Friday, January 13, 2012

So who is this Herban Farmer?

Kathy G and Me, age 4
An unwitting naturalist since early childhood in the Garden State—New Jersey. My parents and I lived in a teensy suburban Cape Cod style house painted white with black shutters and surrounded by a white picket fence. We grew tomatoes, peppers and grapes; canned fruit and vegetables; went twilight fishing on weekends with a stopover at Carvel's on the way home. Early on, I developed skills in sewing, cooking and yard work. I became a loyal fan of Tastykakes, Turkish Taffy, Taylor Ham, Ronzoni and fresh light-but-crusty hard rolls with butter after church on Sundays. I dreamed of having a yard-sized greenhouse, a horse, moving to Florida and going to the beach every day.

Back yard coreopsis
As a kid I had a strong urge to be close to nature. In winter you'd find me sprouting radish seeds, bird food and herb seeds pilfered from the kitchen cabinet in homemade terrariums. The rest of the year I'd be in the woods nibbling on birch bark and wild berries, trying to trap wild mice for pets (they always outsmarted my traps), bringing home tadpoles, frog eggs and baby turtles from Duhernal Lake. I would run through the woods trying to be like an Indian and not make any sound with my footfalls. (I still startle people because of that training.) I immersed myself in nature and still wanted more. I was adopted occasionally by both wild and domestic animals. I caught full-grown fish with my bare hands by "hypnotizing" them with touch. I had an innate sense of herbal remedies and food as medicine.

The girls enjoying some wheat grass.
Today I'm a woman living in the most suburban of suburbans and still deeply entrenched in nature. Our family includes an elderly yellow Lab, two African Grey parrots, some gold fish, a horse, chickens and a pond full of koi. I garden, fish, sew, cook, grow things, paint, make jewelry and journals. I still love to walk in the woods. I look to nature for answers and sanity. I enjoy writing. I'm closing down my graphic and web design business so I can have more time to express my creativity. I'm a certified botanic illustrator and some of my illustrations were published in a 1996 book Xeriscape Plant Guide and a couple of related calendars.

Painting of Joe
I'm learning how to oil paint and have started by painting nature. My first oil is of my horse Joe and hangs in my stall in the tack room. He likes his painting a lot. He licked it the first time he saw it. My next painting will be of our pond lilies and dragon flies. I have in mind something very different and special.

So here is my blog. For once it's not about web sites, graphic design or search engine optimization. It's about what I love, have learned and want to share.

Our garden gnome contemplating nature.
"Hold on to your diapies babies" (to quote the Rug Rats), I'm going in. It's going to be a fun ride for me and I'm committed. This blog is, generally, about stuff, a direct violation of the first law of blogs, which is all about being consistent and having one specific theme. But if you stick around long enough you'll begin to see I do have a theme and it's simply about joy. The joy of gardening, nature, cooking and eating food and being creative... and enjoying the journey called life the way it's supposed to be!

1 comment :

  1. You are an amazing woman....I can not wait to learn more and add joy to my life! Thank you in advance for sharing!