It’s been almost a year since I’ve posted on the blog a personal story or update on real life at the farm. For a while there I wanted the website to be a place for recipes only. Short and sweet descriptions of the food and not much else. This blog has evolved A LOT in the decade (I can’t believe it’s been over 10 years!) that I’ve been writing here. And while it felt nice to take a break from personal stories and focus on recipes only, I am in a season of life where I feel like I want to circle back to where I found a lot of my joy over the years. Writing is something that I love and sharing glimpses of farm life has brought so much happiness over the years and I’d love to do more of that again. So here I am! Ready to slow down a bit in this late autumn season here at the farm and dedicate a bit more time to cooking, writing, and re-connecting with you all. I know many of you have been with me since day one (when the blog was called A Farmer in the Dell) and I also know a lot of you folks do not use Instagram (which is where I share glimpses into our personal life). My goal over the next year is to actually move away from social media and sponsored posts and focus on this space more. Like I said, a lot has changed and it feels better to be sharing life on this platform with a smaller, more intimate group of people. So for those of you who have have stuck with me through the highs and lows of this website, THANK YOU! And for those of you who are just here for the food, there will be plenty of that and you can simply skip these “farm diary” posts. I totally get it.
So without further ado, I’m going to give you all a little glimpse into what the last year has been like. I’ll probably do this in a series of “catch up” posts so this first one won’t end up being a novel. But I guess I will start with the biggest, greatest, most important life update for those of you who do not know.
On March 14th, at 3:03pm, I met the love of my life. Our daughter, Pepper, was born safely at home right into her fathers arms after 40 + hours of labor. It took a lot of fight to get her here but damn, she has been the absolute greatest gift to her mom and dad.
The day after her grand arrival the world shut down. My folks we’re only able to see her through a glass window. I was on bedrest for a month and have never missed or needed my own mom more than during that long, scary, and unsteady month. Honestly, with all the unknowns about the state of the world, lockdowns, people dying, and being a brand new, totally clueless mom, I felt more scared than I’ve ever felt in my entire life. Looking down at my brand new baby, watching the devastating news around the world, seeing all the tragedies and unknowns of COVID, I felt like the world was literally going to end. The hormones didn’t help!! And I know (hormones aside) many of you felt the same way. Those early days in the spring were so scary! We had just brought this tiny, innocent, and beautiful new person into the world and I didn’t know what to think about the whole situation. I wanted to protect this precious little girl yet I wasn’t quite sure how we were going to stay safe. I already felt like I was failing as a mom. Not to mention, I was supposed to stay horizontal as much as possible that first month for my own physical recovery from childbirth. But I’ll tell you all one thing, it’s pretty much impossible to stay on bedrest when the world is on lockdown and you can’t have extended family enter your house to help out. Needless to say, my recovery ended up taking a lot longer due to all the things! It was a dark time, and yet, there was also so many beautiful moments as Taylor and I were falling head over heels in love with this rad little lady.
Despite not being able to have family and friends help out, I have to say we felt the love. We have the kindest neighbors who would drop off bone broth, meatloaf, lasagna and stew on a regular basis. One of my best friends made 5 different meals for us as our baby gift (we didn’t do a baby shower and asked for nothing, but I will say, I am so happy we said YES to her offer of the food, even before we knew about COVID) Every other day we would get messages from our neighbors or friends that something warm was on our doorstep. I cried many times because I was so thankful for our amazing community.
Those early days of Pepper’s life Taylor was busy working the fields solo. We were still preparing for the farm season despite COVID and had a completely full CSA (110 families which is our most to date!) and the farmers market was still on schedule to go on. There were still plenty of unknowns but our seeds had already been ordered (the previous winter), and we knew that people still needed to eat! There was actually something really comforting about knowing that the farm didn’t know there was a pandemic and being outside, feeling the dirt on our skin and planting seeds gave us so much hope.
As the days went on Pepper got a few more “window” visits. She met her uncle Adam through the glass which was such a special moment. She already met my sister Amy because Amy was at her birth and was the only outside person aside from my midwives to lay eyes on her not through glass.
Those early days of motherhood were a blur. It’s true what they say- two opposite things can exist at the same time- We were so happy and full of love, while also feeling so scared, alone and vulnerable. About 5 weeks into motherhood, totally sleep deprived and still physically unable to do much myself, my mom came. We all did a “two week quarantine” before she came into our home and the rest is history. I honestly wish we had ripped that bandaid off earlier. We just didn’t know. But here we are, 8 months later and I’m so grateful that we finally got some outside support. My heart aches for anyone doing motherhood alone. It just isn’t supposed to work like that.
Becoming Pepper’s mom has been the best damn thing to ever happen to me. The year before I got pregnant was one of the darkest years of my life. Finding out I was pregnant was a total shock and those 9 months of carrying this little babe in my belly are some of the brightest memories I’ve got. She has saved my life in so many ways. This little girl has made me more compassionate, vulnerable, scared, less judgmental, patient, accepting, and loving. Basically, she’s made me feel more alive, more human. The good, bad, and messiness of it all.
So I will leave it at that. This post pretty much captures early spring for us. I hope wherever this post finds you that you all are healthy, staying safe (and sane!!) during this crazy year. Thank you for reading along everyone. I will pick up where we left off in a few weeks with another farm diaries post. Until then, I will get back to sharing recipes here. And with that, I hope you are able to spend some time in your kitchen, zoom or skype with people you love, or if you’re even luckier, cook and eat a meal in person with your family. Sending love, hope and a lot of light your way.
Cheers from Tumbleweed Farm. xoxo