A Day in the Life – May 16, 2011
Recently, Mike and I stopped setting an alarm in the morning. Our 19-month old daughter, Zea, is extremely dutiful in that regard. My day starts at 6:34 a.m., and it’s all about Zea at the start. Potty, clothes, breakfast, etc. At 8a.m. Ambra, one of her babysitters, arrives (each morning there is a different parent and child who come to watch Zea in exchange for vegetables – it’s awesome). At this point my gears switch to join Mike in our other mutual endeavor (Zea being the first) – farming.
Mike and I don’t generally work side by side throughout the day very often, and this day was no different. Mike left the house at 7:45 to line out our employees with their morning tasks and to begin cultivating the radishes. He spent the remainder of the day cultivating onions, fixing a tractor, and prepping fields for planting. I joined our employees (Alex, Douglas, and Anna) in the fields to thin the radishes. Mike seeded them directly into the ground with a seeder pulled behind a tractor a few weeks back. To make sure we get enough radishes, we put down extra seed. So we go through the bed by hand and make sure there is a finger-width of space between each plant.
After radishes (10:15 a.m.), I went to the greenhouse. I feel the most kinship to dairy farmers when I’m in the greenhouse, as each day it’s the same chores over again. Check on the plants. Water the thirsty ones. I enjoy it. Then I began seeding cabbage and lettuce. At 12:25pm the alarm on my phone rang, reminding me that it was time for the babysitter to go home. I went to the shed and packed up some food (mostly root crops that we’ve stored all winter long) to give to her.
12:35 lunch time. Spinach and cheese quesadillas with salsa that I traded bok choy for at the market this Saturday. By quarter til, Mike was inside as well as our employees. Zea has become adept at hamming it up for the employees. Panting like a dog is her new favorite performance art.
When lunch is over, Zea and I stay inside and play. We read books and do coloring, and then we watch a little bit of Elmo on Sesame Street (she’s obsessed. absolutely and positively obsessed by Elmo.). Then it’s time for nap. Zea and I haggle on the proper number of books to read and settle on three. By 2:35 I’m walking back out to the greenhouse with the baby monitor.
I continue seeding – now it’s on to watermelon and muskmelon. Watermelon seeds are my favorite. They are smooth yet a little gritty and just gorgeous. NPR keeps me company and I enjoy the peace and the warmth of the greenhouse. At 4:19 I hear Zea start to wake up. I call in the employees and instruct them on finishing the seeding and then run to the house before she really starts crying.
Play time and then dinner time. Zea has recently started to like helping me cook. We pull a chair up to the counter and she plays with things while I chop. Tonight, spaghetti and a fresh spinach salad. Earlier I’d thawed out the pesto and tomatoes. I chopped up some carrots and onions, and then cooked them with some ground beef from Jordandal farm. The salad had carrots and beets (again, holdouts from winter storage) and some blue cheese from Edelweiss Creamery. The sauce was delicious if I do say so myself. Or take it from Zea, “Yummy.”
Daddy and Zea do dishes. Mommy responds to emails for a bit. Then we go outside and take a little walk in the fields. A chilly, yet beautiful night. Mike and I admire the garlic and the stand of peas. Zea does her best to try and run down the drive paths, though she’s not quite coordinated enough to run. A big fat moon is rising. Zea practices calling our dog, “Ruby come!” Zea doesn’t want to come inside, but it’s 8 o’clock. Time for bed. After enticing her with the promise of books, Zea reaches for my hand and we all walk back toward the house. “Night Dada, lubbu” (aka ‘love you’).
In the dark, as I’m cradling Zea to sleep, I begin to compose this newsletter in my mind. When I’m finished writing on the computer, Mike comes upstairs with some fresh, warm butternut squash muffins (we froze some squash just for this recipe) and a glass of milk for me. Yummy. It’s 9:35 pm. The day is finally done. Now it’s Mike and my time to catch up and talk about the day, plan for tomorrow, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll have enough energy to read more of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (3/3 of a strangely addictive series of books).
A day in the spring life of the Noltnerwyss family.