"You better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone -- for the times, they are a changin'." I've loved Simon & Garfunkel since my mother introduced me to them as a little girl. Imagine me, a nine year old, along with my best friend, equally innocent, belting out "Cecilia" at the top of our lungs on the rooftop outside my bedroom window. I don't think we knew what it was about, but we felt it - felt the drums, the rhythm, the pounding, the call to action, and we couldn't help but holler and hoot and pound our little paws on the shingles -- that is, until the neighbors complained. I've come back to Simon & Garfunkel's music so many times over the years, usually when I'm feeling particularly thoughtful, or contemplating a new path. There's something about their music that brings me back to my roots. Not surprisingly, when I sat down to write this post, the first thing that came into my mind was this song, the title of this post (props to Bob Dylan for the original version).
The times they are a changin'. I'm swimming fast, uphill, against the current, paddling, panting, pushing, trying to get home to spawn. Home right now is this little business, Girl Meets Dirt Archipelago Preserves, which means so much more to me than fruit, sugar, and sweat equity. When I first contemplated starting a jam business over a year ago, I was looking to fill a void that my body couldn't fill for me. I needed to be busy. I needed to throw myself at something I could control -- I needed to feel like my effort wasn't in vain. I couldn't help but dream about quince, and dirt, heirloom fruit, and ancient orchards. I was craving rootedness and I found it in a tree. Many trees - so many trees dotting our beautiful islands. Some bearing heavily for the last hundred years or more - some newly producing, but everywhere, fruit trees, bearing fruit. I don't know how to say this except exactly how it is: I can't bear a child right now, so I'll bear this business, on my sleeve, in my heart, and my aching hands. This is my story, and I'm writing as I go. I hope you stick with me, as things change.
Soon, this site will be the homepage for Girl Meets Dirt Archipelago Preserves. The blog will still have a home here, but it won't be front and center. I'll still talk about farmette life, family, and what's happening at my table. But I'll also try to help educate people on how to enjoy my products -- with recipes and pairing suggestions. There will also be an online store so hopefully, I can share more easily with you.
It sounds funny - but this business is my baby. And baby I gotta nurture it with all I got. Each batch I make I think about that. My hands ache, I've got burn scars from splattering hot sugar, and my shoulders are toned like a field worker after slinging hundreds and hundreds of pounds of fruit -- but I love it. When I gather friends and family at my table, and share with them a bit of summer and fall's bounty preserved - I think of all the times families have gathered and shared similar winter moments together. And when I'm alone, sometimes I'll ponder one of those old Orcas Island orchards that once supplied a quarter of the country with fresh fruit, and I think of how many people those trees touched - how many lives were sweetened- and I smile. Because we're rooted. All of us. Just like the trees.