Marblemount Homestead is a beautiful place in the North Cascade mountains, and my family's homestead and sanctuary close to the wilderness. Our vision is to connect people with the earth, self-reliance, beauty, self-empowerment and inspiration. Here, we teach classes on artisan cheese making, animal raising, homesteading, bow making, archery, and wilderness skills. We also make and sell our handspun yarn, goat milk soaps and traditional wooden long bows.
I can hardly believe it is spring. How
do I know it's spring? For starters, we are out in the garden,
shoveling compost, weeding the garden beds and paths, starting seeds,
and waiting for baby goats to be born. There are also signs of
crocuses wanting to bloom, and cyclamens and snow drops are bursting
forth. Buds are swelling, and robins are patrolling the yard.
Steve is working full time, so it's
usually just me getting dirty in the garden (while he busts his
bootie planting trees for salmon habitat restoration at work). He
helped me spread compost one day, which is so hugely helpful, because
his man-muscle body can do more work than mine (I hate to admit it).
As I am out there, weeding, shoveling
and digging, I listen to my kids' voices. They are loud and mostly
happy, with only an occasional argument from the boys or a wail from
Eva. The most amazing thing this year is Eva's self-containment and
independence. The boys often play with her, racing up and down the
lawn, rough-housing on the trampoline, or pushing her on her tricycle
(They are such great brothers, really). But she is also quite happy
playing by herself, absorbed in her own world in the sand pile, or
digging in the soil. A year ago, my spring gardening was much more
sporadic, crammed in between Eva's naps, or precious moments stolen
when Eva was content, instead of needing my attention. And then
there were the years I gardened with infants or toddlers strapped to
my back. (Is it any wonder that my back feels worn out sometimes?).
The boys are playing bike soccer.
Eva is helping.
She found a bird's nest up in the Fort.
There is something I haven't told you
about yet. Three weeks ago, I started an elimination diet to find
out if I have any food allergies. It's a way of reducing inflammation in the body. I have totally changed my way of
eating: no sugar, no alcohol, no dairy, no gluten. That means all
the fun stuff is gone from my life. No daily dose of chocolate, no
glass of wine with dinner, no delicious slabs of bread with butter
and home made goat cheese. When my friends started eating this way, I
knew there was no way I could ever even attempt this. However, I am
doing it, and I have for three weeks! I can hardly believe it! I
feel good, but also very deprived. Life feels a little dull without
all my little pleasures. Although I know I am doing something good
for my body, something is missing...
After three weeks, I am supposed to
introduce certain foods one at a time and then watch my body for
reactions. I think I will stay on the elimination phase part for a
little while longer, just to see what happens. Below are muffins made with almond flour, duck eggs and a banana as the only sweetener. You would be amazed how sweet a banana tastes to me now. And carrots? They are like candy.