assessment/evaluation world I use the logic model to articulate this.

Anne accomplished so much in her life because she was very good at setting goals and writing out the steps to achieve them. She didn’t work from the logic model itself, but in her journals you can see the components. The goal(s), what she needed to do to get there (outputs), potential obstacles and how to get around them, and opportunities and how to leverage them are all clearly laid out.

I can’t say that we have completed the plan or that we are even close to identifying the steps. However, we are spending time on it and meeting one of our process goals to seek enjoyment in the work we do. Our goals are and have been very broad, which they should be, and this lends to flexibility of how we get there. This was important when we left our Indiana farm to come to the Pacific Northwest to make sure that Anne could stay in her home. We just never took the time to revisit our plan to accommodate the decision to take a new path. We were on autopilot giving the Universe the driver seat without our input. That isn’t the best way to realize goals, or make progress. (My husband is smirking at this comment because we have lengthy philosophical discussions about free-will vs. what the Universe has in store for us.)

Claude Graves’ Webinar about Anne’s Rambler Collection

Claude Graves, well known leader and educator in rosarian circles, curator of the Anne Belovich Rambler Collection in McKinney, Texas, and chairman of the American Rose Center Committee in Shreveport, Louisiana (a new home of the Anne Belovich Rambler Collection), gave an informative webinar on Ramblers: The Majestic Giant Roses on July 16, 2022. If you want to learn more about ramblers and see the work being done at the American Rose Garden, be sure to take some time to watch the webinar that is archived here: https://youtu.be/TuZm77w8GDU

The stories about the individual roses were helpful to me as I gather more information on each of the roses here in Anne’s Gardens.

The Indiana Farm

My trip back to the mid-west involved one Michigan family reunion, a quick visit to the Richmond, Indiana Rose Garden, the international NCF-Envirothon Competition, day trips to Zanesville, Columbus, and Dayton for genealogy work, farm orchard and garden work, pole barn downsizing, and wild and homestead flowers.

It was great to see Boomer and the kittens. I don’t miss the heat and humidity of the mid-west, but I look forward to catching up with our neighbors and seeing the animals when I go back. The end of July and first part of August is a great time for foraging as well as home grown produce.

One thing I love to do when I go back is walk with my friend Nicole. She is part owner of The Goat Conspiracy and makes cheese and soap. They offer workshops on soap making and have goat yoga sessions as well. Yes, yoga with goats. The creamery is something they’ve just added in the last couple of years and I love to hear about what they are testing. Check them out at https://www.thegoatconspiracy.com/welcome

Our Legacy Fields Lavender Farm

When I am working in the garden I like to listen to podcasts. My current favorites are Ologies with Alie Ward (https://www.alieward.com/ologies); In Defense of Plants with Matt Candeias (https://www.alieward.com/ologies); History of the Netherlands (https://www.republicofamsterdamradio.com/historyofthenetherlands); and The Camano Voice, a business and history podcast for the Camano Island/Stanwood, WA area (https://camanocommons.com/podcast/).

This past week The Camano Voice interviewed Renee and Leigh from Our Legacy Fields, a lavender farm. Leigh is from Indiana and studied environmental science and Renee is from a family of builders, which caught my ear right away. They both led stressful work lives and wanted to explore alternatives that would allow for them to slow down, find the joy in life, and improve the health and wellness of family, friends, neighbors, and community. They chose lavender as the conduit, developing an agritourism business and destination space with these values. They also talked about planning for your dreams.

Renee and Leigh were so inviting. Come out. Enjoy the space. Bring a book. Bring a picnic. So I did. I drove over the next day and was not disappointed. The lavender fields were spectacular, dancing in the wind with the pollinators. In the red barn they have a wonderful display of farm made products, and games and books to just hang out with. Renee showed me their distillation set-up for lavender oils and we talked about the potential of rose oils. They were who I needed to meet at the right time. We shared ideas and made plans for them to come to the rose farm, which I am really looking forward to.

When you come to this area, you’ll have two places to visit now. Anne’s Gardens and Our Legacy Fields Lavender Farm. Be sure to check them out at: https://ourlegacyfields.com/

The Washington Farm

It’s a good time for foraging and farm produce here at Anne’s Gardens too. Rick and I took time to go on a short hike to Barnum Point on Camano. We had an enjoyable time identifying plants. We ran across a plant that Rick remembered from his childhood in California, salal, with ripe berries. The berries taste like a sweet blueberry. They are considered an antioxidant powerhouse. They grow well in shade and it was noticeable that the berries in the sun were less hydrated and not as tasty.

The lilies are out at the front of the house. The pinks are dramatic and can be seen from the road. They fill in color while the roses are preparing for a rebloom.

While I was in Indiana, Rick sent me the picture of the black rose above. By the time I got how it was dried and shriveled. I deadheaded it and we are hoping to see a rebloom so we can possibly identify it. This was found in the vegetable garden where the quarantined roses were kept. If you have ideas about what it might be, please let us know in the comments.

We always look forward to your comments.

Until next time…

Published by teddiemower

I oversee Anne's Gardens for my mother-in-law, Anne Belovich. This is a family project to ensure Anne's rose collections, gardens and legacy continue for generations to come. I am a science and environmental educator, researcher, teacher, author, creator of homemades, and traveler. My husband Rick Mower, Anne's only son, is a retired professor of microbiology, former sailor, avid food gardener, and great cook.

One thought on “Farm Notes (August 14, 2022)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: