Tag: adventure

I don’t know much, but I do know this: with a golden heart comes a rebel fist

… I can’t help agreeing with those that would not quit.

In less than two days, I will run my first ultramarathon.

The past several weeks have been intense, fun, hellish, painful, liberating, terrifying and astoundingly transformative. I’ve observed my body and mind undergo drastic changes throughout the three months I’ve spent training for the Headwaters Ultra 50K. I’ve lost 10 lbs since June, and my legs are finally starting to resemble the powerful, sinewy structures they once were.

More impressive, though, is the attitude adjustment I went through very recently. A couple of weeks ago, I had a full-on anxiety attack about this race. I was convinced that I had somehow messed up my training schedule. The one 26 mile run I was supposed to do turned into an 18 miler due to an extensive hunt for spring water in this awful drought. My morning runs before work were embarrassingly slow despite all my effort. Everything was WRONG! I was doubting myself and feeling scared. I started telling myself I couldn’t do it… again

You see, this is the second 50K I’ve registered for. I had a similar freakout moment before my first one, and ended up dropping down to the 25K version of that race. Although it was probably a good idea overall, being my very first trail race and everything, I’ve never felt proud of that decision. I guess you could say it haunts me a little bit.

But then, everything changed.

Everything.

I started listening to my friends, who would praise and support my dedication to running. I would respond with, “anyone could do it, you just have to want it!”

When I took a new friend on her first 3 mile run ever, I assured her that, “your body is so much stronger than your mind wants you to believe!”

Meanwhile, I was telling everyone else: “I won’t place in this race. I’m a slow runner. I’m not ready for this. I’m SOOOO out of shape. blah blah blaaaaaahnegativeblah.”

I was pulling tarot cards that represented false illusions and unhealthy habits, wondering who was trying to dupe me… but then I realized that I was encouraging everyone else to try to do something that I was clearly afraid of failing at, miserably.

Then I was all like, “oh honey, dat don’t make NO SENSE!” and I slapped myself. Real good. Then, my tarot cards started representing courage, triumph, and adventure.

Conveniently, this attitude adjustment lined up with my body finally falling into athlete mode, and I was running like a goddamn gazelle. It just happened. Like BAM!

I decided to deviate from my training “plan” and go out for 26 miles on a week I was supposed to be taking it easy. I ran most of the course, through a thunder-hail storm, and did NOT stop or turn around despite all my wilderness guide training that told me to get the eff away from all those trees and lightning. I was very nervous, but I pressed on, and I finished strong.

Watch the weather change
Watch the weather change

 

It was intense, but I feel happy. I’m ready. It’s go time. In less than two days, I’m going to run my first ultramarathon, and I’m going to fucking rock it.

 

What danger is there if you don’t think of any?

I have a truly horrible sense of direction, but I hear that getting lost helps you find yourself. One sunshiny day last week, I woke up feeling hungry for adventure.

About twenty minutes of internet research had me set on hiking the Castle Crags Dome Trail. I remember reading about Castle Crags in Cheryl Strayed’s book, Wild, and the view of the crags from I-5 is pretty stunning. I was stoked.

The Crags! Heavily edited.
The Crags! Heavily edited.

(more…)

sleep is overrated

So many fun things going on at the farm. I often think to myself, “I should go inside, get my phone, take pics and blog about this.” But instead, I stay outside and continue doing/observing it.

I’m really, really happy here. The kind of happy that is difficult to peel myself from and run to some kind of techno-device. And since things have picked up a lot around here, I’m pretty wiped out by the end of the day. But for some reason, I can not freaking fall asleep tonight. And so, my friends here is a quick update:

I live and work on a small organic farm called Cloudview, located in the middle of Washington state’s big-ag dominated desert. The closest town is about 45 minutes away, and they love cowboys

I often drive some number of hours to some town on the weekend to buy things we can’t grow and explain to people what the hell a girl from Jersey is doing all the way out here. It’s definitely the most sparsely populated area I’ve ever spent a substantial amount of time in. I really dig it.

I get awful cell reception, so carrying my phone on me is kinds of pointless. I temporarily canceled my netflix subscription until the new Arrested Development comes out, so I’m more inclined to spend my free time on more constructive cognitivities.

A run “around the block” is a nice, flat 5 mile loop, and I can see home the entire time. The sunsets are gorgeous and the stars are freaking brilliant. I’m told that the aurora borealis is visible at certain times, but I haven’t seen it yet.

I’m thousands of miles from anyone I’m close to and completely free from social and family obligations. You better believe I’m reveling in this rare opportunity to the max. Everyone who lives and works here is friendly and intriguing. Sometimes I really enjoy sitting around a campfire at night, drinking beers (or tea) and eating asparagus straight from the ground. But, if I need some *me* time, no one seems to mind if I pass on socializing to lock myself in my bedroom like a reclusive, eccentric artist for several hours.

I’m sharing a very comfortable living space with a wonderful guitar playin, mountain climbin, beer lovin, spicy food eatin carpenter who owns the dog of my dreams, sweet cast iron cookware and shelves of books I want to read. Can you imagine a more perfectly compatible roommate for me?

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Sometimes I grab this lady and run with her on irrigation roads through fields of clover. I could probably do it naked, too. Sometimes I can be found on the hilltop at the truck farm with my sax, blowin notes into the sunset.

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There are TONS of spiders here. One just dropped in front of my computer screen.

Lots of cats, too.

Photo on 3-23-13 at 7.59 AM

This is Frank. I accidentally stepped on him in front of a huge group of people who were touring the farm. Frank forgivz.

I’m getting ripped. Sometimes the first thing I do iwhen the sun comes up is hurl a 100lb bale of damp alfalfa into a wheelbarrow or wrestle a runaway goat back into its pen.

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Notice how Buckwheat is NOT inside the fence with the other goats? That’s because he’s a punk and tests the electric fence for weaknesses in order to lead a large-scale goat breakout. Madness. Jerk.

With the exception of tonight, I generally sleep soundly and am on a nice regular routine that my body has been missing. My diet is dang near 100% unprocessed, organic wholesomeness and I have all the fresh air and exercise I could shake a stick at. Well, I do have this gigantic container of animal cookies my parents sent me in the mail.

Speaking of mail, one of my favorite things to do is put together care packages for my friends and family all over the US, then wake up ballz early to drive 15 miles to Beverly, WA and visit mah grrrl Dolores at the post office before work. I drive fast on completely empty roads, through the cliffs of insanity and mountains in the background while bumping Crystal Method (rrrrrrrrreal effing loud) in my subaru. Trippaaayy.

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Keep it classy, Beverly!

Happy news, we just got some BABY GOATS!

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Seven, in fact.

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I can’t believe I cut off some of his nose. Cell phone camera fail.20130409_181320

BFFS

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Here is some bloody part of a goat baby coming out of Penny’s vagina. I decided not to post pics of the placenta trails, but I do have some if anyone is interested. Penny squeezed FOUR kids out today. Good job, Penny! Sadly, I wasn’t around to see any of them born because I was packing orders all day.

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Ya got sumthin on yr face, kid.20130410_172316

Okay, so here are some videos.

Kid pile!

oreo cookie b00mz

that’s all. I think I’ll nap for three hours before getting up do do it again tomorrow. Oh yeah, I’m going to see Sandor Katz (the fermentation dude) talk in Olympia. Yeahhhh.

I think we’re alone now

Children behaaaave- that s what they say when we’re together

I’ve been meaning to post an update for a good long while. At first, I as too busy traveling, but recently it’s been more an issue of general aversion to technology.

Please allow me to squish my last several weeks of adventure into as tiny of a space as I can..

After I left Seattle on Feb 15, I wet up to Bellingham, WA.
After getting off the evil I-5, I got to enjoy this lovely view on Chuckanut Drive

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Plus a surprise tea house and zen garden!

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Let me tell you, I freaking LOVED Bellingham! So much that I didn’t want to leave, and after I did.. I went BACK!
I stayed with a really rad chick I had met while volunteering in Peru and her awesome roommates!

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B-ham is a fascinating town that has it’s very own expert in every trade and locally-sourced anything you could possibly want. It’s also small enough to walk around and only a 10 min drive from killer hiking. My stay there was a nice balance of fun, exploring, bonding, and recovering from the previous two weeks of my trip.

Breaking off to travel solo was really liberating. I had no pressure to be anywhere by any time and was able to quietly reflect on the first half of my journey. Basically, I met this tremendously amazing person from Seattle on the M train in Brooklyn, we hung out once, he flew back to his land (MY land now, mwahahaha!), and the second time we hung out was a two-week cross country road trip from NJ to WA. While I was explaining the story to my freind in B-ham, she stared at me in disbelief and blurted, “WAIT- these things don’t actually happen in real life!”

And she was pretty spot on. Being in such close proximity to someone I hardly knew for such a long period of time was different from anything I’ve ever done before. It turned out to be an incredible experience that I’ll cherish forever, but wooooooooo boy, talk about INTENSE! Even moreso because, in the process of getting to know one another (and meeting one another’s families), I realized how he and I were polar opposites in so many ways. I don’t know how/if we would have ever connected had a little voice in my head not been SCREAMING at me to talk to him on the train that day.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that we had designed and participated in our very own bizarre experiment that should probebly be turned into a documentary. In conclusion, getting to know someone in this particular fashion is a great way to fry yr freaking brain.

During the last few days of my trip with spooky, i began to feel like the ground could disappear from beneath my feet at any moment. And if it did, I wouldn’t have thought of it as anything out of the ordinary. After all, if nothing is ordinary then isn’t everything, also? Wrap yr noodle around that one..

So, I essentially spent the majority of my first solo day wandering around B-ham, loosely holding onto a thin, 18 foot long strand of thread that acted as the only tether between my body and my head, which floated reluctantly along behind me like a helium balloon. This resulted in my body showing up places before my mind could catch up and caused some diffuculties in social interraction as well as a perpetual state of confusion as to where I was.

But after going for a quick run, I was back on track again and all was hunky dory. The next day, I ended up running a half marathon with one of the girls I was staying with. 13.1 miles was the farthest I’d run in over a year. When she first invited me to join her on the run, I had a fleeting moment of self-doubt. But that doubt fell victim to the “hell yeah” response I knew was pushing through right behind it.

The run was along one of Bellingham’s many gorgeous trails and was definitely challenging- both physically and emotionally. My running partner was a really sweet, badass girl who was particpating in some sort of domestic violence workshop and seemed to be a social worker in training. So in the process of getting to know one another over a 13 mile run, I started revealing things to her that I’d never actually directly told anyone before. Things that had been weighted down with too much shame and fear to ever express. Emotionally intense is the new black, yo.

So I got a free therapy session while declaring my issues to the sweet breeze and everyone running in the park that day. If it was gonna come out some time anyway, I’m glad it did while I was running alongside a bright, compassionate, and very strong young woman.

After pouring so much energy into self-discovery thru establishing deep social bonds at the speed of light, I was about ready for some time REALLY alone. So I slept in the trees of Larrabee State Park an didn’t communicate with a single person for an entire day. It was cold and rainy, but a much needed, nourishing visit with mother nature.

Sweet Jesus, just typing that took a lot out of me. I changed my mind. This will not be a review of my past four weeks. I’ll have to break it all down into manageable chunks. I’m tired and I write too much.

I’m at the farm now and have been for almost two weeks. It’s wonderful to be settled and in the middle of nowhere with lots of free time and hardly any social obligations. I’ll catch up on that another time. Now I’m gonna go serenade my new dog-roommate with my saxophone.

what are dreams for anyway without the guts to live your life that way?

Totally traveling right now, which kind of makes it difficult to publish blog posts, so thanks for being patient. i have been getting a little stressed out by fussing with this tablet i m typing on and the bluetooth keyboard can bite me so please excuse the excessive typos here Still rolling around, but have made it all the way to the northwest so it’s slowed down a lot. Here is a quick overview of where I’ve been the past few weeks… I left on Feb 1 with an amazing friend who lives in Seattle but I met once while i was still living in brooklyn/ the period key is only working when it feels like it, i guess/ traveling across the country with a person i hardly knew but still trusted well enough was a wild adventure of its own that i didn’t really feel the magnitude of until we parted ways/ people have been telling me my life sounds like a movie and I LOVE IT First stop- Pittsburgh, PA/ we went to a fun acoustic show at this house called the pit-bull palace It was full of stellar musicians, including this inclredible dude Robby Lester who fed us pizza and beer and let us crash at his house! He is a great musician and all around sweet dude who i HIGHLY recommend supporting in any which way you can/ link below is for RobbyS bandcamp there were also pitbulls <3 2013-02-02 00.06.42 luvinz From there we drove thru the worst weather of the entire trip to CHICAGO to stay with my friend’s friends who were also super awesome 2013-02-03 13.57.26 this is my travel buddy who i’ve affectionately nicknamed spooky/ just like mulder/ after two days in chicago we stopped in OMAHA, which i have no pics of and it was dark the entire time we were there then we moved on to COLORADO- stopping in Windsor, Denver and Boulder/ we visited my grandparents in Windsor but i neglected to take pics with them or the delicious ravioli they made us for dinner because i am a JERK but here is a marvelous sunset and a nice shot of Boulder that I kind of like 2013-02-05 17.33.09 2013-02-06 14.00.00 Then we took a side trip to SANTA FE, NM simply because we both love it there and it’s the best place i’ve visited so far 2013-02-06 20.27.08 2013-02-07 11.47.24 the photo on the left is a terrible shot, but i needed to document my friend’s ARBYS craving because i knew i would have a hard time believing it/ i’m also a JERK/ so here’s a turtle to make up for it he ate it, too!!! it’s okay, i eat rocks and intestines sometimes then we went to the general Vegas area to visit spooky-family and bought some gas and breakfast for dinner at an alien brothel 2013-02-09 18.17.57 2013-02-07 14.09.21 crust-mobile And then we took a gorgeous drive across northern Cali 20130210_122222 and landed in ARCATA where we stayed with overwhelmingly awesome, fun and lovely friends of a dear sweet friend of mine there is just so much love here <3 2013-02-11 14.24.05 2013-02-11 14.24.13be_gdata_player2013-02-11 14.24.21 2013-02-11 14.25.38 and then we played twat trivia and our team came in DFL 2013-02-11 20.03.07 i blame the dudes for questioning my hymen knowledge and then we made it up to SEATTLE 2013-02-14 11.26.46 this is my face with a huge gigantic wall of colorful gum in seattle my two week of getting to know a stranger/friend within the confines of my car **and anywhere we wanted to take it** ended on VALENTINES day so we decided last minute to get dressed up an go to a vday prom show 2013-02-14 20.55.04 2013-02-14 22.02.04 not pictured are the freakin SWEET cowboy boots spooky inherited during family fun time/ you’re just gonna have to trust me- they rock/ i have some seriously awful hat head goin on here so please tell me I’m pretty ;) Thanks. Well, I think that’s it for now. I just closed down a cafe working on this post so I think I’ll just save my solo leg of the journey for another time. This probably wasn’t the kind of trip review you were expecting,  or maybe it was? Either way, if you want to hear more I’d be happy to go into details over coffee or a phone/skype thing. I’ll be getting to the farm next week and will probably be a lot easier to get a hold of. Love

I cannot deal with inserting a youtube video right now so please go listen to highway kings by the bouncing souls!!

A hippie, a nerd, and a ghost walk into the woods..

bridge

I had plans to hike in the pine barrens today with a friend, but when she had to cancel I was forced to rethink my plans. I’ve had some creepy experiences camping in the pine barrens that I’m going to force myself to recount in a later blog post by mentioning it in this one. This is where the legend of the Jersey Devil originates. It’s also *very* easy to get lost down there and I have the absolute WORST sense of direction I’ve ever encountered. Not two weeks ago, I got lost right here in the town I grew up in.

I determined that I’m just not ready for a trip into the pines on my own. While searching for appealing alternatives, I spent a lot of time perusing the Weird NJ web site as well as old copies of the printed magazine. The Princess Doe story caught my eye. I remembered the very first Weird NJ magazine I bought in high school, it featured Princess Doe’s grave in the cemetery section. I’d never noticed that her body was found on my birthday!

Princess Doe lies in a cemetery in Blairstown, which is very close to some great hiking and creepy places, not to mention a wonderful friend who just recently returned from a four month trip to Nepal I was dying to hear about. Decision made- I left the house hoping for spooky adventure and ended up with all that plus free pizza! Win!

When I got there, I realized that perhaps today, the day after a snowfall, was not the most ideal time to search for her tombstone. If you check out the photo in the Princess Doe weird NJ link, you can see my problem. I had a map with the general location pointed out, but a lot of the smaller tombstones were just bumps in the snow. I started wiping the snow away from one of them and completely saturated the wool glove liners I was wearing. Wet, cold hands make Lauren sad. I wasn’t about to kick the snow off with my boot. No way. Problem.

While walking around in distress, I came across a snow bump at the very edge of the cemetery property, right where the map indicated Princess Doe should be. The corners of a grave blanket (and about a million other pieces of flair) poked through the snow. I stood next to the site and looked down. I felt sick. I did not want to touch that grave. I moved to a different section of the cemetery, trying to convince myself that couldn’t be the grave I was looking for because it was the only one that didn’t want to be disturbed.

But I kept looking back. Eventually, I walked back to the site. Stood there. Stared at the lump, stared at the crows in the spooky tree, let out a few heavy sighs and then finally knelt to wipe off the corner of the stone. “July 15, 1982” and part of the word “strangers” was revealed. I jumped back to my feet feeling some relief that I had actually found the right one, which was quickly replaced by the same creepy nervous feeling I had earlier. I knew she didn’t want me there. This was a teenage girl who had had her skull bashed to pieces and her body dumped in the cemetery. Thirty years later, her identity and murderer are still a mystery. Though her grave was the most heavily decorated, all of the trinkets (as well as her coffin, plot and tombstone) were offered by people who didn’t even know who she was. She had to be PISSED. She is allowed. Who wouldn’t be?

Maybe this grave was more of an attraction than a resting place. I felt guilty, buuuut I wanted to clear more snow off from the stone. I tiptoed over to the other side and started gingerly wiping away the snow. My hand kept catching little objects. I felt like a giant claw was squeezing my lungs. I was messing with her stuff! “Oh man, I’m sorry!” I said out loud, leaning back on my heels and lifting my hands to block the invisible attacker. This is how I behave when no one is looking.

Princess Doe

After carefully replacing her things, I walked back to the other side of Princess Doe’s grave. I felt much better, but embarrassed that I forgot to bring her any kind of offering.

**One lesson that has made my life much easier- GHOSTS LOVE GIFTS!** I don’t think it’s so much about the gift itself as being acknowledged and respected.

I thought about running back to my car across the street to search for something, but what was I gonna leave her? Some baby carrots and a library book? Thinking fast, I removed a pin a friend had given to me from my jacket. I really didn’t want to part with it, but I guess that makes it all the more significant. If I had brought her something I was just looking to get rid of, wouldn’t that be more like leaving trash on her grave?

Pin

There. Now I had a valid reason for clearing the snow from her grave and I left her with a cool gift from a cute boy. She was very pleased. She even let me take one last photo. We are totally cool now. Feeling relieved, I skipped merrily across the street to this place called Cosmic Charlies where all the employees wore tie-dye and got some amazing pumpkin pie ice cream for second breakfast.

And later that day, I actually encountered a very friendly ghost.. like Casper but with glasses!!

My friend and I were walking along the Paulinskill trail, which is an old railbed running along the river of the same name. Side note- the Paulinskill trail stretches 27 miles and is a great pick for a nice, easy long run if you prefer to zone out and not worry about following blazes. We passed some old ruins, too. Definitely haunted- I’m convinced all old railbeds are.

We had been walking for a while without seeing any other people or human tracks when a man came up in the opposite direction. He was cute, in his late sixties maybe, and wore large glasses and high rubber boots.

“Hi!” My friend and I greeted him.

“It’s a GREAT day!” was all he said in response.

His head was kind of ducked low and he walked slowly.

Almost immediately after passing him, my friend and I came to a small bridge where we decided to turn around and head back.

About five minutes after we turned around, my friend pointed out that the guy had disappeared. We were on a straight, flat, clear trail (see below photo of my friend shaking this entire rusty bridge)

bridgeian

and the old man was nowhere to be seen. No sign he had ever been there. We turned around and walked back, but couldn’t find any human footprints that weren’t our own. We even walked all the way up to a giant shale rock that I distinctly remember passing before we encountered the man because I decided to break off a thin chip to nibble at. My piece tasted chalky, not at all like the baked Lays chip it resembled. I spit it out. My friend tricked me into believing that his shale chip tasted like bacon, but it totally didn’t. It tasted like da earth. Yeah, I eat rocks, so what?!

Anyway, the dude completely vanished.. oOoOoOoOoO

As it turns out, I have all the spooky snow fun I need right here in North Jerz!

jump pussy

I don’t think he owns a bathing suit.

There she goes again

This is not an end of the year review. In fact, I wouldn’t have remembered that today is New Years Eve without all the whining that appeared on my facebook news feed recently <3 This is NEWS!

I’ve drawn a rough outline of the next chapter in my life, and it’s going to happen on an organic farm in central Washington. After finally breaking the news to my family, I figured it’s safe to share with the internet. Acccctually… after delivering a compelling presentation on WHY I decided to do this, I ran from the room, frantically waving my arms over my head and squealing, “OMGZZ I HAVE TO BLOG ABOUT THIS!”

And I pronounce OMGZZ exactly how it’s written.

So.. why? Let me tell you.

0. I’ve been trying to get an internship on a small organic farm for the past few years. Until now, something has always prevented me from doing so: school, job, relationship, waiting too long to apply, travel plans, etc. I moved back into my parents’ house a little over a month ago right as a giant hurricane ate my home state. This made it impossible for me to get to my job in Brooklyn for a while, which I ended up leaving anyway. I knew I was ready to leave the east coast. With no work to do or electricity to numb my brain, I focused on obsessed over what my next adventure would be.

1. I had just finished reading Wild, by Cheryl Strayed and was seriously contemplating whether this was a good time in my life to walk the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s been a while since I’ve traveled. I’ve never touched the northwest United States, but I keep hearing amazing things and have been feeling pulled in that direction recently.

2. In fact, when I returned from Perú in 2011 I almost took a farm internship in Oregon. I didn’t go because of my boyfriend. Don’t ever let a relationship interfere with your dreams, it causes many things to break.

3. When said relationship collapsed in a fiery Armageddon last year, I moved back into my parents’ house (I guess you can say this is a regular thing for me) and started going back to school to study nutrition. After one semester of memorizing information solely to regurgitate onto tests and pass VERY EXPENSIVE prerequisite classes that I could have taught myself, I concluded that the money I had saved up for Fall tuition would be better spent on renting an apartment in Brooklyn. I still believe this was a wise choice.

d. Living in NYC was an east coast overdose. I started using the term “ASAP.” wtf? I wanted to smack myself.

5. The idea of having another office job has gone from “unappealing” to “revolting” to “twitch-inducing.” During one interview, I was asked if the helper monkey-type job responsibilities sounded like something I would be interested in. In response, I very coolly stated, “Interesting is definitely not the word I would use, but I could do that.” Furthermore, I need fresh air and physical activity.

6. Believing that sticking my hands in the dirt was just as significant in studying nutrition as having my face in the books, I volunteered on an organic CSA farm in Stillwater, NJ over the summer.

For those who don’t know, community supported agriculture (CSA) is an even better way of supporting local farms than shopping at farmer’s markets. It involves purchasing a share of a farm for a particular season. The members pay up front, providing small farmers with some financial security, and then receive a portion of the farm’s harvest on a regular basis (usually weekly) throughout the season. This is wonderful because it encourages members to eat more fresh, seasonal produce that came from a local source and is probably organic. You’ll know because you can ask the farmer, face to face. In addition to supporting sustainable agriculture, CSAs reduce the need to shop at those awful, awful supermarkets where you will be tempted to buy processed junk and cheaper bio-messedwith produce that has been sprayed with who knows what and shipped in from countries where the farmers can’t afford to eat their own crops.

Volunteering on this farm was hard work, but it felt good and gave me a peace of mind I haven’t otherwise experienced since returning from my travels. It was the farm’s first season, so every day was.. a lesson. Without an irrigation system, we would fill huge jugs of water in the Paulinskill River that ran along the edge of the farm property and then water the plants by hand using empty beer cans and yogurt containers. All the other volunteers were magically fascinating and bright. It was absolutely more intellectually stimulating than most jobs I’ve had (with the exception of neuroscience research). My strength and ability was never doubted even though I was a skinny girl with no farming experience, which is always empowering and rare to encounter. The farmer, James, is a wonderful person and I would highly recommend paying him a visit at Goodness Grows!

When I explained my plans to my parents, my mother very politely implied that she thought I might be making a big mistake ::cough::totallyfreakedout::cough:: My parents, like most members of their generation, measure success by their salaries. My mom doubted that farming could be a sustainable career choice. However, I think that it’s one of the only sustainable career choices. Everyone needs food. The economy is fake and prone to collapse at the push of a button. Current industrial farming practices are destroying the earth and poor nutrition is making Americans sick with fatness. Things really need to change, and they’re already shifting in my direction. Just think of all the people who won’t know how to feed themselves when the terrorists take down the power grid? Think of all the people who don’t know what food is, or where it comes from? We must correct this!!!!!!!

Sustainable agriculture is clearly something that I care deeply about, as is nutrition. The two go hand in hand, and as of right now, I think that I can make a more significant impact in this field (ha! pun!) by studying on a farm. Will farming be my career? I can’t answer that right now. Maybe not? Maybe I’ll integrate what I learn into a more holistic nutritional healing practice? Maybe I will travel all over the world, working on farms with my cloth-diapered baby and dirty hippie life partner? Maybe I will write a book about it and move back to Brooklyn. Maybe I’ll start an urban farm/music venue/book club/yoga studio in Bushwick and keep bees on my roof? Ohhh yeah, I left a little piece of my heart in Bushwick. <3

Ooo! Ooo! That reminds me of the best part! The farm I will be interning on has BEES! Remember when I said I wanted to be a beekeeper?!?! Hey! I’m gonna do it!

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Right on!

I will miss Jersey a whole big lot, I’m sure. It’s funny- at no point while I was living in Brooklyn did I feel like I wasn’t still in New Jersey. I guess this is what happens when you grow up so close to NYC. I consider Manhatten, Brooklyn and Long Island to be extensions of NJ rather than NY. I KNOW MY NEW YORKER FRIENDS ARE GONNA HATE THAT!

I’m spending my last month doing the things I love the most as much as I possibly can (i.e. going to shows, hiking/trail running, and spending time with my fwiends). Just in this past year (alright, here’s your review!) I’ve met so many beautiful, interesting, and talented people. I’m so grateful to have had the pleasure of connecting with and learning from these brilliant new friends. I’m going to leave in about one month and drive to WA with one of my most favorite new friends. I’m über excited about this road trip! I’m sure it will be an excellent adventure on its own and satisfy my itch to roam before planting myself in central WA for the growing season. Let’s hang out! Even better, let’s hike and go to a show! Rawk!

EEEEEEEEEEEEE new things!