Reaping

The funny thing about harvest…no matter how well I plan, everything seems to happen at once. That was the story last week, as I found myself on the go from early to late for 10 days straight. Whew! This urban farmer is feeling that pleasantly exhausted feeling of work done well.

0910_landscapingIt all started with my first landscaping job. My aunt has a spot in her backyard that is supremely shady and was looking for an easy fix. After tossing around a few ideas we opted to lay a paver path to the back gate then cover the nearly bare earth with mulch. I’ll spend time this winter researching shade plant options (other than the ever present hosta); we’ll add those and a second layer of mulch come spring. The work took a mere 4 hours, 20 cubic feet of mulch, and 16 pavers. Watching her notoriously grumpy dog walk the path when it was done was a sure indicator I’d satisfied my client!

0919_canning01I spent the next couple days working my own land: clearing tomato plants, turning compost, mowing, trimming, etc. Then I got a call from my farm-owning friend on the Missouri side; she offered me the chance to glean leftovers from her tomato field. I love to can – its incredibly satisfying to step into my walk-in pantry and gather food for meals all winter. I like knowing what is in the food I consuming, and find the work it takes to “put up” tomatoes, salsa, enchilada sauce, curry sauce, and tomato sauce is well worth my time. This year I’m adding ketchup (or catsup if you prefer) and tomato paste to my repertoire. BBQ Sauces and goulashes will be all the more tasty!

I also landed a couple writing jobs this week – they made for a great break during the canning process. One job was editing a long form document for a past employer; the other is writing articles for a content management site which should lead to fairly steady work. Each job was challenging in its own way, and I’m always thankful for income!

By the time Sunday rolled around my body was pretty achy and tired – but that good tired that comes from hard work. I’m so thankful I am healthy and can work hard for long stretches. This week will surely hold moreĀ opportunities for reaping, so I’ll keep my eyes open for them.


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