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2004-05-16 - 7:59 a.m.

There are few things in life as satifying to me as planting. Yesterday I spent around 4 hours in the late afternoon until nightfall sowing seeds into our garden. I can't wait for the Radishes to germinate and mature which is only in 22 Days as one of the only things more satisfying than planting is harvesting and eating fresh food grown oneself!

Thank God for Radishes which give that near instant gratification of a quick maturity! No other plant grows so fast and yields a crop so readily. Warm white bread toasted with butter and fresh sliced radishes is a simple pleasure I can't wait for! It feels like summer is really here when muching on that sandwich. I think it was our neighbor/friend Joanne the wonderful Beekeeper, chicken and egg cultivator, and amazing housecleaner who I have relied on for much help over the last five years who initially told us about the radish sandwhich. I rememer SOMEONE attesting to the mavelousness of that simple meal-- indicating we just HAD to try it! At that time four years ago we were harvesting bushels full of a hearty crop which we then sold at a local farm stand. I had rarely ever even eaten a radish before then. That year we had Cherry Belle which were perfectly round and red and flavorful, and also incredibly biting hot white icicle that the farm stand lady Uta in Purcellville was saddened we only had a few of. It is always an enlivening experience to bring our produce to UTA and watch her take a hearty bite to test it for quality. She had this earthy farmer quality about her- with her tanned skin, occassional bouts of hideous poision ivy, and a blend of beauty of the land and hard work along with this very NY tough curt attitude in business which makes her a successful farmer. IT turns out she had a philosophy degree (like me!) and is from Yonkers. She and her husband Sam Brown run Crooked Run Orchard which is one of the well known over 100 year old family run VA Heritage farms. I first saw Uta when I attended a Tree Pruning Workshop run by Sam who is a Master Garderer in the VA Cooperative Extension program in which he volunteers his time to share his wisdom with others. I recalled UTA as his assistant that day, fetching him needed tools, and my thought was "I wonder who that woman is? She is clearly in love with him"

Uta apprechiated that story as I conveyed it to her after getting to know her a bit and realizing the Brown's life is one of HARD labor. It was refreshing for her to be reminded of romance, and suprising to her that I saw that so clearly IN Their daily work. I really believe work together is the stuff of REAL TRUE LOVE.

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