Category Archives: Wisdom from the Farm

Wisdom from the Farm: Surprises

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

I met a friend of mine for coffee this morning and as we were chatting about what each of us has been doing, she said, “But you have to leave room in your day for surprises.” She then told me that she and her husband were in New York City this past weekend and a hawk swooped low over their heads. She said it was surprising, for sure, but wonderful at the same time.

A little while later, I was picking up my farm shares–the last ones of the season. As I was in the field, I was thinking of what she said about the little surprises here and there throughout each day.

We’d had a hard frost over the weekend and the farmer had told us that there wasn’t much in the fields–a few herbs and that was it. I walked over to the flowers anyway because you never know….

When I got there, I saw only brown stalks mixed in with some green plants, but no flowers. As I turned to leave, a bit of color caught my eye. When I looked closer, to my surprise, I saw a few delicate blue flowers, a little bit of red Cockscomb, and a few stems of Snapdragons. To my delight, I was able to gather a small bouquet!

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

Your homework today is to leave room in your busy schedule for surprises. It isn’t always about striving, producing, achieving; it’s also about being. Keep your eyes peeled and your awareness alert for unexpected moments of delight, happiness, and wonder.

You can do it!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Wisdom from the Farm: Shift in Focus

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

At the farm this past week, for our shares, we were able to pick one sunflower. At first glance, it looks as if they are done for the season. All that seems to be left are withered stalks and shrunken flower heads. But, when I shifted my focus just a little bit–less than a foot– and poked around, I saw brand new blooms hidden among the dried stalks. I found a beauty to take home!

This got me to thinking….

How many “parched fields” do we pass by because we think there’s nothing of value there? What would we see if, instead of speeding by, we took a moment to slow down so we could get a good look at them? What if we were to stop and poke around a bit; what rare flower or delectable fruit would we find?

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

Your homework today is to stop being so quick to judge and dismiss an opportunity because it seems like there’s nothing there. Take a moment to shift your focus and see it from a variety of angles; think it through. You may find that breakthrough you’ve been searching for!

You can do it!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

Wisdom from the Farm: The Mangy-Looking Tomato Plants

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

The summer vegetables are winding down at the farm, including the tomatoes.  The plants are drying out and they look a little mangy.  A number of the tomatoes are past their prime and some have fallen off the vines.  There are still enough good tomatoes to pick, though.  And even if they aren’t as picture-perfect as the tomatoes in July, these late-season ones are still packed full of nutrition and they still make delicious tomato sauce.

This got me to thinking….

Many people assume they’re too old or too young for success, or that they’re too tall or too short, too skinny or too husky.  Some people think they aren’t smart enough or that they don’t have the right connections.  Others think they are the wrong gender or color so they figure they can never be successful.

NOT TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!       NONE OF IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The world is starving for your special knowledge and experience, your unique talents and abilities.  It doesn’t matter what you look like, where you grew up, or who your family is.  You are exactly the right person to make your dreams come true.  What matters is you taking your own dreams seriously, making a plan to bring them to fruition, and then following through with that plan one step at a time.

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

Your homework is to take the next step.  Break it into tiny bits that can easily fit into your schedule; tiny bits that are a snap for you to complete.  Then do them!

You can do it, I know you can!

I believe in YOU!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Wisdom from the Farm: The Tomato Patch: Pay Attention to Information from Experts

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

Yesterday I was at the farm picking up my weekly share of garden fresh vegetables. For the pick-your-own portion, the farmers will often leave instruction signs in the fields telling shareholders where the best picking is.  The tomato patches are one of the areas.

I overheard a child reading the sign to his mother and I was amazed that the mother insisted on staying near the beginning of the patch. When she mentioned that there were few ripe tomatoes, her son reminded her of the sign.  But then she declared that “the sign must have been leftover from another week because, obviously, the tomatoes were done for the season. ”  All they had to do was walk just a few feet down the row–not far at all from where they had been standing–and they would have easily filled their pint for the week!

Instead, because the mother thought she knew better than the experts–the farmers–the family left without getting their share of tomatoes.

Jiminy!

This got me to thinking….
…about all the times I’ve disregarded information from the experts–suggestions that could have saved me countless hours of effort!  I didn’t take the time to think it through, to discover how to apply the information to my situation.

 

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

Your homework today is to take a moment to think through the information you get from others who have traveled the road before you. Perhaps not all of their advice applies, for instance your circumstances may be different or new knowledge or technology has come along since they traveled where you are now. Even so, there are nuggets of gold in there for you so don’t dismiss the message right away!

Think it through. Take in the information, but then run it through your evaluation filters. Ask yourself questions such as: Does this apply to my situation; can I adapt this to my particular circumstances; does this information spark a better idea that’s just right for me?

Listen, evaluate, then act!

You can do it, I know you can!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Wisdom from the Farm: The Cherry Tomato Patch: Look Up! Look Inside!

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

Part of my share from the farm this week was a quart of pick-your-own cherry tomatoes. There are several varieties available and I always choose the Sungold because they seem sweeter. And, I like their orange color!

Even though there are plenty of tomatoes for all, when you’re looking at the plants, it seems as though the pickings are slim. That’s because you have to look beyond the surface. You must move aside the leaves and look toward the center of the plant. And, you have to look up–above eye level–to find the sweet, ripe ones.

This got me to thinking….

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

When we’re looking for the gifts within the problems we’re working through, we oftentimes don’t see the gifts–or see only the obvious ones–because we’re focused on the surface. We’re so intent upon working our way through the rough patch as quickly as possible (naturally so) that we may miss the profound and valuable gifts. If we would take a moment to pause in the midst of the rough patch and thoroughly consider it from all angles–including delving below the surface–we may find a pathway through that develops more subtle skills, abilities, and talents that then take us to heights we never dreamed possible.

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

Your homework today is to stop frantically bashing around in the rough patch. Take a moment to clear your head. Then take a look at the problem from all angles, including looking down on it from above and looking up at it from below. And by all means, dig a little deeper than just the surface of it!

Ask yourself: What if this rough patch was the greatest gift to me. What about it would make me say that–how can this be the greatest gift to me?

Also ask: What gifts, beyond the obvious ones of building strength, character, and persistence, can I find as I delve deeper?

Then give yourself the task of finding the answers to those questions.

Then probe into the inner recesses for those answers. For instance, if you determine that this rough patch will teach you resilience, what specifically are you learning about resilience? Previously in your life you’ve probably had opportunities to develop resilience. But that resilience that you’ve already learned is not enough in this particular rough patch. So what deeper aspect of resilience do you now have the opportunity to learn about and strengthen?

Take the time to ask these questions and do the work to answer them. It’ll make going through this rough patch a much more profound experience for you.

You can do it, I know you can!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Wisdom from the Farm: Plenty of Room

Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

As you may know, I am a member of a farm CSA (click here for a link explaining the CSA concept).

Today, the pick-your-own portion of my farm shares included picking a half bag from the bean patch and a pint from the cherry tomato plants. When I got to the rows of beans I noticed that everyone was bunched up near the beginning of the rows. The same was true in the rows of tomato plants.

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

As I made my way past the crowds to the end of the rows, there was plenty of beans and loads of tomatoes to pick. The plants were so full of vegetables (fruit in the case of tomatoes!), that I could stand in one place and, from just a few plants, fill my share for the week!

This got me to thinking….

Sometimes an idea or a dream comes to us and we don’t take it seriously; either we reject it outright or we put it on the back burner. We do this because it seems as if there’s a ton of competition and, to top it off, the Big Boys are dominating and cornering the market anyway. Why bother?  you may think.

THIS IS THE WRONG WAY TO THINK!!

Just like there was a crowd at the beginning of the rows of beans and tomatoes but the end of the rows were wide open, it’s the same with everything else!

For instance in farming, a few decades ago it seemed as if the big corporate farming conglomerates were crushing and destroying small family farming and there would be no one left standing but the Big Boys.

Not true!!!

I don’t know about your community but within the last 15 – 20 years there has been a resurgence of small organic farms. And, because demand was there and is continuing to grow, these small farmers are thriving and more are opening every year. In my area there are CSAs  of all types: some for vegetables, some for fruit, some for herbs and other medicinal plants; there are chicken CSAs, and one for eggs. There’s a CSA for beef and one for pork products….

The point is, there’s plenty, plenty, plenty of room for you and your idea!

Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs

Your homework is to pull that idea/ dream off the back burner and take a close look at it. The initial idea/dream is just the rough draft—the broad strokes.

It’s up to you—your job—to think about it from different angles and refine it so that you find your unique slant and offering.

You can do it, I know you can!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Wisdom from the Farm: What I’ve Learned from the Strawberry Patch, Part 1: Change!

Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

About a month ago, my CSA shares for the 2015 season began at the Farm. I like the pick-your-own portion of the farm shares, even though it can be hot and tiring work; it gets me out in Nature and it gives me a chance to slow down and to think. Oftentimes picking in the fields becomes a metaphor for life. And this year in the strawberry patch has been no different.

Two weeks ago was the peak of the strawberry season. Plenty of juicy red and ripe strawberries were in easy reach and shareholders were able to quickly fill their 4-quart limit. I settled in an area and began picking. It just so happened that several of the strawberry plants had rotten or nibbled berries so I shifted over a few steps. I took my time thoroughly searching through the plants so I didn’t any of the deliciously ripe fruit.

But I kept coming across the patch of rotten and nibbled berries!

I thought I was moving away from them, but obviously I wasn’t. I kept finding myself rummaging through them looking for the good berries. And there weren’t any!

Finally I changed to a completely new area a couple of rows over. This did the trick! I was finally free of those rotten strawberries!

This got me to thinking….

When we’re working toward our dreams, how many times do we hit a rough patch and we never really move on? We think we’re changing things up and trying different things but we keep coming back to the rotten stuff.

That’s telling us several things:

(1) perhaps we really aren’t doing things differently at all, we’re just fooling ourselves into thinking we are;

(2) maybe we aren’t being radical or outrageous enough in doing things differently—we have to push the edge of the envelope much farther;

(3) possibly it’s time to move on and away—totally change everything—abandon (for the time being) the course we’re on.

Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs

Your homework today is to take the next step. And, if you keep running into “rotten” or “nibbled” things then take a step in a totally new and unexpected direction. Do something different; make a radical change.

You can do it little bit by little bit. That will still help you work your way out of the tough patch, as long as you consistently take little bits and pieces of steps.

You can do it, I’m sure of it!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren