Monday, October 31, 2011

Hello, Milwaukee!

Today was very different than one of my usual days. Katherine milked the goats and did all of the other farm chores, while I packed my bags. I drove to Milwaukee, checked into my hotel, dropped off lambskins at the tannery, drove downtown to meet a reporter, and then drove to Alice's Garden, an urban community garden in the middle of the city. The reporter thought it would be fun to do a recorded radio interview in the garden along with garden director Venice Williams. And it was a blast! Venice met me at the gate with a big hug, and we chatted about gardening and cooking and life like we'd been friends forever.

Unfortunately most of the conversation centered around me and Homegrown and Handmade, but I wish there would have been time to learn more about the garden. On this two acres, about a hundred families and a dozen community organizations cultivate a lot more than just carrots and lettuce. They're growing a community and nourishing healthy habits. They have picnic tables and a labyrinth and classes in yoga, cooking and making tea from your homegrown herbs, and they provide mentors for gardening novices. They even have classes for moms with babies and young children. It's everything I've always wanted to do, but it's 200 miles from home, so not terribly practical. The people of Milwaukee, however, are lucky to have such a special place in their city!

Tomorrow morning, I'll be on The Morning Blend. In the evening, I'm doing a book signing at Boswell Books, and Wednesday night, I'll be doing a book signing at Tribeca Gallery Cafe in Watertown, WI. And on my way home Thursday, I'll drop off 18 bags of washed fleeces at the fiber mill so they can be carded and turned into roving. Six of the bags will also be spun into yarn. Once I'm home, I need to help everyone else finish getting the farm ready for winter, which means cleaning out the barn, trimming goat hooves, giving the bucks their copper and selenium supplements, picking dried beans and shelling them, creating new low tunnels in the garden, selling a goat and three sheep to a couple different people who've already made appointments to come by, and keeping a close eye on the last two does that need to be bred this fall so I don't miss their next heat.

But right now I'm just hoping that my skin can survive three days with this hotel soap because I forgot to pack my homemade goat milk soap.


LindaG said...

It's great that you have a tannery and fiber mill so close to you.
Have a great week!

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Saw you on The Morning Blend. Very nice how you made it clear we can't be making all our own things and growing all our own food overnight. It takes time and patience and hard work and patience and strong will and oh yeah, patience.

Cheryl Z said...

I did the same thing last week when we were out of town one night - forgot my goat milk soap. But at least it was only ONE night. It's fun hearing about your adventures doing the book tours.

Deborah @ Antiquity Oaks said...

LindaG -- The tannery and fiber mill are 3-4 hours away, but I suppose that's close for some people. I'd never be able to afford the postage on my fiber if I had to mail it all.

Donna -- Just about every time I think I finally have that patience thing nailed, something else gets thrown my way to test me again!

Cheryl -- I never thought I'd get so spoiled by soap!


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