Raspberry Bushes

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 Today I tilled the beds in the garden.... I learned how to shift dirt using the least amount of energy by standing on the shovel.

I told him I liked pushing the shovel in, and didn't want to save energy because I liked the exercise of it. I don't think that was a very farmerly thing of me to say, because he looked at me funny... and said something like, you're going to do this all day, though, you might regret that decision in the morning, because my muscles would get really sore.

I don't think farmers are looking to exercise, rather be as productive as possible in the field.

Despite it all, I think I'm getting to be quite good at gardening.

We took home some lettuce... I'll make a salad.

I planted seeds, and out in the field I met a woman who wants to farm in Sicily next year. She wants to live with a home-stay family there and learn Italian while she helps out on their farm. Apparently there's this whole program that allows an American to stay with families on farms all over Italy, where they go work and help out all while learning the language... I think she said it's called "Woofing" or something, some interesting abbreviation like that.  I recommended "A Silent Joy" for her to read, so thanks, Erin!

We made cheese... this time we made a French Alpine cheese. We used a double-boiler this time. He pressed it in a wooden cheese-presser.

And here are the curds...

Yianni's friend Timothy made lunch for everybody- this curry that was amazing. Actually... amazing. Timothy used to be a chef at some restaurants in New York and San Francisco before he moved here, I asked him what he does now and he says he comes and bugs Yianni at the farm. I will definitely remember that lunch for a while. Everybody came in from the field and sat down in the barn to enjoy the food, while it rained outside... once the rain stopped we cleaned dishes and went back out.

I asked if he used bay leaves, but apparently it was some other kind of leaf... I forgot at the moment, but it might come back to me later. Anyway, the flavors were way different than anything I've tasted in a restaurant before... way fresher, or something.

Here is Yianni using the double-boiler to make cheese...

Some of the cheeses that he made last week were still in the fuzzy stage... somewhat unattractive. Doesn't look very edible quite yet. But it will... it's all part of the process. The mold is what makes up the rind. He flipped them over so the rind could grow evenly.

After lunch, Yianni and I planted raspberry bushes. We dug a hole, and sifted the dirt through a dirt-sifter to get out all the rocks. When we took the raspberry bush out of the pot, though, its roots were all stuck together. It was compressed, completely... So we had to rip its roots apart. It looked painful, but apparently if we don't rip out the roots when they're so attached like this, they will never be able to reestablish themselves in the ground...

So we ripped them apart, placed them in the hole, sprinkled them with fertilizer, and covered them with dirt.

Even though they got super attached to each other in the pot, it was necessary to rip the roots apart, or else they couldn't grow again, somewhere else.

Even if it hurt the roots a bit.

I like that idea.

It makes me feel better about a lot of things.

I think I'm a lot like a raspberry bush.