” . . . work is not an expression of the desire for praise or recognition, or prizes, but the deepest manifestation of your gratitude for the gift of life.”
— Stanley Kunitz, The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden

Tractors in the fields, Skagit Valley

Today’s quote is food for thought on this Labor Day holiday — work as a manifestation of gratitude.  I do believe that some of the most fortunate people are those who have found work that offers meaning and pleasure.  The kind of work that you never want to retire from.

Parenting is that kind of work.  As is farming and gardening, teaching and construction.  Nurturing life.  Creating beauty and usefulness.  How lucky are those who have found work that feeds the soul.

Harvesting lavender, Lavender Wind Farm

At work in the flower fields, Jello Mold Farm

 

 

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Wheat Harvest

August 21, 2011

Harvesting wheat near Loveland, Colorado

Harvested wheat field

A Dakota Wheat Field

by Hamlin Garland

Broad as the feckless, soaring sky
Mysterious, fair as the moon-led sea
The vast plain flames on the dazzled eye
Under the fierce sun’s alchemy.
The slow hawk stoops
To his prey in the deeps;
The sunflower droops
To the lazy wave; the wind sleeps.
Then all in dazzling links and loops,
A riot of shadow and shine,
A glory of olive and amber and wine,
To the westering sun the colors run
Through the deeps of the ripening wheat.

 

Fall Harvest Cake

November 13, 2009

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Fall Harvest Cake from Hobby Farm Home

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Fall Harvest Cake with whipped cream topping

This week I’ve enjoyed two days off in a row, and that put me in the mood for baking.  The lemon bars I made on Wednesday disappeared too quickly, so I made another dessert from a recipe I found in the Fall 2008 edition of Hobby Farm Home magazine.

Fall Harvest Cake
from Hobby Farm Home magazine, Fall 2008

1-1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1 c oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
16 oz pumpkin
2 c flour
1 large apple, peeled and chopped
1/2 c pecans

Mix ingredients together and pour into a greased and floured Bundt pan.  Bake 60 to 70 minutes at 350 degrees until done.

 

Bent with Apples

September 21, 2009

“Give me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling,
give me juicy autumnal fruit ripe and red from the orchard.”
— Walt Whitman

Apple tree laden with fruit

Apple tree laden with fruit

The orchards along the Columbia River near Wenatchee are burdened with pears and apples.  I had never before seen such fruit-laden trees.

“Apples so red hang overhead, and nuts, ripe brown, come showering down in the bountiful days of September.”
— May Howitt

Boughs bent with apples

Boughs bent with apples

Apple orchard in East Wenatchee

Apple orchard in East Wenatchee

Apple orchard, East Wenatchee

Apple orchard, East Wenatchee

Apples ready for harvesting

Apples ready for harvesting

Wheat Harvest

September 18, 2009

Wheat in the fields

Wheat in the fields

Harvested wheat field in Eastern Washington

Harvested wheat field in Eastern Washington

I just returned from a drive to Eastern Washington with a friend.  We enjoyed seeing the fruits of a successful growing season.  The wheat fields have been harvested, but they still looked majestic framed by the blue Cascade Mountains.

A Farmer’s Prayer
by Timothy Murphy

Spirit of the wheat
brush every beard
turning green flaxen
with a wave of your wand.
The wind is your oven,
the hills your loaves.
Dry husks rustle,
flag leaves furl,
heads curl earthward
as kernels harden.
Your garden is golden,
your larder laden.
Feed a hungry world.