Stoney Creek Farm

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting Leigh and Olin Funderburk at Stoney Creek Farm.  They are Business Impact Partners of Way FM and I heard about their farm while listening to the radio on my way to work. Since I’m always on the look out for new farms to patronize, I signed up to receive their weekly newsletter.  A few days later, I received an email that their U-Pick season was ending on July 23, 2016. 

Since temperatures were supposed to be in the upper nineties, I made sure I was at the farm in Franklin, Tennessee by eight am.  Leigh greeted me as I walked up and told me where the fruits, veggies, and herbs were located and even gave me a glove so I’d be protected from the prickly cucumbers and squash. There wasn’t a huge selection of cucumbers, zucchini, squash or blackberries, but tomatoes, wow, there were a lot of beautiful tomatoes! 

SCF Tomatoes

SCF Grape Tomatoes

After I picked all that I wanted, I spent some time chatting with Leigh and Olin, who are two of the most delightful people I’ve ever met.  They are great storytellers and Leigh’s a pretty good salesperson too – in addition to the berries, veggies, and basil I bought, I also bought some sourdough rolls, a book they’d written, and a temporary tattoo to help support the volunteers on the farm.  The rolls were amazing by the way – I ate several the first day!

The book, Dirt Rich: How To Experience More Joy And Less Stress Through Sustainable Farm Living, tells the story of how they came to own Stoney Creek Farm and what it means to farm sustainably.  Though I’ve only read the first three chapters so far, I’m enjoying their story and their perspective on how to farm successfully. 

Dirt Rich

There’s something about people who farm – there’s a look that comes over their face as they look across their property and the way they admit that it’s not an easy life, but it’s one they wouldn’t trade for anything.  It’s a pleasure to get to know them and feel the connection between what they grow and what I consume.  It seems to me that it’s a holy sort of thing, this connection, something that doesn’t happen when I buy food off the shelf in the grocery store.  

Even though the season is over, Leigh and Olin will continue to offer classes and other events at the farm.  They’ll still have tomatoes for a while so head over to pick some up before the season is done for good!

12 South

What you’re about to read is a complete and total rationalization and justification.  It’s completely out of character and I’m pretty embarrassed about it, but it’s true non-the-less.

Normally I only go to a donut shop if I’m picking up donuts for my team.  Very rarely do I actually eat them.  Normally I would never pay more than a dollar for a donut. Normally I wouldn’t eat a donut for lunch.  Normally I wouldn’t eat donuts twice in one week. 

That was before I took a trip to Five Daughters Bakery on 12 South here in Nashville, Tennessee. One lovely Saturday morning my housemate’s daughter told us about it and said she wanted to go and check it out.  Normally, I wouldn’t tag along – I have some very aggressive savings goals this year and going out for treats is not in alignment with that goal.  But it’s my birthday month and I thought, why not?  And why would I deprive them of the pleasure of my company?  Plus it’s a family business owned and operated by Isaac and Stephanie Meek and their five daughters – how could I not support that? 

Five Daughters Bakery 1

Five Daughters Bakery 2

The stairway to heaven

Five Daughters Bakery 8

Five Daughters Bakery 3

Love their decor!

Five Daughters Baker 4

Waiting patiently in line

Five Daughters Bakery 9

These are not just any donuts – these are donuts just like the ones my Mom used to make.  They are soft and yeasty and delicious and even though I couldn’t eat the whole thing in one sitting, I very much wanted to. 

Five Daughters Bakery 10

Donuts just like Mom used to make

Not even a week later, I just happened to be out having dinner at Burger Up’s 12 South location and what do you know?  It’s just down the street from Five Daughters Bakery!  After eating my Woodstock burger (Triple L Ranch beef, Benton’s bacon, Tennessee Sweetwater white cheddar, and Jack Daniel’s Maple Ketchup) and house cut fries, there was only room for a small thin mint cookie popsicle at Las Paletas.  But there was no reason I couldn’t get a maple glazed 100 layer donut from FDB for the next day’s breakfast!

12 South - Burger Up

Almost forgot to take a picture.  I was really hungry, okay?

Las Paletas Menu

Las Paletas Menu

Las Pasitas Popsicle

There are whole thin mint cookies inside this popsicle

It’s possible that I may need to move to the 12 South neighborhood.  In addition to Five Daughters and Burger Up, there’s also a Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream location and a Sprinkles, where you can get cupcakes twenty-four hours a day from their Cupcake ATM.  I was going to write a little more, but I think I better take a little break and go to realtor.com and scout out my options.  Stay tuned for my next post where I talk about how I’m mysteriously gaining weight . . . 

Summer Needs to Slow Itself Down

A few years ago, a Facebook friend posted, “Summer needs to slow it’s a** down.”  While I don’t normally speak that way,  I totally resonated with that statement.  I’m already feeling it – the tightness in my chest as I look at the calendar and see that it’s June 11th.  June 11th, people!  Whoa!

June 11th

Now, those of you that are planning to point out that it’s not even officially summer yet?  Summer is defined by a lot more than a date on a paper calendar, it’s defined by the end of the school season, the opening of the pool, the first fruits of the garden, and being outside in shorts and flip-flops. 

Whether it’s a throw back to being a kid and loving summer vacation, the fact that I have a summer birthday, or just the sensation of  feeling the warm sun on parts of my body that haven’t see daylight for months, this is my favorite time of the year. 

Thistles

Why do evil thistles have such beautiful flowers?

This morning I took an especially long walk down to the dam, taking pictures and letting Hannah sniff and investigate every blade of grass and clump of dirt that piqued her interest. Admittedly, it seemed like a better idea going down, down, down the big hill than it did coming back up when it was already seventy-five outside at seven thirty in the morning, but I still relished it.  There was that moment when I stumbled off the path because I was looking at stuff, but it only hurt a little bit and my catlike reflexes kicked in and I managed not to fall.  Good thing I was wearing my Dansko tennis shoes and not my flip-flops!

Percy Priest Dam - June

Percy Priest Dam

All uphill from here

It’s all uphill from here . . . 

Hannah patiently waiting

Hannah patiently (?) waiting for me to take pictures

There are a lot of things on the calendar this summer, fun things I’m really looking forward to that will likely include family, friends, music, the lake, ice cream and other tasty treats.  Yet each activity, each thing that fills a weekend, makes the clock tick faster and I also want to have time for sitting on the porch swing, lying on the hammock, breakfasting on the patio, or reading a book while lying on a blanket on the grass.

It’s hard not to think back wistfully to when I was a kind and summer seemed to stretch out endlessly, with nothing on my agenda but playing and making sure I read a couple of hundred books to earn my prize for the summer reading club.  But I’m a grown up now and that means I have to go to work and cook meals and do laundry and run errands and clean house and all sorts of other stuff that needs to be crammed into my twenty-four hour day. 

Patio

For now, though, I’m sitting on the patio, having my breakfast and enjoying writing this while the birds sing, the breeze whispers through the trees, and I practice my new hobby of taking pictures of people who don’t clean up after their dogs

How are you spending the summer?  I’m praying you, too, will find a little time for slowing down and enjoying it!