of pots & pickles, permaculture gardens, teaching & learning & loving life.....

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          A “watershed moment” is what I’m in.  How apt: Pop and I have put in our last generous offer on 5 acres of raw land a bit north of my rented studio, and honestly, for all the sweetness about it, the part I’m most excited about is the fact that it has a spring.  Possibly even two. Springs! Life-giving water jumps and springs from Mama Earth because the land is between two major watersheds and groundwater doesn’t know where to go. I have wasted absurd amounts of time staring at the ceiling at 3 am, dreaming of where I would plant the chestnut trees, where I would dig the cistern, how the water could collect, ebb and flow, be captured in swales for passive irrigation of the orchard soils, then cycle slowly downhill towards medicinal weeds and white willows around a trout pond.
          I have spent weeks researching USGS/USDA map overlays and comparable sales in the area, visiting with a permaculture-minded consultant, and talking to potential land-project collaborators, the neighbors, the county development officers, water conservation district employees, and a hilarious man who does geothermal systems, in the event that we manage to wrench the property from a greedy developer.  He’s a big fish on the line, darting left and swimming right, jumping and slashing his sword, but we are patient.  So, I’ve been particularly soaking in gratitude and potential in the past few months even as Coldwell Banker sends me emails rife with spelling, math, and grammar errors, when they remember to send an email at all.
SE facing slope- good for plants.  
           Meanwhile, I learned that the one job that I covet is available 2 hours SW of me in Forest Grove, OR, a professor position at Pacific University.  I’d be starting a Design track and working next to a woman that I greatly enjoy, Terry O’Day, who some of you may remember from missives 4 years past.  I need to apply.  That’s all there is to it.  I am applying.  But if I get this job, well, uhm, basically all my time would be there instead.  It’s a long shot, no doubt.
            Meanwhile also, I am falling into a rapid friendship with a savvy dinner party organizer who, like me, has pretty much always forged her own way.  She says never mind the job, your work is compelling and you should follow your vision of having Mudshark Studios RAM press it in order to make it available to restaurants and retail venues.  A chef at one of the best restaurants in town looks at my prototype, says “this could be huge”.  Biwa just started using my simpler dishes in their regular rotation, and I just landed a similar commission from Langbaan
A small platter for Biwa's Fall Menu  
photo Andrea Solnecker
Soul-searching reveals that I’m ambitious! I want that recognition! I feel that it is a logical next professional step.  I’d get to work with my friend at his great local business and really test my capacity as a businessperson (one can only try).  I’d provide something more interesting than what restaurants have available now.  The local food and crafts movement is burgeoning, being a part of that economic model is one that I can dig, and I’m ready for the pressure.  My question is: what is the carbon footprint implicated in that project? 
            Just so long as I can occasionally escape the computer and get some mud on my face digging out a spring on the little triangle of Earth that I hope to steward.
            Here's to your Happy Holiday!
narrow vehicles only!
Holiday Sale at Woodlawn Market Dec 13
Tyndall Centre Scientist on the need for a binding and just global carbon budget
Avaaz Petition on climate change
delicately or not, the land is opened up
Pop and I at the Lewis River near my house
a sailor and his daughter, by the sea
some local press
Copyright © 2015 Careen Stoll, All rights reserved.

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